AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXVII , No. 2, Fall 2005


Recent Publications in the History of Physics
Compiled by Babak Ashrafi

This is our usual compilation of some (by no means all) recently published articles on the history of modern physics, astronomy, geophysics and allied fields. Note that these bibliographies have been posted on our Web site since 1994, and you can search the full text of all of them (along with our annual book bibliography, recent Catalog of Sources entries, exhibit materials, etc.) by using the “Search” icon on our site map: To restrict your search to the bibliographies, enter in the box:
[your search term(s)] AND “recent publications”

For a complelete list of published books and journals on the history of physics, visit

The Summer 2005 issue of American Heritage of Invention and Technology is about the atomic bomb, with "The Beauty of the Bomb" by Stephen Zanichkowsky, "We Knew That If We Succeeded, We Could at One Blow Destroy a City," a final interview with Edward Teller by Michael Lennick, and "The Atomic Cannon" by James Lamont. Jeremy Bernstein writes about Bachelier's work on Brownian motion in The American Journal of Physics, vol. 73, no. 5. - no. 6 has Luisa Bonolis on "Bruno Pontecorvo: From slow neutrons to oscillating neutrinos." No. 9 has B. Cameron Reed's "Resource Letter MP-1: The Manhattan Project and related nuclear research."

Hasok Chang and Sang Wook Yi examine "The Absolute and Its Measurement: William Thomson on Temperature" in vol. 62 no.3 of Annals of Science.

Giora Hon and Bernard R. Goldstein describe "How Einstein Made Asymmetry Disappear: Symmetry and Relativity in 1905" in Archive for History of Exact Sciences, vol. 59, no. 5.

Astronomy & Geophysics contains "Unwinding the discovery of spiral nebulae" by M. E. Bailey, C. J. Butler and J. McFarland in vol. 46, no. 2.

K.G. Valente asks "`A finite universe?' Riemannian geometry and the Modernist theology of Ernest William Barnes" in the June 2005 issue of The British Journal for the History of Science.

Centaurus, vol. 47, no. 1 offers Ad Maas's "Institutionalised Individualism Amsterdam Physics between the World Wars."

The CERN Courier commemorates two physicists with "Fred Hoyle: pioneer in nuclear astrophysics" by Simon Mitton in vol. 45, no. 6, and "George Placzek an unsung hero of physics" by Jan Fischer, vol. 45, no. 7.

Foundations of Physics, vol. 34, no. 11 contains Max Jammer's intriguing "The Strange Story of the Concept which Inaugurated Modern Theoretical Physics," and Silvio Bergia's "The Way We Were: Bubble Chamber Pictures, Pion-Nucleon Interactions and Polology." Vol. 35, no. 4, contains Michael Redhead's "Broken BootstrapsThe Rise and Fall of a Research Programme."

The Elusive Icon: Einstein, 1905-2005, is the focus of Isis, vol. 95, no. 4, with an introduction by Peter Galison, "The Mystery of the Einstein-Poincaré Connection" by Olivier Darrigol, "Einstein, Race, and the Myth of the Cultural Icon" by Fred Jerome, and "The Relativity Revolution from the Perspective of Historical Epistemology" by Jürgen Renn. Volume 96, no. 1 has "X-rays as Evidence in German Orthopaedic Surgery, 1895-1900" by Andrew Warwick as well as "Government Science in Postwar America: Henry A. Wallace, Edward U. Condon, and the Transformation of the National Bureau of Standards, 1945-1951" by former AIP Center project historian Thomas C. Lassman.

F. Richard Stephenson and David A. Green conduct "A Reappraisal of Some Proposed Historical Supernovae" in the Journal for the History of Astronomy, vol. 36, part 2, no.123.

"Early Paper Astronomical Computers" are described by Nick Kanas in the March/April 2005 issue of Mercury.

Vol. 43, no. 2 of Minerva is about physics in Spain, with "Dictating to The Dictator: Augustus Trowbridge, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Support of Physics in Spain, 1923-1927" by Víctor Navarro-Brotóns, Jorge Velasco González, and José Doménech Torres; "Professionalism And Technocracy: Esteve Terradas and Science Policy in the Early Years of the Franco Regime" by Antoni Roca-Rosell; "Nuclear Power for Catalonia: The Role of the Official Chamber of Industry of Barcelona, 1953-1962" by Francesc X. Barca Salom; "The Birth of Particle Physics In Spain" by Víctor Navarro-Brotóns, Jorge Velasco González, and José Doménech Torres; "Science on the Periphery. The Spanish Reception of Nuclear Energy: An Attempt at Modernity?" by Albert Presas I. Puig.

Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau vol. 58 for June and July (nos. 6 and 7) include a two-part article by Klaus Henschel on "Einstein und die Lichtquantenhypothese: Die stufenweise Anreichung der Bedeutungsschchten von `Lichtquantum'."

Notices of the American Mathematical Society reviews some historical relationships in vol. 52, no. 8 with "Mathematics, Biology, and Physics: Interactions and Interdependence" by Michael C. Mackey and Moisés Santillán.

Vol. 20 of Osiris has discussions of "Purges in Comparative Perspective: Rules for Exclusion and Inclusion in the Scientific Community under Political Pressure" by Richard Byler, former AIP Center post-doc Alexei Kojevnikov and Jessica Wang; of "National States and International Science: A Comparative History of International Science Congresses in Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, and Cold War United States" by former Center post-doc Ronald E. Doel, Dieter Hoffmann, and Nikolai Krementsov; of "Laying the Foundation for Wartime Research: A Comparative Overview of Science Mobilization in National Socialist Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union" by Walter E. Grunden, Yutaka Kawamura, Eduard Kochinsky, Helmut Maier, and Masakatsu Yamazaki; of "Wartime Nuclear Weapons Research in Germany and Japan" by Walter E. Grunden, Mark Walker, and Masakatsu Yamazaki; and of "Aerodynamics and Mathematics in National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy: A Comparison of Research Institutes" by Moritz Epple, Andreas Karachalios, and Volker R. Remmert.

Jan Frercks writes about "Fizeau's Research Program on Ether Drag: A Long Quest for a Publishable Experiment" in vol. 7, no. 1 of Physics in Perspective. Lawrence Badash considers "American Physicists, Nuclear Weapons in World War II, and Social Responsibility" in no. 2 of the same volume. Also in no. 2, John Krige writes about "Isidor I. Rabi and CERN," and Frank Tibor about "Ever Ready to Go: The Multiple Exiles of Leo Szilard." These two no.s contain the two-part interview of William A. Fowler by John Greenberg.

AIP's own Physics Today has several article of interest including: "The Uranium Bomb, the Calutron, and the Space-Charge Problem" by William E. Parkins in May 2005; "Citation Statistics from 110 Years of Physical Review" by Sidney Redner in June 2005; and "Einstein's Unknown Insight and the Problem of Quantizing Chaos" by A. Douglas Stone in August 2005.

Nancy Thorndike Greenspan writes about "Max Born and the Peace Movement" in the April 2005 issue of Physics World.

M. I. Monastyrskii writes about "John von Neumann" in Physics-Uspekhi, vol. 47, no. 12.

Rocco J. Perlal and James Carifiol take a shot at "The Nature of Scientific Revolutions from the Vantage Point of Chaos Theory: Toward a Formal Model of Scientific Change" in vol. 14 of Science & Education, while Seiya Abikol offers "The Light-Velocity Postulate: The Essential Difference between the Theories of Lorentz-Poincaré and Einstein."

Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir considers a topic familiar to physicists in Social Studies of Science, vol. 35, no. 4, with "On the Role of Electronic Preprint Exchange in the Distribution of Scientific Literature."

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