History and Evolution of Concepts in Physics
Our understanding of nature, and in particular of physics and the laws governing it, has changed radically since the days of the ancient Greek natural philosophers. This book explains how and why these changes occurred, through landmark experiments as well as theories that - for their time - were revolutionary. The presentation covers Mechanics, Optics, Electromagnetism, Thermodynamics, Relativity Theory, Atomic Physics and Quantum Physics. The book places emphasis on ideas and on a qualitative presentation, rather than on mathematics and equations. Thus, although primarily addressed to those who are studying or have studied science, it can also be read by non-specialists. The author concludes with a discussion of the evolution and organization of universities, from ancient times until today, and of the organization and dissemination of knowledge through scientific publications and conferences.
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4 The Major Branches of Physics
5 Physics of the 20th Century
6 Lessons From Three Centuries of Physics
7 Organization of Teaching and Research
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19th century according aether Aristotle Aristotle’s theory assumed atoms axiom axiom of thermodynamics BC–ca bodies Boltzmann branches of physics calculate Carnot chemical chemist classical classical mechanics Clausius Concepts in Physics describe Earth Einstein electric current electrons entropy Evolution of Concepts example experiments Faraday Faraday’s force formulated function Galilean transformations Galileo gravitational Greek natural philosophers heat Huygens hypothesis ideas important initial conditions interpreted John Philoponus journal known late 19th century Lorentz magnetic field mathematical mathematician Maxwell medieval universities modern molecules named natural philosophers natural place nature of light Newton observed Ockham’s razor optics orbit particles phenomena phenomenon Philoponus phlogiston physicists Poincaré point mass problem quantity quantum mechanics refraction scientists second axiom solution solved speed of light Springer International stone STR theory surface temperature theoretical theory of relativity ultraviolet catastrophe universe velocity wave theory wire