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FSI3000 History of Physics and Epistemology 5.0 credits

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSI3000 (Spring 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Epistemological aspects of the history of ideas in physics.

Intended learning outcomes

This course aims at giving students a general overview of the history of science with emphasis on physics. It also aims at giving basic knowledge of the epistemology of science applied to physics, as well as incitements to self-reflection on the participants own research seen from a broader perspective. 

As can be seen from the title of the course, its main emphasis is on physics. Apart from this the course is tailored from the participants’ interests and preferences inside reasonable limits (see the titles of previous seminars in the seminarieövningslista (link)). The course is usually given in English.

Course disposition

The course is given in the format of seminars where the participants present various aspects of the history of ideas in physics. The epistemological aspects will be treated partly by lectures and partly by discussions after each presentation. To run the course there need to be at least 8 participants.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

PhD students in Physics/Theoretical Physics/Applied Physics and other interested PhD students.

Recommended prerequisites

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  • A.F. Chalmers: Vad är vetenskap egentligen?, Nya Doxa (1995). (What is this thing called science?)

Övrig litteratur:

  • M.S. Longair: Theoretical concepts in physics, CUP (1984).

  • S. Sjöberg: Naturvetenskap som allmänbildning, Studentlitteratur (2000).

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • DEL1 - Participation, 3,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • SEM1 - Seminars, 2,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Approved grade on both parts.

Self-study of the course book, 70% attendance at the seminars plus one presentation.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Mattias Blennow

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FSI3000

Offered by


Main field of study

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Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Håkan Snellman

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Physics