Aaron Sidney Wright—Home


Welcome to the homepage of Aaron Sidney Wright!

I am a PhD candidate at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST) at the University of Toronto, where I also completed my MA. My dissertation is titled “More than nothing: Histories of the vacuum in theoretical physics, 1927–1981.” In it I investigate physicists’ changing understanding of the ontology of the vacuum—their understanding of what nothing is. It turns out that different groups of physicists had (and have) different understandings of empty space; and none of them sound very much like nothing.

To quantum physicists the vacuum was a boiling sea of particles, constantly popping into existence in pairs and immediately annihilating one another. To “relativists” who studied Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity the vacuum was like a substance with properties like curvature. My dissertation traces these ontological commitments and relates them to the tools, methods, and social structures physicists used to investigate their objects of study.

You can find my irregularly-updated blog here: http://aaronsidneywright.wordpress.com. You can contact me at aaron.wright@mail.utoronto.ca. My new website (Fall 2013) is here: http://ac.aaronswright.com.

In addition to academia, I am an avid skier and photographer.