Utrecht has a long and rich tradition in history, philosophy & foundations of physics, centered around the following core topics.

Central themes

  1. History and foundations of quantum theory
  2. History and philosophy of thermal physics
  3. History and philosophy of space, time, gravity & energy
  4. History and philosophy of astronomy, cosmology & the space sciences
  5. History of academic knowledge, including a focus on physics.
More about our research

Utrecht's historians and philosophers of physics are all members of the university-wide Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities. Our scholars are distributed across the History and Philosophy of Science Group (Freudenthal Institute) and History of Mathematics Group in the Science Faculty at the Utrecht Science Park; the programme Liberal Arts and Sciences and the research group Philosophy in the Humanities Faculty in Utrecht's city centre; as well as University College Utrecht right in between.

A large variety of courses is offered within these institutes, including the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) Master, the only one of its kind in the Netherlands and one of the largest globally.