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Other titles in the Transformations: Studies in the History of Science and Technology series:

Spectrum of Belief: Joseph Von Fraunhofer and the Craft of Precision Optics (Transformations: Studies on History of Science & Technology)

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Spectrum of Belief: Joseph Von Fraunhofer and the Craft of Precision Optics (Transformations: Studies on History of Science & Technology) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the nineteenth century, scientific practice underwent a dramatic transformation from personal endeavor to business enterprise. In Spectrum of Belief, Myles Jackson explores this transformation through a sociocultural history of the rise of precision optics in Germany. He uses the career of the optician Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787-1826) to probe the relationship between science and society, and between artisans and experimental natural philosophers, during this important transition.Fraunhofer came from a long line of glassmakers. Orphaned at age eleven, the young apprentice moved in with his master, the court decorative glass cutter. At age nineteen, bored with his work and angered by his master's refusal to allow him to study optical theory, Fraunhofer took a position at the Optical Institute assisting in the manufacture of achromatic lenses. Within ten years he was producing the world's finest achromatic lenses and prisms.Housed in an old Benedictine monastery, Fraunhofer's laboratory mirrored the labor of the monks. Because of his secrecy (after his death, even those who had worked most closely with him could not achieve his success), British experimental natural philosophers were unable to reproduce his work. This secrecy, while guaranteeing his institute's monopoly, thwarted Fraunhofer's attempts to gain credibility within the scientific community, which looked down on artisanal work and its clandestine practices as an affront. The response to the ensuing rise of German optical technology sheds light on crucial social, economic, and political issues of the period, such as mechanization, patent law reform, the role of skills in both physics and society, the rise of Mechanics' Institutes, and scientific patronage. After his death, Fraunhofer's example was used in the newly united Germany to argue for the merging of scientific research and technological innovation with industrial and state support.

Synopsis:

In the nineteenth century, scientific practice underwent a dramatic transformation from personal endeavor to business enterprise. In Spectrum of Belief, Myles Jackson explores this transformation through a sociocultural history of the rise of precision optics in Germany.

About the Author

Myles W. Jackson is Dibner Family Professor of History of Science and Technology at Polytechnic University, New York City. He is the author of Spectrum of Belief: Joseph von Fraunhofer and the Craft of Precision Optics (MIT Press, 2000), which was winner of the Paul-Bunge-Prize of the German Chemical Society in 2005 for an outstanding contribution to the study of scientific instruments.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780262100847
Subtitle:
Joseph von Fraunhofer and the Craft of Precision Optics
Author:
Jackson, Myles W.
Publisher:
The MIT Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
History
Subject:
Physicists
Subject:
Optics
Subject:
Spectrum analysis -- History.
Subject:
Fraunhofer, Joseph von - Knowledge - Optics
Subject:
History of Science-General
Edition Description:
Harcover
Series:
Transformations: Studies in the History of Science and Technology Spectrum of Belief
Publication Date:
20000911
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Humanities » Philosophy » General
Reference » Science Reference » Microscopes
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Optical Instruments
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Optics

Spectrum of Belief: Joseph Von Fraunhofer and the Craft of Precision Optics (Transformations: Studies on History of Science & Technology) New Hardcover
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Product details 352 pages MIT Press - English 9780262100847 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In the nineteenth century, scientific practice underwent a dramatic transformation from personal endeavor to business enterprise. In Spectrum of Belief, Myles Jackson explores this transformation through a sociocultural history of the rise of precision optics in Germany.
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