Science and Society

Author: Peter Galison
Publisher: Taylor & Francis US
ISBN: 9780415937146
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First published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Weimar Culture and Quantum Mechanics

Author: Alexei Kojevnikov
Publisher: World Scientific
ISBN: 9814293121
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This volume reprints Paul Forman''s classic papers on the history of the scientific profession in post-World War I Germany and the invention of quantum mechanics. The Forman thesis became famous for its demonstration of the cultural conditioning of scientific knowledge, in particular by showing the historical connection between the culture of Weimar Germany OCo known for its irrationality and antiscientism OCo and the emerging concept of quantum acausality. From the moment of its publication, Forman''s research provoked intense historical and philosophical debates. In 2007, participants at an international conference in Vancouver, Canada, discussed the implications of the Forman thesis for contemporary historiography. Their contributions collected in this volume represent cutting-edge research on the history of the quantum revolution and of German science."

Drawing Theories Apart

Author: David Kaiser
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226422658
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Winner of the 2007 Pfizer Prize from the History of Science Society. Feynman diagrams have revolutionized nearly every aspect of theoretical physics since the middle of the twentieth century. Introduced by the American physicist Richard Feynman (1918-88) soon after World War II as a means of simplifying lengthy calculations in quantum electrodynamics, they soon gained adherents in many branches of the discipline. Yet as new physicists adopted the tiny line drawings, they also adapted the diagrams and introduced their own interpretations. Drawing Theories Apart traces how generations of young theorists learned to frame their research in terms of the diagrams—and how both the diagrams and their users were molded in the process. Drawing on rich archival materials, interviews, and more than five hundred scientific articles from the period, Drawing Theories Apart uses the Feynman diagrams as a means to explore the development of American postwar physics. By focusing on the ways young physicists learned new calculational skills, David Kaiser frames his story around the crafting and stabilizing of the basic tools in the physicist's kit—thus offering the first book to follow the diagrams once they left Feynman's hands and entered the physics vernacular.

Quantum Generations

Author: Helge Kragh
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691095523
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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At the end of the nineteenth century, some physicists believed that the basic principles underlying their subject were already known, and that physics in the future would only consist of filling in the details. They could hardly have been more wrong. The past century has seen the rise of quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology, particle physics, and solid-state physics, among other fields. These subjects have fundamentally changed our understanding of space, time, and matter. They have also transformed daily life, inspiring a technological revolution that has included the development of radio, television, lasers, nuclear power, and computers. In Quantum Generations, Helge Kragh, one of the world's leading historians of physics, presents a sweeping account of these extraordinary achievements of the past one hundred years. The first comprehensive one-volume history of twentieth-century physics, the book takes us from the discovery of X rays in the mid-1890s to superstring theory in the 1990s. Unlike most previous histories of physics, written either from a scientific perspective or from a social and institutional perspective, Quantum Generations combines both approaches. Kragh writes about pure science with the expertise of a trained physicist, while keeping the content accessible to nonspecialists and paying careful attention to practical uses of science, ranging from compact disks to bombs. As a historian, Kragh skillfully outlines the social and economic contexts that have shaped the field in the twentieth century. He writes, for example, about the impact of the two world wars, the fate of physics under Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, the role of military research, the emerging leadership of the United States, and the backlash against science that began in the 1960s. He also shows how the revolutionary discoveries of scientists ranging from Einstein, Planck, and Bohr to Stephen Hawking have been built on the great traditions of earlier centuries. Combining a mastery of detail with a sure sense of the broad contours of historical change, Kragh has written a fitting tribute to the scientists who have played such a decisive role in the making of the modern world.

Einstein and the Quantum

Author: A. Douglas Stone
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400874041
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Einstein and the Quantum reveals for the first time the full significance of Albert Einstein's contributions to quantum theory. Einstein famously rejected quantum mechanics, observing that God does not play dice. But, in fact, he thought more about the nature of atoms, molecules, and the emission and absorption of light--the core of what we now know as quantum theory--than he did about relativity. A compelling blend of physics, biography, and the history of science, Einstein and the Quantum shares the untold story of how Einstein--not Max Planck or Niels Bohr--was the driving force behind early quantum theory. It paints a vivid portrait of the iconic physicist as he grappled with the apparently contradictory nature of the atomic world, in which its invisible constituents defy the categories of classical physics, behaving simultaneously as both particle and wave. And it demonstrates how Einstein's later work on the emission and absorption of light, and on atomic gases, led directly to Erwin Schrödinger's breakthrough to the modern form of quantum mechanics. The book sheds light on why Einstein ultimately renounced his own brilliant work on quantum theory, due to his deep belief in science as something objective and eternal.

How the Hippies Saved Physics Science Counterculture and the Quantum Revival

Author: David Kaiser
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 039308230X
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“Meticulously researched and unapologetically romantic, How the Hippies Saved Physics makes the history of science fun again.”—Science In the 1970s, an eccentric group of physicists in Berkeley, California, banded together to explore the wilder side of science. Dubbing themselves the “Fundamental Fysiks Group,” they pursued an audacious, speculative approach to physics, studying quantum entanglement in terms of Eastern mysticism and psychic mind reading. As David Kaiser reveals, these unlikely heroes spun modern physics in a new direction, forcing mainstream physicists to pay attention to the strange but exciting underpinnings of quantum theory.

Science in the 20th Century and Beyond

Author: Jon Agar
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 0745634699
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Surveying modern developments in science from 1900 to the present day, this fascinating volume explores Einstein's new physics, the Manhattan Project, eugenics, biotechnology, the Human Genome Project and much more.

Companion Encyclopedia of Science in the Twentieth Century

Author: John Krige
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136483322
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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With over forty chapters, written by leading scholars, this comprehensive volume represents the best work in America, Europe and Asia. Geographical diversity of the authors is reflected in the different perspectives devoted to the subject, and all major disciplinary developments are covered. There are also sections concerning the countries that have made the most significant contributions, the relationship between science and industry, the importance of instrumentation, and the cultural influence of scientific modes of thought. Students and professionals will come to appreciate how, and why, science has developed - as with any other human activity, it is subject to the dynamics of society and politics.

L on Rosenfeld

Author: Anja Skaar Jacobsen
Publisher: World Scientific
ISBN: 9814307815
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This book is a social-intellectual biography of the Belgian physicist Léon Rosenfeld (1904–1974). Rosenfeld was at the center of modern theoretical physics and he became the Danish physicist Niels Bohr's right-hand man. Rosenfeld was a perceptive, polyglot cosmopolitan, whose life crossed those of many important people in many countries. He was also a strong integrated personality capable of performing exotic calculations at one moment, while disentangling subtle philosophical questions or intervening in a political discussion the next — all at the highest level. This book aims at a broad audience interested in contextual history of twentieth century physics. No specialized knowledge of physics is required to read it.