Charles "Chip" T. Sebens

Department of Philosophy
University of California, San Diego


Philosophy of Physics, UC San Diego, Fall 2016 [syllabus]

Philosophical Issues in Quantum Physics, Caltech, Spring 2016 [syllabus]

Knowledge and Reality, Caltech, Spring 2016 [syllabus]

Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics (focusing on electromagnetism), Caltech, Fall 2015 [syllabus]

Science Fiction and Philosophy, University of Michigan, Fall 2013 [syllabus]


Quantum Mechanics, Three Ways (2014), poster presented to undergraduate physics students
I study the philosophy of physics, focusing on the foundations of quantum theory.  I use tools from metaphysics and epistemology to assess competing proposals about what physical laws govern the motion of subatomic particles (such as Bohmian mechanics, Everettian quantum mechanics, and GRW theory).  In particular, I am interested in the ways in which self-locating uncertainty arises in quantum mechanics and how we ought to respond to it.

I am an assistant professor in the department of philosophy at the University of California, San Diego.  As a student I studied physics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Oxford, and the University of Michigan.

This poster situates some of my recent research questions in the broader project of figuring out how to best formulate quantum mechanics. For an accessible introduction to the debate, check out this video.


Constructing and Constraining Wave Functions for Identical Quantum Particles (forthcoming), in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics [abstract] [arXiv] [slides]

Self-Locating Uncertainty and the Origin of Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics (forthcoming), with Sean Carroll, in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science [abstract] [arXiv] [blog I, II, III]

Many Worlds, the Born Rule, and Self-Locating Uncertainty (2014), with Sean Carroll, in Quantum Theory: A Two-Time Success Story, Yakir Aharonov Festschrift [abstract] [arXiv (updated version)]


In Progress

A Laws-First Introduction to Quantum Field Theory  [abstract] [draft]