Paul Halpern

Professor of Physics



Cosmology, time, history of science, literature and science

Paul Halpern is a theoretical physicist specializing in general relativity, complex systems, and the history of physics.  He is Professor of Physics and Fellow in Humanities at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.  Halpern received his PhD at Stony Brook University under the supervision of Max Dresden, and has held visiting positions at Hamilton College and Haverford College.  In summer 1996, he was a Fulbright Scholar researching evolutionary algorithms at the Humboldt University of Berlin.  In 2002, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, which enabled him to spend an academic year researching the history of higher dimensional unified theories in physics. He conducted that historical research at several different sites including the Museum Boerhaave in Leiden, the Niels Bohr Archive in Copenhagen, the University of Goettingen, the American Philosophical Society, and Princeton University.  He developed and taught the first course at his university on the history of modern physics.  His interest in the intersection between art and science led him to organize a 2006 research symposium that was held at the University of the Sciences: “In the Eye’s Mind: Visions of Higher Dimensions in Art, Math and Science.”

Halpern has published twelve books (one of which is co-written), along with more than thirty research articles, and has given forty scholarly presentations at conferences and universities.  In recognition of his first book, Time Journeys, he was the recipient of an Athenaeum Literary Award.  Library Journal named his most recent book, Collider, its physics selection for the best science books of 2009.

Blog Posts

Japanese Contributions to Modern Physics:  From Yukawa to Nambu

February 16, 2014

Edgar Allan Poe’s Attempted Resolution of Olbers’ Paradox

November 26, 2013

Maria Goeppert Mayer honored at American Physical Society Invited Session

November 26, 2013

Desperately Seeking Einstein’s Assistant

October 01, 2013

Teaching children that science history does not usually follow a steady, predictable path

September 27, 2013

When the Notorious Philipp Lenard was Lauded in a Times Book Review

September 20, 2013

History of Science Society Establishes Physical Sciences Forum

May 09, 2013

Three Historic Physics Sites to Be Honored

April 16, 2013

The Fourth Dimension And Non-Euclidean Geometry In Modern Art

March 26, 2013

Interviewing John Wheeler

October 14, 2012

New York’s High Line:  An Urban Wonder in a Former Industrial Zone

July 15, 2012

Parody Conservation: The Tradition of Humor at the Niels Bohr Institute

July 15, 2012

Three Societies Meeting was Brilliant!

July 15, 2012

The Marvellous Art and Architecture of Fermilab

May 16, 2012

BSHS Travel Guide Seeks History of Science Articles about Philadelphia

January 14, 2012

George Gamow’s Grave

August 23, 2011

A Physics Walking Tour of Washington, DC

July 24, 2011

The House Where Spacetime Began

May 29, 2011

Emmy Noether

May 06, 2011

The Tramp, the Professor, and Frankenstein’s Brain Surgeon

April 15, 2011

The Accidental Collection:  Ephemeral Publications from the Philadelphia Anti-Nuclear Movement

April 08, 2011

Secundum Artem:  Selected Works of Art and Design from the University of the Sciences Collection

April 08, 2011

Atomism and Dante’s Sixth Circle

March 06, 2011

Interview with Clyde Tombaugh, March 31, 1996

March 05, 2011

The Science Behind Philadelphia’s City Squares

February 16, 2011

In the Blogs

Contributor Login

Recent Entries


Recent Tags


  • The views and opinions expressed on this blog are strictly those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine.