University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Ast 1911.001


Session: Fall 2017 (9/05-12/13)
Instructor: Lawrence Rudnick (e-mail: larry @
Time: 1535 W
Location: Tate Hall B55

Is ?nothing? too wonderful to be true, as the great 18th century physicist Michael Faraday pondered? Following the Bard, in this seminar we will make much ado about "nothing." From the birth of the Universe ex-nihilo, to the philosophies that find meaning in nothing, to the tangled history of zero over the centuries, to our beginnings as seen by theologies when even nothing was not. In our journey through the teeming vacuum, "nothing" is sacred, and will be both ventured and gained. Caution is advised, however, in telling people that you've signed up for "nothing!"

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