Philosophy of Modern Physics

University of Queensland

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Philosophy of Modern Physics

  • Host University

    University of Queensland

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Philosophy, Physics

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Lower

    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

    2
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    Introduction to the philosophy of science in the context of modern physics. Methodological principles, quantum physics & epistemology, quantum measurement, relativity & cosmology, time & causation. Grand unified theories, theory of everything.
     
     
    Course Introduction
    It is the business of physics to determine what kinds of things there are in the world and how they interact with each other. This has led to a new physics, quite different from the everyday world of Newton, a physics which challenges traditional philosophies. In this course aspects of physics will be presented intertwined with related philosophical issues. The objective of the course is to enable students of physics to appreciate the philosophical assumptions underlying the world view of modern physics and for students of philosophy to learn the essential facts and concepts underpinning modern physics. Physics students will be expected to develop skills of written expression, familiar to arts students, while philosophy students will develop conceptual and numerical reasoning skills familiar to students of the physical sciences. It is hoped that the experience will go some way to bridging the gap between students of science and the arts. This course is delivered jointly by Physics and Philosophy. The physics lectures will give an account for the non-specialist of the main theories of modern physics including special and general relativity, quantum physics and cosmology. The philosophy lectures will introduce students to some aspects of the philosophical discussion of science methodology before moving on to consider the metaphysical problems that these new theories suggest concerning the natures of matter, space, time and causation.
     
     
    Learning Objectives
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    • appreciate the philosophical assumptions underlying the world view of modern physics and for students of philosophy to learn the essential facts and concepts underpinning modern physics.
    • Physics students will be expected to develop skills of written expression, familiar to arts students, while philosophy students will develop conceptual and numerical reasoning skills familiar to students of the physical sciences.
     
    Class Contact
    2 Lecture hours, 2 Contact hours
     
     
    Assessment Summary
    Problem Set(s): 20%
    Essay: 40%
    Final Exam: 40%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.