History and Foundations of Physics Reading Group (HoFoP)

HoFoP is an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty at Yale dedicated to exploring and discussing topics in the philosophy and history of physics, and of science more broadly.  We engage with foundational texts as well as with contemporary ideas and guest speakers.  Meetings are once a month.

Contact: Yarone Tokayer , Molly Watts, or Sebastian Fernandez-Mulligan

Faculty Advisor: Priya Natarajan

Summer 2024

History & Foundations of Physics & Graduate Theory Seminar Group - June 4, 2024, “Symmetry and Conservation in Nature”. Kline Tower, rm. 501 @ 12:30 pm.

Readings: Lange and Weyl (excerpt)

Co-sponsored by the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities.

Spring 2024

History & Foundations of Physics at the Yale Peabody Museum - May 15, 2024, “How Does Physics Make it to the Museum? A visit to the Peabody with History of Science Curator, Professor Paola Bertucci”. Discussion with lunch at the YSB Courtyard @ 2:30pm

Reading: Higgit

Co-sponsored by the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities.

Terry Lectureship Lunch - April 26, 2024, “Lunch with Lorraine Daston”. Linsly-Chittenden Hall, rm. 210 @ 1:00pm

Readings: Recommended advanced reading by Daston (RSVP by Friday, April 19, 2024)

Co-sponsored by the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities.

Meeting 4.2 - March 26, 2024, “What is a  simulation for? Physics between theory and experiment”. Kline Tower, rm. 401 @ 5:30pm

Readings: Galison and supplemental reading TBD

Co-sponsored by the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities.

Meeting 4.1 - February 21, 2024, “Unpacking Scientist Narratives and Community Sociology”. Kline Tower, rm. 401 @ 5:30pm

Readings: Traweek Ch.3 and (supplemental) Traweek Ch. 4

Co-sponsored by the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities.

Fall 2023

Meeting 3.3 - December 5, 2023, “COMPUTING WHAT CANNOT BE PREDICTED: Origins of Machine Learning as Subjective Decision Making”. Kline Tower, rm. 401 @ 5:30pm

Readings: 3.3 The reading for this session is a draft of work in progress by the guest. Please email either  Yarone Tokayer , Molly Watts, or Sebastian Fernandez-Mulligan for a copy

Meeting 3.2 - November 1, 2023, “Non-Empirical Theory Assessment in Theoretical Physics”. Kline Tower, rm. 501 @ 5:30pm

Readings: 3.2 Dawid (excerpt from String Theory and the Scientific Method) and Dawid (supplemental; background on  string theory).

Discussion guide

Co-sponsored by the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities.

Meeting 3.1 - September 26, 2023, “Replication in Science”. Humanities Quadrangle, rm. C65 @ 5:30pm

Readings: 3.1 Collins and Franklin.

Discussion Guide

Co-sponsored by the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities.