Introduction to Theoretical Physics

Module Leader:
Dániel Nógrádi
Year/Term:
2015-2016 Summer
Level:
Focus
Division:
Numerical Sciences
Credit:
8

The module will introduce the basic concepts of theoretical physics and science in general. Concepts we will explore: analytical thinking, reduction, scientific method. Theories, model building and mathematics. Testing and prediction. Data and noise. Experiment, data analysis, confirmation/rejection. Validity of models. Incremental changes of theories, large modifications, paradigm shifts. Common lore. Outliers, puzzles, trends, statistics. Science vs. pseudo science. These concepts will be illustrated by examples mainly from physics, from classical mechanics, relativity, quantum mechanics, particle physics and quantum field theory but also from other fields. Some of the examples will be more technical some of them historical.