Adjustments to the schedule may be made as the course progresses.
NB: You are not responsible for reading every text listed; you should choose at least one principal text.
Aim to complete your chosen readings by the date listed. See syllabus for list of three general texts and the recommended texts; 'Bohm' here is Bohm, Causality & Chance in Modern Physics (all of these texts are on reserve).

lecture date topics reading milestones
1 Tuesday, 16 January Overview; a taste of upcoming surprises. Sklar, pp. 1-18;
Cushing, chs. 1-3;
Rohrlich, chs. 1-3
 
Classical Foundations
2 Thursday, 18 January Ptolemy vs Copernicus;
how do we decide basic scientific questions?
Simplicity, common sense, hard evidence...
Kuhn, Cop Rev, pp. 123-44 & 181-4; Feynman, ch. 2; Rohrlich, ch 4; Cushing, ch. 4
Homework 1 due Friday (short notice, but we want to get you started thinking ahead of lectures!)
3 Tuesday, 23 January Kepler & Galileo; physics &
cosmology; the role of mathematics.
A new world view.
Kuhn, Cop Rev, pp. 200-37;
Cushing, chs. 5 & 6
4 Thursday, 25 January Kepler to Newton.
The meaning (& ambiguities) of Newton's laws.
Rohrlich, ch. 5;
Cushing, chs. 7 & 8
5 Tuesday, 30 January Newtonian space & time; symmetries;
metaphysical assumptions
Sklar, pp. 19-25;
Cushing, chs. 11 & 12
Homework 2 due
Transition to Modern Physics
6 Thursday, 1 February Conservation laws & energy.
A glance at thermodynamics & the arrow of time.
Bohm, pp. 1-10; Sklar, pp. 79-82, 202-4; Feynman, ch 4  
7 Tuesday, 6 February Waves, fields; electromagnetism & the ether.
Newtonian cosmology. Philosophical pause:
the limits of the classical world.
Sklar, pp. 94-117, 121-32, & 142-55; Bohm, pp. 10-33; Feynman, ch. 5;
Cushing, ch. 13
 
8 Thursday, 8 February Searches for the luminiferous ether:
why is it so elusive?
Einstein, chs. 1-8 Homework 3 due
Spacetime: Special and General Relativity
9 Tuesday, 13 February Einstein's motivation & postulates; spacetime. Einstein, chs. 9-17; Rohrlich, pp. 54-72; Sklar, pp. 25-40; Kuhn, Structure Sci Rev, ch. X; Cushing, ch. 16  
10 Thursday, 15 February Apoorv lectures for Prof. Ceperley.
Unification of electricity & magnetism; E = mc2
& speed limits; locality & conservation laws.
Rohrlich, pp. 73-88;
Cushing, ch. 17
Quiz 1
11 Tuesday, 20 February Invariants.
What does 'mass' mean?
Causality & the speed limit.
12 Thursday, 22 February How do you feel gravity? What does the answer tell you about the structure of the Universe? Rohrlich, ch. 7;
Sklar, pp. 40-69;
Cushing, ch. 18
Homework 4 due
13 Tuesday, 27 February Topology; GR cosmology. Sklar, pp. 69-90;
Hawking, ch. 3
419: term paper consultations (see Prof. Ceperley)
14 Thursday, 1 March More cosmology; philosophical implications.
Btw, does the Earth go around the Sun or vice-versa?
419: term paper consultations
Statistics, Quantum Mechanics, & Philosophical Responses
15 Tuesday, 6 March Thermodynamics, probability,
& the arrow of time.
Causality & chance.
Rohrlich, pp. 49-54 419: term paper consultations
16 Thursday, 8 March Experimental basis of QM.
Lacunae & anomalies of classical physics.
Light is a particle & electrons are waves (sort of).
Rohrlich, ch. 9;
Sklar, pp. 157-64;
Cushing, ch. 19
Homework 5 due
9 March: last day to drop an undergrad course
17 Tuesday, 13 March De Broglie's hypothesis;
probability & uncertainty.
Interference, Copenhagen interpretation(s).
Rohrlich, ch. 10;
Sklar, pp. 164-72; Feynman, ch. 6; Squires, §§1.3-2.6
419: term paper topic/ abstract due
18 Thursday, 15 March EPR thought experiment; Bell's theorem;
is local realism dead?
Rohrlich, pp. 169-80;
Sklar, pp. 213-25;
Cushing, ch. 22; Squires, ch. 5
419: term paper consultations
  20 & 22 March Spring Break
19 Tuesday, 27 March Intro to QM 'measurement'.
Determinism, chance, & objectivity in QM.
Sklar, pp. 172-91;
Squires, ch. 3
Quiz 2
419: term paper consultations
20 Thursday, 29 March More possible approaches to measurement; reality, entanglement & decoherence. Sklar, pp. 202-12;
Cushing, ch. 21;
Squires, chs. 4 & 6
419: term paper outline/ partial draft due
21 Tuesday, 3 April Quantum summary Rohrlich, pp. 180-4;
Sklar, pp. 191-202; Cushing, chs. 23-24; Squires, ch. 7
 
Time, Fields, Cosmology
22 Thursday, 5 April Return to entropic arrow,
entropy & entanglement
23 Tuesday, 10 April QM+SR: field theory; empty space isn't; problems with GR+QM and with QM-GR.
What happens when forces are unified?
Homework 6 due
24 Thursday, 12 April Arrows of time. Hawking, ch. 8  
25 Tuesday, 17 April Symmetry breaking; cosmology; inflation? Hawking, chs. 3 & 9 419: term paper rough draft due
26 Thursday, 19 April Why are we here?
String landscapes & the anthropic principle.
 
27 Tuesday, 24 April  
28 Thursday, 26 April  
29 Tuesday, 1 May Course summary & any issues
that you wish to discuss.
 
         
  Thursday, 3 May Reading Day   419: final term paper draft due
(11:59p on Compass)
  Tuesday, 8 May Final Exam, 1.30p–4.30p (in 276 Loomis)