University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Tuesday, October 21st 2014
7:00 pm:
Café Scientifique in Bryant Lake Bowl
Speaker: Michel Janssen, University of Minnesota
Subject: Café Scientifique: Einstein: The Old Sage Versus Young Turk

Drawing on his work for the Einstein Papers Project and his collaborations with scholars at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin, Michel Janssen will explain, in layperson's terms, the scientific methodology behind the spectacular successes of the young Einstein (special and general relativity and early contributions to quantum theory). He will then show how some of Einstein's personal experiences during World War I played a key role in making the older Einstein adopt a very different methodology, one no longer driven by empirical data but by mathematical elegance. This Café Scientifique promises to be an entertaining mix of history, philosophy, and physics.

Michel Janssen has long been interested in making the results of his research on the history and philosophy of modern physics accessible to a broader audience. A professor in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine program at the University of Minnesota, Janssen has been offering a popular seminar called Einstein for Everyone. He is also one of the editors of The Cambridge Companion to Einstein, which likewise aims at a broad audience.

Cost of tickets is $5-12.

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