Electricity and Experimental Physics in Eighteenth-Century Europe

1st Edition

R.W. Home

Routledge
Published April 30, 1992
Reference - 320 Pages
ISBN 9780860783183 - CAT# Y284664
Series: Variorum Collected Studies

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Summary

At the beginning of the 18th century there was no science of physics as we recognise it today; by the early years of the nineteenth century, there was. The articles in this volume are concerned with the process by which this came about. They focus, in particular, on the rise of experimental physics and the interactions between experiment, theory and mathematics in the study of electricity and, to a lesser extent, magnetism and physical optics during this period. Along the way, they provide a significant reassessment of Isaac Newton’s influence on the science of his successors. A further recurring theme is the process by which ideas were disseminated within the expanding scientific community of the day, and the manner of their reception, often in a form somewhat different from that envisaged by their first inventors, as Professor Home argues took place in the case of Franklin. The social and intellectual context of the ’scientist’, indeed, is the specific subject of several essays, dealing not only with England and France, but also offering new insights into the position of science in 18th-century Russia. Au début du 18e s., la science physique telle que nous l’entendons de nos jours, n’existait pas; dès les premières années du 19e s., cela n’était plus le cas. Les articles contenus dans ce volume s’intéressent au procédé qui a provoqué ce changement. Ils s’attachent plus particulièrement à la montée de la physique expérimentale et à l’interaction entre expérience, théorie et mathématiques en ce qui concerne l’étude de l’électricité et, dans une moindre mesure, celle du magnétisme et de l’optique physique durant cette période. Ce faisant, les études fournissent une ré-évaluation significative de l’influence d’Isaac Newton sur la science de ses successeurs. Un autre thème est celui du processus par lequel les idées étaient disséminées à l’époque au sein d’une communauté scientifique en pleine expans

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