Matter and Meaning: Why we know what we know in Physics

Tanja Traxler
Arts and Society, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies
2021W, Lecture and Discussion (VD), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S03564

Description

How have natural scientists and especially physicists gathered knowledge throughout the centuries? Why is reality in quantum physics not the way it seems in everyday life? And what role do the arts and a sense for the beauty play in discovering laws of nature? In this course we will investigate past and present methods of gaining knowledge in the physical sciences. The historical analysis of epistemology in science will be accompanied by philosophical and sociological considerations as well as gender reflections.

Evidently, quantity and quality of scientific knowledge has changed dramatically e. g. between Newton’s classical mechanics in the 17th century and the development of quantum mechanics or Einstein’s theory of general relativity in the 20th century. What was once established as a scientific fact has been revealed as a limited perspective. In this course, we will discuss the methods scientists use to gain knowledge that is as solid as possible.

This class is explicitly open for science & physics greenhorns as well as for quantum nerds!

Examination Modalities

Regular attendance and active participation in group discussions. (30%)

Each participant is asked to give a wrap-up (5 min) and provide a handout about one of the sessions. The handout is due to the date of the presentation. (30%)

Oral group exam or individual oral exam at the end of the term. (40 %)

Dates

14 October 2021, 09:15–11:00 Seminar Room 34 (preliminary discussion)
28 October 2021, 09:15–11:00 Seminar Room 34
04 November 2021, 09:15–11:00 Seminar Room 34
11 November 2021, 09:15–11:00 Seminar Room 34
18 November 2021, 09:15–11:00 Seminar Room 34
25 November 2021, 09:15–11:00 Seminar Room 34
02 December 2021, 09:15–11:00 Seminar Room 34
09 December 2021, 09:15–11:00 Seminar Room 34
16 December 2021, 09:15–11:00 Seminar Room 34
13 January 2022, 09:15–11:00 Seminar Room 34
19 January 2022, 09:15–12:45 Seminar Room 30
20 January 2022, 09:15–11:00 Seminar Room 34
27 January 2022, 09:15–12:45 Seminar Room 34 (examination)

Course Enrolment

From 01 September 2021, 00:00 to 02 October 2021, 23:59
Via online registration

co-registration: possible

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Master): Study Areas: Study Area 4: Philosophy

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Bachelor): Philosophy: Foundation

Individual courses: possible