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History of Science

Oggetto:

History of Science

Oggetto:

Anno accademico 2020/2021

Codice attività didattica
FIL0410
Docente
Roberto Lalli (Titolare del corso)
Corso di studio
laurea magistrale in Filosofia
Philosophy International Curriculum M.A.
Anno
2° anno
Periodo
Primo semestre
Tipologia
Caratterizzante
Crediti/Valenza
6
SSD attività didattica
M-STO/05 - storia della scienza e delle tecniche
Erogazione
A distanza
Lingua
Inglese
Frequenza
Facoltativa
Tipologia esame
Scritto ed orale
Prerequisiti
The course is primarily intended for students of the Philosophy International Curriculum. Adequate command of the English language is required. Basic (high-school level) background in mathematics and natural science is presupposed.
Oggetto:

Sommario del corso

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Obiettivi formativi

Through the study of major reconfigurations of knowledge in the history of physics, students will become acquainted with the historiography of scientific change and engage critically with historical analyses and debates. Students will also learn to approach and contextualize historical scientific texts.

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Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi

At the end of the course, students are expected to have acquired:

  • Basic acquaintance of developments in 19th century physics
  • Non-technical knowledge of the history of electrodynamics and relativity theories
  • Understanding of the major scientific and philosophical issues in the passage between Newtonian and relativity physics
  • Knowledge and understanding of relevant questions and methods in the history of science
  • Capacity to apply this knowledge to critically evaluate historical reconstructions
  • Ability to communicate historical evaluations about scientific debates in oral and written English

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Programma

  • Introduction to the history of science
  • Historiography of scientific change
  • Continuity and discontinuity between classical and modern physics
  • Concepts of scientific revolutions
  • Overview of 19th century physics
  • Mechanical worldview
  • Electromagnetism, optics and concepts of ether in the 19th century
  • Fin-de-siècle crises in physics
  • Electromagnetic view of nature
  • Origin and development of the theory of special relativity
  • Development of the general theory of relativity
  • Relationships between theories and experiments in conceptual changes
  • Reception of relativity theories in the early 20th century
  • Developments of gravitation theory and cosmology through the 20th century

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Modalità di insegnamento

The course will be primarily based on virtual frontal lessons heavily supported by audio-visual materials (slides, short videos, images) through Webex (virtual room https://unito.webex.com/meet/roberto.lalli). The virtual class will also include more interactive techniques made available through the platform Moodle (such as quiz, and short in-class assignments and in-class readings). There will be also oral presentations by the students and home assignments. The scientific content will be mostly presented in a non-mathematical fashion, prioritizing the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and practices as well as of historical methodologies, rather than mathematical formalism.

Students will have the possibility to be actively involved in discussions at the end of the teacher’s presentation.

The course is divided in three parts:

  • Introduction to the history of science and historiography of scientific change (teacher’s lessons)
  • 19th century physics and development of relativity theories (teacher’s lessons)
  • Reception and further developoments of relativity theories (part teacher’s lesson, part students’ presentation and discussion)

The students who are unable to attend the lessons will have access to all the registered lessons and the reading assignments. Only the modes of evaluation will be different.

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Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Requirements, to be adjusted during the course if necessary:

  • Class participation, including one short (about 10-15 minutes) presentation in the last part of the course (week 6) (PIC students unable to attend class should contact the teacher);
  • One take-home exam consisting of  1 essay question (at the students' choice among 3 questions) requiring an answer of about 1500 words. The take-home exam will be on the material covered in the weeks 1-3. Students will have one week to complete the test.
  • Either a research paper (about 3500-4000 words) or a written examination at the end of semester.

The final grade will be roughly based on the following: Attendance (15%), Take-home exam (20%), Oral presentation (25%), Final paper or written examination (40%)

 

Students who are unable to attend will be evaluated differently with a written and oral exam on the materials including recorded lessons, the reading assignments and the books listed below. Non-attending students should contact the teacher to evaluate whether they will be able to do the take-home exam on time.  

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Testi consigliati e bibliografia

There is no single "textbook" for this course. The course is based on a series of readings taken from a variety of sources, both primary and secondary, as well as the teachers’ slides. The required readings together with a detailed syllabus will be made available to the students via the Moodle platform. Students are invited to read the reading assignments before class attendance according to the syllabus. Some readings from primary sources will be read and analyzed during the class.

In addition to the reading assignments suggested books are:

  • Russell McCormmach, Night Thoughts of a Classical Physicist , Harvard, 1991, ISBN 0674624610,
  • Purrington, Robert D., Physics in the Nineteenth Century (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997).
  • Goldberg S, 1984. Understanding Relativity: Origin and Impact of a Scientific Revolution. Birkhäuser Basel. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4684-6732-1
  • Eisenstaedt J, 2006. The Curious History of Relativity. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

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Note

The course will be an online course through the platforms:

Webex Virtual room: https://unito.webex.com/meet/roberto.lalli

To access the Webex Virtual room on Mondays and Wedneasdays:

Collegamento riunione: https://unito.webex.com/unito/j.php?MTID=m16e3e919159d4e64d6816dd91cc33d81
Numero riunione:121 508 9633
Password: Albert1905
Altre modalità di accesso
Accedi per telefono +39 0230410 440 Call-in toll number (Italy)
Codice di accesso: 121 508 9633
 
To access the Webex Virtual room on Fridays:
Collegamento riunione: https://unito.webex.com/unito/j.php?MTID=mde522677cfba7217ef3e5437dedf4f7e
Numero riunione: 121 351 8361
Password: Albert1905
Altre modalità di accesso
Accedi per telefono: +39 0230410 440 Call-in toll number (Italy)
Codice di accesso: 121 351 8361

 

URL Moodle : https://elearning.unito.it/scienzeumanistiche/enrol/index.php?id=2747

 

Note on Plagiarism

Students are requested to present their own arguments employing their own words. They should use quotations only when necessary and give precise detailed citations whenever they use quotations. Even when asked to report or summarize a third person’s argument students should make an effort to substantially change the wording. Students have to be especially careful when dealing with secondary sources as changing a few words in a quotation is still considered quote. Students are free to discuss the take-home exams with other students but the work that students submit must be their own, not something jointly written.

Violation of these rules against plagiarism will be crucial in the evaluation.

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    01/09/2020 alle ore 01:00
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    30/06/2021 alle ore 01:00
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