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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  History of Science & Nature

The Cambridge History of Science, Volume 5: The Modern Physical and Mathematical Sciences

By: Mary Jo Nye(Editor)
816 pages, illustrations
The Cambridge History of Science, Volume 5: The Modern Physical and Mathematical Sciences
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  • The Cambridge History of Science, Volume 5: The Modern Physical and Mathematical Sciences ISBN: 9780521571999 Hardback Oct 2002 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
Price: £207.00
About this book Contents Customer reviews Related titles

About this book

A narrative and interpretative history of the physical and mathematical sciences from the early nineteenth century to the close of the twentieth century. Drawing upon the most recent methods and results in historical studies of science, the authors of over thirty chapters employ strategies from intellectual history, social history, and cultural studies to provide unusually wide-ranging and comprehensive insights into developments in the public culture, disciplinary organization, and cognitive content of the physical and mathematical sciences. The sciences under study in the volume include physics, astronomy, chemistry and mathematics, as well as their extensions into geosciences and environmental sciences, computer science, and biomedical science. Scientific traditions and scientific changes are examined; the roles of instruments, languages, and images in everyday practice are analyzed; the theme of scientific 'revolution' is scrutinized; and the interactions of the sciences with literature, religion, and ideology are examined.


Introduction: the modern Physical and Mathematical Sciences / Mary Jo Nye

Part I. The Public Cultures of the Physical Sciences After 1800
1. Theories of scientific method: models for physico-mathematical sciences / Nancy Cartwright, Sthathis Psillos and Hasok Chang
2. Intersections of physical sciences and western religion in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries / Frederick Gregory
3. A twisted tale: women in the physical sciences in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries / Margaret W. Rossiter
4. Scientists and their publics: popularization of science in the nineteenth century / David M. Knight
5. Literature and the modern physical sciences / Pamela Gossin

Part II. Discipline-Building in the Sciences: Places, Instruments, Communication
6. Mathematical schools, communities, and networks / David E. Rowe
7. The industry, research, education nexus / Terry Shinn
8. Remaking astronomy: instruments and practice in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries / Robert W. Smith
9. Languages in science: chemistry / Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent
10. Imagery and representation in twentieth-century physics from Einstein to Feynman / Arthur I. Miller

Part III. Chemistry and Physics: Problems through the Early 1900s
11. The physical sciences in the life sciences / Frederic L. Holmes
12. Chemical atomism and chemical classifications / Hans-Werner Schutt
13. Theory and applications of the structure theory in organic chemistry / A. J. Rocke
14. Theories and experiments on radiation from Thomas Young to X-rays / Sungook Hong
15. Force, energy, and thermodynamics / Crosbie Smith
16. Theories and practices of electrical science from Faraday to Einstein / Bruce J. Hunt

Part IV. Atomic and Molecular Sciences in the Twentieth Century
17. Quantum theory and atomic structure, 1900--1927 / Olivier Darrigol
18. Radioactivity and nuclear physics / Jeff Hughes
19. Quantum field theory: from QED to the standard model / S. S. Schweber
20. Chemical physics and quantum chemistry in the twentieth century / Ana Simoes
21. Plasmas and solid-state science / Michael Eckert
22. Macromolecules, their structures and functions / Yasu Furukawa

Part V. Mathematics, Astronomy and Cosmology since the Eighteenth Century
23. The geometrical tradition: mathematics, space and reason in the nineteenth century / Joan L. Richards
24. Between rigor and application: developments in the concept of function in mathematical analysis / Jesper Lutzen
25. Statistics and physical theories / Theodore M. Porter
26. Solar science and astrophysics / Joann Eisberg
27. Cosmologies and cosmogonies of space and time / Helge Kragh
28. The chemistry and physics of the earth / Naomi Oreskes and Ronald E. Doel

Part VI. Problems and Promises at the End of the Twentieth Century
29. Science, technology, and war / Alex Roland
30. Science, ideology and the state: physics in the twentieth century / Paul Josephson
31. Computer science and the computer revolution / William Aspray
32. The physical sciences and the physicians' eye: dissolving disciplinary boundaries / Bettyann Holtzmann Kevles
33. Global environmental change and the history of science / James Rodger Fleming

Customer Reviews

By: Mary Jo Nye(Editor)
816 pages, illustrations
Media reviews

"I have spent two months dipping into this book to find out about a wide range of subjects [...] I am happy to report that it let me down rarely: there was usually a helpful and adaquately reference passage to furnish at least the beginning of an answer to my questions [...] I warmly recommend this pricey book as good value, even for cash-strapped libraries."
– Graham Farmelo, Times Higher Education Supplement

"[...] the Cambridge History will no doubt be an indispensable reference for researchers, educators, and general readers interested in the field."
Chemical Heritage

"[...] an impressive testament to the depth and breadth of current study of the history of the physical sciences. It will become the definitive reference work for the field. [...] a wide range of methodologies [...] The sheer number of topics addressed is [...] staggering [...] excellent contributions on the relationship of the physical sciences to society and culture. [...] The very best chapters offer generous primary and secondary bibliographies, provide enough of a survey to give a clear narrative to a newcomer, and make cleat the most important historiographic issues. [...] excellent and impressive volume with a wealth of information on a large number of topics [...] it fulfils a serious need. There is no comparable collection of essays and bibliographic information on the history of the physical sciences."
British Journal for the History of Science

"[...] the editor has done a very skilful job in commissioning and arranging 33 articles in the six parts of the volume. [...] an excellent overview of the state of scholarship in the history of the modern physical sciences"

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