Research and Pedagogy: A History of Quantum Physics through the Textbooks

Workshop at the MPIWG, Berlin, October 7, 2009, 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Organisers: Massimiliano Badino and Jaume Navarro
There is the strong tendency to consider a textbook as the depository of the settled and undisputable results of a theory. It is required by its pedagogical function that the subject be presented in an orderly manner and the conclusions follow logically from the premises. But textbooks are not only tools for scientific training, they are also tools for research in ‘normal science’ and, from time to time, even vehicles for revolutions. These two aspects are significantly intertwined in the history of quantum physics, as a discipline that progressively emerged from classical physics and gained its autonomous status as the result of a collective and interdisciplinary effort.

The workshop in October is meant as a preliminary presentation and discussion of some papers that will be presented at the HSS meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, in November 2009.

Contributors: Marta Jordi, Massimiliano Badino, Michael Eckert, Domenico Giulini, Jaume Navarro.

Participants: further members of the quantum group.

Jürgen Renn and Jed Buchwald will take part as commentators.