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When Physics Became King

by

When Physics Became King Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

About the Author

Iwan Rhys Morus is a lecturer in the Department of History of Science at Queens University, Belfast. He is also coauthor of Making Modern Science, forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

1. Queen of the Sciences

2. A Revolutionary Science

3. The Romance of Nature

4. The Science of Showmanship

5. The Science of Work

6. Mysterious Fluids and Forces

7. Mapping the Heavens

8. Places of Precision

9. Imperial Physics

Notes

Bibliographic Essay

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226542027
Author:
Morus, Iwan Rhys
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Author:
Morus
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
History
Subject:
Physics - Europe - History - 19th century
Subject:
Physics-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1
Publication Date:
January 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
30 halftones, 12 line drawings
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.7 in

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Related Subjects


Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

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