Inventing Temperature: Measurement and Scientific Progress
What is temperature, and how can we measure it correctly? These may seem like simple questions, but the most renowned scientists struggled with them throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In Inventing Temperature, Chang examines how scientists first created thermometers; how they measured temperature beyond the reach of standard thermometers; and how they managed to assess the reliability and accuracy of these instruments without a circular reliance on the instruments themselves. In a discussion that brings together the history of science with the philosophy of science, Chang presents the simple eet challenging epistemic and technical questions about these instruments, and the complex web of abstract philosophical issues surrounding them. Chang's book shows that many items of knowledge that we take for granted now are in fact spectacular achievements, obtained only after a great deal of innovative thinking, painstaking experiments, bold conjectures, and controversy. Lurking behind these achievements are some very important philosophical questions about how and when people accept the authority of science.
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1 Keeping the Fixed Points Fixed
2 Spirit Air and Quicksilver
3 To Go Beyond
4 Theory Measurement and Absolute Temperature
5 Measurement Justification and Scientific Progress
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absolute temperature abstract actual air thermometer Aitken alcohol thermometer Amontons amount of heat assumption boiling point boiling water Bridgman caloric theory Carnot cycle Cavendish century chapter coherentism cold complementary science concept of temperature concrete cooling correct definition discussion domain empirical epistemic iteration epistemic virtues expansion experimental experiments Fahrenheit fixed points fixity free caloric freezing point function gas thermometers gases Guyton Hau¨y heat engine idea ideal gas initial Irvinist Joule Joule-Thomson justification Laplace latent heat liquid Luc’s meaning measurement melting point mercury thermometer method of mixtures molecules numerical observations ontological principles operationalization operations perature philosophical physics platinum point of mercury point of water pressure problem pyrometer pyrometry quantity question Re´aumur reasons Regnault Royal Society committee scale scientists specific heat standard steam point supercooling superheating theoretical theory of heat thermal thermodynamic thermom thermometry thermoscope Thomson values vapor Wedgwood Wedgwood pyrometer zero