Weyl's search for a difference between ‘physical’ and ‘mathematical’ automorphisms

Mathematics: place, production and publication, 1730-1940

22 January 17:00 - 18:00

Erhard Scholz - University of Wuppertal

In a talk given to a broader audience about 1949, Weyl reviewed the change from classical geometry/physics to relativistic spacetime and field theory from the point of view of their respective basic equivalence concepts, in other words, their automorphism groups. The talk was given about the time of the second (English) edition of Weyl's 'Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Sciences'; it discussed a special topic of what would later become the main theme underlying his booklet on 'Symmetry' (1952). He also commented the shift which occured between 1918 and 1929 in his own understanding of relativity theory. In short, this will be a talk of a historian on a talk given by a mathematician, in a philosophical mode, on what had happened in the first half of the 20th century -- hopefully an interesting iteration.
June Barrow-Green
The Open University
Jeremy Gray,
The Open University
Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze
University of Agder


June Barrow-Green


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