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    Vassar College
  Feb 20, 2018
Catalogue 2017-2018
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STS 160 - Relatively Uncertain: A History of Physics, Religion and Popular Culture

1 unit(s)
(Same as PHYS 160  and RELI 160 ) This course examines the cultural history of key ideas and experiments in physics, looking in particular at how non-scientists understood key concepts such as entropy, relativity, quantum mechanics and the idea of higher or new dimensions. It begins with an assumption that’s widely accepted among historians – namely, that the sciences are a part of culture and are influenced by cultural trends, contemporary concerns and even urgent personal ethical or religious dilemmas. In this course we are attuned to the ways that physicists drew key insights from popular culture and how non-scientists, including religious or spiritual seekers, appropriated (and misappropriated) scientific insights about the origin and nature of the world, its underlying laws and energetic forces, and its ultimate meaning and purpose. Brian Daly and Christopher White.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

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