History and Evolution of Concepts in Physics

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Springer Science & Business Media, Jan 29, 2014 - Science - 138 pages
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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Contents

Abbreviations
1
Part IFrom Ancient Greece to the Renaissance
2
1 Physical Sciences and Physics
3
2 The Ideas of Greeks About Nature
11
3 From Classical Era to the Renaissance
21
Part IIFrom the Renaissance to the Present Era
27
4 The Major Branches of Physics
29
5 Physics of the 20th Century
105
6 Lessons From Three Centuries of Physics
121
7 Organization of Teaching and Research
125
Further Reading
137
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About the author (2014)

Harry Varvoglis was born in 1949 in Thessaloniki (Greece) and holds a PhD degree in Physics from the University of Thessaloniki. He worked as a research associate in the Astronomy Program of the University of Maryland (USA) and as a Visiting Professor in the University of Paris XI, (France), the University of Tübingen (Germany) and the University of Cyprus. Presently he is a full Professor in the University of Thessaloniki. He is a regular contributor to the science section of a major Greek newspaper.

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