The Diagrammatic Turn in Quantum Physics 

Organizers: Andrea Reichenberger (Technical University of Munich). 

Andrea Reichenberger is currently the junior research group leader at the Department of Mathematics (Faculty IV) at the University of Siegen. For the winter semester 2023–24 and the summer semester 2024, she substitutes the professorship for the history of technology at the Deutsches Museum, STS Department, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany.

Workshop Description
Quantum theory is often regarded as challenging to learn and teach. In public, the theory is mystified and characterised as non-intuitive and hard to understand. Quantum information technology has now begun to develop a new quantum architecture that promises to be able to explain unique features of the quantum world through the language of diagrams, setting out an innovative yet mathematically rigorous method called quantum picturalism (see, e.g., Bob Coecke and Aleks Kissinger’s book Picturing Quantum Processes: A First Course in Quantum Theory and Diagrammatic Reasoning, CUP 2017). What is so innovative and revolutionary about “picturing quantum physics”? 

This workshop aims to tackle the complex issue of this question, bringing together researchers from a wide range of different fields, perspectives, and backgrounds to look at this new approach from different angles, from experimental technology, mathematical reasoning, and, more recently, digital computer technology, up to the philosophy of technology, philosophy of engineering, and philosophy of physics. 

Call for participation
We invite submissions presenting research on topics including, but not limited to, the following: 

  • Challenges and perspectives on diagrammatic reasoning and representation in quantum physics 
  • Philosophical reflections and critical discussions of diagrams in quantum physics 
  • Applications (e.g., in quantum computing, quantum algorithms, and communication protocols) 
  • History of diagrams in quantum physics (e.g., the early history of Feynman’s diagrams) 
  • Relationship between diagrammatic and categorical quantum physics 
  • Social and economic aspects of (e.g., collaborative calculations, personal contact, and individual mentoring in teaching) 
  • Intuitive ways to introduce core concepts of quantum theory, but also innovative ways of working with quantum mechanical processes. 

We invite abstracts for workshop presentations. Please email an abstract of no more than 500 words to

Submission deadline: June 1, 2024. 

Notification for acceptances: no later than June 7, 2024, when registration for the main conference opens. Participants in the workshop must register for the full conference.