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. 118; Cushing, chs. 13; Rohrlich, chs. 13 

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. 12344 & 1814; 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. 20037; 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. 1925; 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. 110; Sklar, pp. 7982, 2024; Feynman, ch 4  
7  Tuesday, 6 February  Waves, fields; electromagnetism & the ether. Newtonian cosmology. Philosophical pause: the limits of the classical world. 
Sklar, pp. 94117, 12132, & 14255; Bohm, pp. 1033; Feynman, ch. 5; Cushing, ch. 13 

8  Thursday, 8 February  Searches for the luminiferous ether: why is it so elusive? 
Einstein, chs. 18  Homework 3 due 
Spacetime: Special and General Relativity  
9  Tuesday, 13 February  Einstein's motivation & postulates; spacetime.  Einstein, chs. 917; Rohrlich, pp. 5472; Sklar, pp. 2540; Kuhn, Structure Sci Rev, ch. X; Cushing, ch. 16  
10  Thursday, 15 February  Apoorv lectures for Prof. Ceperley. Unification of electricity & magnetism; E = mc^{2} & speed limits; locality & conservation laws. 
Rohrlich, pp. 7388; 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. 4069; Cushing, ch. 18 
Homework 4 due 
13  Tuesday, 27 February  Topology; GR cosmology.  Sklar, pp. 6990; 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 viceversa? 
419: term paper consultations  
Statistics, Quantum Mechanics, & Philosophical Responses  
15  Tuesday, 6 March  Thermodynamics, probability, & the arrow of time. Causality & chance. 
Rohrlich, pp. 4954  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. 15764; Cushing, ch. 19 
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. 16472; Feynman, ch. 6; Squires, §§1.32.6 
419: term paper topic/ abstract due 
18  Thursday, 15 March  EPR thought experiment; Bell's theorem; is local realism dead? 
Rohrlich, pp. 16980; Sklar, pp. 21325; Cushing, ch. 22; Squires, ch. 5 
Homework 5 due (note change) 419: term paper consultations 
20 & 22 March  Spring Break  
19  Tuesday, 27 March  Intro to QM 'measurement'. Determinism, chance, & objectivity in QM. 
Sklar, pp. 17291; Squires, ch. 3 
Quiz 2 419: term paper consultations 
20  Thursday, 29 March  More possible approaches to measurement; reality, entanglement & decoherence.  Sklar, pp. 20212; Cushing, ch. 21; Squires, chs. 4 & 6 
419: term paper outline/ partial draft due 
21  Tuesday, 3 April  Quantum summary  Rohrlich, pp. 1804; Sklar, pp. 191202; Cushing, chs. 2324; 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 QMGR. 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) 