Modeling on the Road to Reality - History, Science and Philosophy

The lecture "Modeling on the Road to Reality - History, Science and Philosophy" is conceived for bachelor students of the following course of studies:

  • Mathematik
  • Wirtschaftsmathematik
  • Mathematische Biometrie
  • CSE

as well as for master students studying CSE. The lecture has 9 ECTS and 4+2 credit hours.


Please register for the second written exam (21.03.2017) within the Hochschuldienstportal.

Please register for the Moodle course.

  • 11/01/2017: Exercise Sheet #7 is available (Moodle).

Teaching Aim

The teaching aims are:

  • Deep understanding of physical, mathematical and philosophical concepts of modern modeling theories in the natural sciences with a focus on the historical perspective - science as a process.
  • Autonomous elaboration of complex scientific relations and fundamental theories and their critical reflection, also in an epistemological context.
  • Scientific thinking and working on the basis of broad interdisciplinary concepts connecting scientific disciplines.


The contents are:

  • Historical and epistemological overview of the development of scientific discoveries and mathematical modeling in the natural sciences from the Greeks to the early 20th century
  • Space-Time Concepts and Atomistic Models of Matter: Form Aristoteles via Galilei to Einstein.
  • Development of geometric concepts and models of space and time up to space curvature concepts in general relativity.
  • Newtonian dynamics, analytical (Lagrange-Hamilton) and relativistic mechanics.
  • Basics of quantum mechanics and fundamental models of matter.



Monday, 14-16, N24/131

Tuesday, 8-10, N24/131

ExerciseWednesday , 12-14, He22 E.03

Important dates:

  • Mo, 16/01/ Exercise (N24/131) and We, 18/01/ Lecture (He22 E.03)


Feel free to contact us and ask questions within lectures and exercise sessions or write a mail with subject [RTR]: Subject.


The following books are recommenced:

  • Arnold, Vladimir: Mathematical methods of classical mechanics
  • Einstein, Albert: Relativity
  • Frankel, Theodore: The Geometry of Physics
  • Jaeger, Lars: Die Naturwissenschaften – Eine Biographie
  • Lanczos, Cornelius: The variational principles of mechanics
  • Nolting, Wolfgang: Grundkurs Theoretische Physik 2 - Analytische Mechanik
  • Penrose, Roger: The Road to Reality
  • Simonyi, Karoly: A Cultural History of Physics


  • Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Dirk Lebiedz
  • Mail
  • Helmholtzstr. 20
  • Room 1.07
  • 0731/50-23548

Exam and Approval

An written exam will take place at the end of the winter term.

The approval for the exam consists of active cooperation within lectures and exercise sessions.