AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXVIII, No. 1 Spring 2006

 

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: www.aip.org/history/s-indx.htm. 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 http://www.aip.org/history/archive.html#bib.

Stephen Cole's "Weather on demand" in the Fall 2005 issue of American Heritage of Invention and Technology is about controlling weather from Langmuir to the present.

The American Journal of Physics has several interesting articles including Jeremy Bernstein's "Max Born and the quantum theory" and Frieda A. Stahl's “Sarah Frances Whiting: A foremother of American women physicists" in issue 11 of vol. 73, November 2005. Issue 2 of vol. 74 contains an erratum to Bernstein's article on Born as well as Jay M. Pasachoff's discussion of "Student knowledge of physics history," J. H. Hannay's "Carnot and the fields formulation of elementary thermodynamics," about the original formulation of thermodynamics, and Ralph Baierlein's "Two myths about special relativity," about Einstein's use of the phrase "the constancy of the speed of light."

Daniela Monaldi writes about how the study of meson decay shaped some of the basic concepts of particle physics in her "Life of µ: The observation of the spontaneous decay of mesotrons and its consequences, 1938-1947," in Annals of Science, vol. 62, number 4.

Unexpected developments beginning with cosmic ray experiments of the 1940's and 50's are the topic of "From pions to proton decay: tales of the unexpected," by D.H. Perkins, in Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science, vol. 55.

The October 2005 issue of Astronomy Magazine has "The accident that saved the Big Bang" by James Trefil, about the discovery of the cosmic microwave background. The December 2005 issue has "The man who doubled the sky," by Robert Zimmerman, about John Herschel's trip to South Africa to map the southern sky. The January 2006 issue has "The woman who cracked the stellar code," by C. Renee James, about Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin. The February 2006 issue has "More than a one-hit wonder," by Dan Falk, about Clyde Tombaugh.

Anne O'Connor examines professionalization in nineteenth-century science in "The competition for the Woodwardian Chair of Geology: Cambridge, 1873" in vol. 38 of The British Journal for the History of Science.

"Lessons lost" is the depressing title of Joseph Cirincione's article in vol. 61, no. 6 of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, about 60 years of attempts to contain the nuclear threat.

Vol. 47 of Centaurus, issue 3, has [AUTHOR?] "National Styles? Jacques Loeb's Analysis of German and American Science around 1900 in his Correspondence with Ernst Mach." Issue 4 has Jaume Navarro's "J. J. Thomson on the Nature of Matter: Corpuscles and the Continuum."

Lynn Yarris recounts "Fifty years of antiprotons" in the November 2005 issue of the CERN Courier.

Richard Noakes describes "Ethers, Religion and Politics in Late-Victorian Physics: Beyond the Wynne Thesis," in History of Science, vol. 43, part 4.

Vol. 35, no. 2 of Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences has "Neutron physics in the early 1930s," by Alberto G. de Gregorio. Vol. 36, no. 1 has "Ellen Gleditsch: Duty and responsibility in a research and teaching career, 1916-1946," by Annette Lykknes, Lise Kvittingen, and Anne Kristine Børrensen, about Norway's first authority on radioactivity; "Ions, electrometers, and physical constants: Paul Langevin's laboratory work on gas discharges, 1896-1903," by Benoit Lelong; "The politics of phosphorus-32: A cold war fable based on fact," by John Krige; "From white elephant to Nobel Prize: Dennis Gabor's wavefront reconstruction," by Sean F. Johnston; and "Science and exile: David Bohm, the cold war, and a new interpretation of quantum mechanics," by Olival Freire Jr.

Sean F. Johnston also has "Attributing Scientific and Technological Progress: The Case of Holography," in History and Technology, vol. 21, no. 4.

Vol. 96 of Isis contains "Cartographic Inscription and Exploration Narrative in Late Victorian Representations of the Red Planet," by K. Maria and D. Lane; "The Influence of Niels Bohr on Max Delbrück: Revisiting the Hopes Inspired by 'Light and Life'," by Daniel J. McKaughan; and "On the Co-Creation of Classical and Modern Physics," by Richard Staley.

"The Education of an Astronomical Maverick: T. J. J. See and the University of Missouri," by Charles J. Peterson, appears in vol. 35, part 3, of Journal of the History of Astronomy. "Jules Janssen's 'Revolver Photographique' and its British Derivative, 'The Janssen Slide'," by Françoise Launay and Peter D. Hingley, appears in vol. 36, part 1.

The first systematic study of weights and measures in the United States is the topic of Albert C. Parr's "A Tale About the First Weights and Measures Intercomparison in the United States in 1832," in the Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, vol. 111, no. 1.

André Heck writes about "Strasbourg Observatory: A Multinational History," in the July/August 2005 issue of Mercury, vol. 34, no. 4.

Vol. 59, no. 3 of the Notes and Records of the Royal Society offers "Newton's calendar, Einstein and 340 years of Philosophical Transactions," by Terry Quinn; "Einstein: the classical physicist," by J.S. Rowlinson; "Lawrence Bragg's role in the development of sound-ranging in World War I," by William Van der Kloot; and "Science in the nineteenth-century periodical: an electronic index," by Richard Noakes. Vol. 60, no. 1 offers "Recollection. The nature and origin of multiplex Fourier spectrometry," by P.B. Fellgett.

Shaul Katzirl's "Poincaré's Relativistic Physics: Its Origins and Nature," Dieter Hoffmann's "Between Autonomy and Accommodation: The German Physical Society during the Third Reich," and Robert P. Crease's "Quenched! The ISABELLE Saga," all appear in vol. 7, no. 3 of Physics in Perspective.

Daniel Kennefick writes about peer review in "Einstein Versus the Physical Review" in the September 2005 issue of Physics Today. The October 2005 issue focuses on the late Hans Bethe. It is edited by Kurt Gottfried and contains "The Happy Thirties," by Silvan S. Schweber; "Stellar Energy Generation and Solar Neutrinos," by John N. Bahcall and Edwin E. Salpeter; "Hans Bethe and Quantum Electrodynamics," by Freeman Dyson; "Hans in War and Peace," by Richard L. Garwin and Kurt Gottfried; "Hans Bethe and the Theory of Nuclear Matter," by John W. Negele; and "Hans Bethe and Astrophysical Theory," by Gerald E. Brown. The November 2005 issue has Steven Weinberg's "Einstein's Mistakes." The December 2005 issue has "Albert Einstein as a Philosopher of Science," by Don A. Howard, and "Ludwig Prandtl's Boundary Layer," by John D. Anderson Jr. The January 2006 issue celebrates Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday with "Oil on Troubled Waters: Benjamin Franklin and the Honor of Dutch Seamen," by Joost Mertens, and "Benjamin Franklin and Lightning Rods," by E. Philip Krider. The March 2006 issue has "Fifty Years of Seeing Atoms," by Tien T. Tsong, and "Two Hundred Years of Capillarity Research," by Yves Pomeau and Emmanuel Villermaux.

Matthew Stanley describes "Explorer of stars and souls: Arthur Stanley Eddington" in the September 2005 issue of Physics World. Andrew Robinson describes "Thomas Young: Physicist, physician and polymath" in the March 2006 issue.


V. B. Braginsky writes about "Geometry and Physics after 100 Years of Einstein's Relativity," which reports on a meeting held in Germany in April 2005, in vol. 48, no. 6 of Physics-Uspekhi. G. E. Gorelik writes about "Matvei Bronstein and quantum gravity: 70th anniversary of the unsolved problem," in no. 10 of the same volume. No. 11 contains "One hundred years of the photon," by V. P. Milant'ev, and G. A. Goncharov celebrates the first Soviet two-stage thermonuclear charge in "The extraordinarily beautiful physical principle of thermonuclear charge design." No. 12 contains more about the history of Soviet nuclear weapons in "Moscow State University physics alumni and the Soviet Atomic Project," by G. V. Kiselev, as well as "'Prout's law' and the discovery of argon," by A. A. Matyshev.

Dieter Hoffman writes a critical appraisal of Robert Rompes in "Die Graue Eminenz der DDR-Physik" in Physik Jounal, vol. 4, no. 10.

"Onsager and the theory of hydrodynamic turbulence," by Gregory L. Eyink and Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, appears in vol. 78 of Reviews of Modern Physics.

L. Bonolis takes us "From the Rise of the Group Concept to the Stormy Onset of Group Theory in the New Quantum Mechanics. A saga of the invariant characterization of physical objects, events and theories," in Rivista del Nuovo Cimento, vol. 27, no. 4-5.

Diego Hurtado de Mendoza and Miguel de Asúa write about the reception of relativity in Argentina in "The Poetry of Relativity: Leopoldo Lugones' The Size of Space," in Science in Context, vol. 18. The same volume also offers "Poor Taste as a Bright Character Trait: Emmy Noether and the Independent Social Democratic Party," by Colin McLarty; "An Astronomical Road to General Relativity: The Continuity between Classical and Relativistic Cosmology in the Work of Karl Schwarzschild," by Matthias Schemmel; and "Moving Objects, Moved Observers: On the Treatment of the Problem of Relativity in Poetic Texts and Scientific Prose," by Ulrich Stadler.

Vol. 31, no. 1 of Science, Technology & Human Values has "Ozone and climate: scientific consensus and leadership," by Reiner Grundmann.

Chunglin Kwa examines the impact of interdisciplinary cooperation in "Local Ecologies and Global Science Discourses and Strategies of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme," in vol. 35, no. 6 of Social Studies of Science.

Hasok Chang and Sabina Leonellib write part 2 of their "Infrared metaphysics: radiation and theory-choice," in vol. 36, issue 4 of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. Vol. 37, issue 1 celebrates The Centenary of Einstein's Annus Mirabilis. This issue is edited by M. Janssen and contains "The turning point for Einstein's Annus mirabilis," by Robert Rynasiewicz and Jürgen Renn; "Insuperable difficulties: Einstein's statistical road to molecular physics," by Jos Uffink; "Atoms, entropy, quanta: Einstein's miraculous argument of 1905,'' by John D. Norton; "Confusion and clarification: Albert Einstein and Walther Nernst's Heat Theorem, 1911-1916," by A.J. Kox; "Einstein's impact on the physics of the twentieth century," by Domenico Giulini and Norbert Straumann; and "Another look at general covariance and the equivalence of reference frames," by Dennis Dieks.

Mathias Frisch writes about "Mechanisms, principles, and Lorentz's cautious realism" in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, vol. 36, Issue 4.


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