When Physics Became King
As recently as two hundred years ago, physics as we know it today did not exist. Born in the early nineteenth century during the second scientific revolution, physics struggled at first to achieve legitimacy in the scientific community and culture at large. In fact, the term "physicist" did not appear in English until the 1830s.
When Physics Became King traces the emergence of this revolutionary science, demonstrating how a discipline that barely existed in 1800 came to be regarded a century later as the ultimate key to unlocking nature's secrets. A cultural history designed to provide a big-picture view, the book ably ties advances in the field to the efforts of physicists who worked to win social acceptance for their research.
Beginning his tale with the rise of physics from natural philosophy, Iwan Morus chronicles the emergence of mathematical physics in France and its later export to England and Germany. He then elucidates the links between physics and industrialism, the technology of statistical mechanics, and the establishment of astronomical laboratories and precision measurement tools. His tale ends on the eve of the First World War, when physics had firmly established itself in both science and society.
Scholars of both history and physics will enjoy this fascinating and studied look at the emergence of a major scientific discipline.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
AcadŽemie apparatus argued astronomers audience Babbage battery Berlin Britain British Cambridge Carnot Cavendish Cavendish Laboratory coil concerning Crookes crucial culture deﬁned demonstration developed discipline discovery early economy efﬁciency electricians electromagnetic established ether exhibitions experimental experiments Faraday Faraday’s ﬁeld ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁnding ﬁrst ﬂowing ﬂuid force French German heat Helmholtz Hermann von Helmholtz Herschel human increasingly industrial instruments J. J. Thomson James Clerk Maxwell James Prescott Joule Joule kind laboratory Laplace Laplacian lecture light Lodge London Lord Rayleigh machines mathematical matter Maxwell Maxwell’s mechanical Michael Faraday motion natural philosophy nature’s nebular hypothesis Newton’s nineteenth century Observatory particles particular phenomena philosophers photographic physicists physics planets political practical problem produced professor progress Rayleigh rays reﬂection regarded Reichsanstalt result role Royal Institution Royal Society scientiﬁc seemed steam engine telegraph theoretical theory tion Tripos tube University university’s Victorian voltaic William Sturgeon William Thomson wire wrangler