"From Space to Spacetime"

Location: Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Department of Physics

Date: Saturday 9 June 2018

Time: 10:30 - 17:00


Since antiquity there has been a fascination with the notions of space and time with Aristotle's philosophy remaining dominant until the advent of the heliocentric Copernican system of the Solar System marked the first steps of modern rational science in its understanding of these concepts. This culminated in the Newtonian theory of familiar three-dimensional space and absolute time.  However, the absence of a supposed ether, as established by Michelson and Morley, ushered in the Special Theory of Relativity and the entwined relationship between space and time, whilst Einstein's General Theory revealed a more complicated geometry of the two through curved spacetime. This conference will trace our understanding of space and time across the ages up to the latest knowledge of spacetime and the expanding Universe.


The programme for the day is below:

MORNING CHAIR: Dr Paola Castaño (Cardiff University)

10.30 am WELCOME

10.40 am Dr Inna Kupreeva (University of Edinburgh) - Conceptualising Space: Place, Location and Dimensions in Ancient Greek Philosophy [VIDEO]

11.30 am Dr Vincenzo De Risi (Université Paris-Diderot - CNRS) - From Substance to Function: the Structure of Space in Leibniz and Newton [VIDEO]

12.20 pm Dr Ioannis Votsis (New College of the Humanities, London) - Taking Up Space: The Case of the Ether [VIDEO]


AFTERNOON CHAIR: Dr Vincent Smith (University of Bristol)

2.15 pm Dr Maria Rodriguez (Albert Einstein Institute, Potsdam-Golm/Utah State University) - Welt: The Concept that Changed Physics [VIDEO]

3.05 pm Professor John Barrow (University of Cambridge) - Bending Space and Time [VIDEO]


4.30 pm SUMMARY OF THE DAY'S PROCEEDINGS - Dr Adam Caulton (University of Oxford) [VIDEO]

There will be a conference dinner at St Cross in the evening following the end of the conference with an after-dinner talk by Dr Alastair Reynolds (former European Space Agency physicist and science fiction author) on space and wormholes in science fiction.