Summer School: The Nature of Entropy I

From thermodynamics to black holes

22 – 27 July 2019 in Saig, Germany

Entropy is a central physical concept. Considerations about entropy have been indispensable, from its introduction into thermodynamics by Clausius, to the statistical mechanics of Boltzmann and Gibbs, to debates over black hole entropy which is arguably our best guide to a theory of quantum gravity. But do we really understand what entropy is and how it comes to appear in physical laws? There are at least six distinct definitions of a quantity called “entropy” to consider (Clausius, Boltzmann, Gibbs, Shannon, von Neumann, Bekenstein-Hawking). What is their significance, and how are they related?

The interdisciplinary summer school wants to tackle these questions head-on. By bringing together young researchers, PhD students, and internationally acclaimed experts working on statistical mechanics, cosmology and the philosophy of science, we will investigate the notion of entropy, highlight its role at the forefront of modern physics, and discuss related philosophical issues. Apply here.

Date and Location

22 – 27 July 2019
Lenzkirch-Saig, Germany

The summer school takes place at Hotel Sonnhalde, where all participants will be accommodated will full board. The quiet and idyllic location in the heart of the Black Forest allows for a productive work atmosphere, but also offers great opportunities for recreation.

Sonnhalde View

More practical information. 


Jean Bricmont (UCLouvain)
Detlef Dürr (LMU)
Michael Esfeld (UNIL)
Dustin Lazarovici (UNIL)
Tim Maudlin (NYU)
Paula Reichert (LMU)

The summer school is supported by a grant of the Volkswagen Foundation

Volkswagen Foundation
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