Porter Williams

Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., Philosophy, Columbia University, 2016

My research is focused on philosophical and historical questions in quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and related topics in applied mathematics. I am particularly drawn to methodological issues that arise in the practice of modern high energy physics, along with topics in the conceptual and mathematical foundations of quantum field theory. In the philosophy of applied mathematics, I am interested in what we learn about scientific representation from the the gap between the mathematical foundations of a physical theory and the (often unrigorous) calculational strategies that physicists develop to verify its empirical adequacy. On the historical side, I am especially interested in the conceptual exchange that developed between particle physics, condensed matter physics, mathematics, and computation after World War II.

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