X755 | 2727 | Dickson

X755 Introduction to Philosophy of Physics (3 cr.) Time and Day: 2:30p-5:00p T Place: GB107 Section: 2727 Michael Dickson This course will be roughly 1/3 devoted to the theory of relativity (special and general) and 2/3 to quantum theory. In each case, we will begin with a careful exposition of the theory (in quite abstract terms–we will not be concerned in this class with methods of calculation, but rather with the abstract, mathematical, structure of the theories). We shall then examine in detail several foundational issues that are now at the forefront of research in the philosophy of physics, including: conventionalism space-time substantialism and relationalism reconciling quantum theory with the theory of relativity the ‘measurement problem' the multiplicity of interpretations of quantum theory the problem of quantum gravity The format for the class will be lecture and discussion. Grades will be based o participation and on a major paper.