Assistant Professor of History
Assistant Professor of Physics
PhD, Princeton, 2006
History of Science, with an emphasis on the physical sciences; European intellectual and cultural history.
Office Hours: summer - no office hours, On leave 2013-14
Office: 121 Benson Hall
Professor Molvig is an historian of the modern sciences who joins Vanderbilt following 4 years on the faculty at Yale. He completed his B.S. degrees at the University of Wisconsin in Physics, Astronomy, and History of Science, and did his graduate work at Princeton University where he examined the responses to Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity for his Ph.D. in History. Currently, Professor Molvig is writing a book that explores the mechanisms through which consensus was reached regarding the significance of relativity theory and its application to cosmology; namely, how did different communities, from theoretical physicists to newspaper journalists, decide that Einstein's theory was one of gravitation, applicable to the universe as a whole, and revolutionary?
Professor Molvig's other research interests include the history of astronomy, precision instrumentation, physics in WWI, popular science, and modern European intellectual and cultural history. His regular course offerings include a survey of the modern sciences, as well as more focused graduate and undergraduate seminars in the history of science, the history of technology, the scientific revolution, and the sciences in modern thought and culture.