Ever since the ancients first looked up at the sky, people have asked themselves questions: What are stars made of? Is the universe infinite? Does the evolution of the universe have a beginning or end, or is it eternal? The nature of the universe has been subject to human theorizing throughout history, and these theories have held a central place in the physical sciences. This course is an introduction to the history of cosmology in the West from antiquity to the present day. We will investigate how models of the universe evolved from ancient Greece, through the Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century and the introduction of general relativity in the early 20th century, and into today. This historical survey will inform philosophical reflections, for example on the nature of space and time, and how these view informed thinking about the universe throughout history. This course is suitable for science and non-science majors.
HPS 0545 Space, Time, and Matter is an introductory course in History and Philosophy of Science. It requires no prior scientific, historical, or philosophical knowledge.
- Siska DeBaerdermaeker
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