Metrology is the science of precisely measuring physical quantities. It enables us to build experiments to explore the extreme reaches of the universe, such as the LIGO and Virgo interferometers. Despite its success, metrology is haunted by deep questions: How does calibration ensure that perceived instrument readings relate to physical values? How can we know which instruments measure the same quantity, and which of them is the most accurate standard?
Philosophers have traditionally assumed, following classical physics, that measurements reveal pre-existing "true values". However, numerous results of quantum theory strongly indicate that this cannot be the case: outcomes do not exist independently of measurements. This has led independent groups of physicists, philosophers and metrologists to ask: how does quantum theory transform our understanding of calibration and standardization in metrology?
This project would fortify and extend an existing multi-disciplinary collaboration by: providing salaries for students and researchers to work at the intersection of philosophy and quantum metrology; travel expenses and salaries to engage key experts from relevant fields; an international conference; and communication of the research findings to the public through online media.