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Georg Kopsky

Georg Kopsky studied Physics at the University of Vienna and completed a thesis about the Thermodynamics of gravitating systems

Ph.D. Project Poster

Research Project: The development of modern mathematical physics in the second half of the 20th Century

In my dissertation I want to study the emergence of a new understanding of the term 'mathematical physics' around late 1950ies and early 1960ies. Around that time a new community within the one of theoretical physicists appeared as a new subiscipline of physics. This can be seen by a new style in writing scientific papers and monographs. This style can cuperficially be described as a `definition-theorem-proof´-style and mark is somehow characteristic for mathematical methods. It seems that the whish of a handful of young theoretical physicists at that time for more mathematical rigour enabled the emergence of a new community. This development of modern mathematical physics peaked in the foundation of the International Association of Mathematical Physics (IAMP) in 1977. From that point, a rather small community of not much mor than 2000 scientists worked in the field of mathematical physics or sometimes also called physical mathematics.
I interviewed some of the so-called pioneers of modern mathematical physics and compare this with an analysis of their monographs, papers and conference proceedings. Also the detailed study of their academic genealogy is part of my dissertation project. As a goal, I want to understand, why this emergence of a new thought collective within an already existing scientific community showed up and why could that happen in the time mentioned above. 

DK Program The Sciences in Historical, Philosophical and Cultural Contexts
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