Synopses & Reviews
By focusing on the conceptual issues faced by nineteenth century physicists, this book clarifies the status of field theory, the ether, and thermodynamics in the work of the period. A remarkably synthetic account of a difficult and fragmentary period in scientific development.
"This is an interesting and well-written account of the transition of physics at the end of the 18th century as a synonym for natural philosophy to a distinct natural science with definite characteristics by the end of the 19th century." A.S. Crowell, Science Books & Films
"...for each chapter...a valuable extensive bibiliograhic essay...for reference and further reading." A.D. Crowell, Science Books & Films
A remarkably synthetic account of a difficult and fragmentary period in scientific development.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Introduction: The conceptual structure of nineteenth-century physics; 2. The context of physical theory: energy, force and matter; 3. Energy physics and mechanical explanation; 4. Matter and force: ether and field theories; 5. Matter theory: problems of molecular physics; 6. Epilogue: the decline of the mechanical world view; Bibliographic essay; Sources of Quotations; Index.