Mon Oct 9, 2017
Howison Library, 4–6 PM
Tim Maudlin (NYU)
The Mathematics and Ontology of Classical Electro-Magnetic Theory
Mathematical physics employs mathematical objects to represent physical entities. Naively, one might expect to be able to read off a physical ontology from the mathematical formalism. But there are many conceptual and technical roadblocks for any such strategy. I will consider first what it is to articulate a physical theory that is ontologically clear. Formalizing the presentation of a physical theory in a standard way can help avoid ambiguities and unclarity. I will exposit how to do this and begin to discuss classical electro-magnetism.