History & Philosophy of Physics

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) is recognized as a world leader in general history and philosophy of science. In addition to strengths in the philosophy of biology, early modern natural philosophy, and ancient science, the department has excellent resources for graduate study in the philosophy and history of physics.

The department is able to offer a generous package of financial support to most successful applicants for admission and has an excellent record of placing its PhD graduates in academic positions.

Participating Faculty

John Earman (HPS, emeritus), philosophy of space and time, foundations of quantum field theory.

John Norton (HPS), history and philosophy of modern physics, Einstein, general relativity.

Porter Williams (HPS), history and foundations of quantum field theory, foundations of quantum mechanics, philosophy of science.

Robert Batterman (Philosophy), foundations of statistical physics, dynamical systems and chaos, asymptotic reasoning, mathematical idealizations, the philosophy of applied mathematics, explanation, reduction, and emergence.

Giovanni Valente (Philosophy), philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, quantum field theory and statistical mechanics.

Mark Wilson (Philosophy), history and foundations of classical physics.

Recent Dissertation Projects

Bihui Li, "Moving Beyond 'Theory T': The Case of Quantum Field Theory".

Elay Shech, "Assume a Spherical Cow: Studies on Representation and Idealizations".

Thomas Pashby,"Time and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics".

Bryan Roberts, “Time, Symmetry and Structure: Studies in the Foundations of Quantum Theory”.

Doreen Fraser, “Haag's theorem and the interpretation of quantum field theories with interaction”.

Armond Duwell, “Foundations of Quantum Information Theory and Quantum Computation Theory”.

Chris Smeenk, “Approaching the Absolute Zero of Time: Theory Development in Early Universe Cosmology”.

Chris Martin, “Gauging Gauge: Remarks on the Conceptual Foundations of Gauge Symmetry”.