Philosophy of Physics
This course offers an introduction to the philosophy of physics, which deals with methodological, epistemological, and metaphysical issues in physics. It consists of seven modules offering a rich menu in philosophically deep questions arising in modern physics: space and time, quantum mechanics, and advanced topics of contemporary physics.
The seven modules are as follows:
- Organization and introduction: what is philosophy of physics, what are physical theories, and what is determinism?
- Substantivalism vs relationalism: Newton, Leibniz, Kant, and time in Newtonian physics in general
- Time in special relativity: relativity of simultaneity, Minkowksi spacetime, and implications for the metaphysics of time
- Time in general relativity, cosmology, and beyond
- Moving backward and forward in time: time travel in modern physics
- Quantum mechanics: phenomena and theory
- Quantum mechanics: the measurement problem and quantum non-locality
Accessibility and Prerequisites. This course will be self-contained and has no prerequisites. While some background in physics, mathematics, and philosophy will be helpful, I will not assume any specific knowledge beyond high school mathematics.