Alexander Franklin (KCL) - 2015-16 Students

Emergence and Reduction in the Foundations of Condensed Matter Physics

Condensed matter physics describes systems consisting of large numbers of particles. Such descriptions are, in many cases, descriptively autonomous from the science of smaller scales. I am investigating whether such autonomy implies an explanatory inadequacy in the smaller scale and thus emergence. To this end I am exploring the physical description of phonons (collective excitations of atoms in crystal lattices) and phase transitions in various systems. I hope to make more general conclusions regarding the status of idealisations in physics.

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