AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XL , No. 1, Spring 2008

Recent Publications of Interest
Compiled by Will Thomas

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 lists have been posted on our Website since 1994, and you can search the full text of all of them (along with our annual book bibliography as well as other parts of our Website) by using our Search page at Enter your search term(s) in the box, then scroll down in the results page to "Source: Bibliographies;" you may need to click on "More Results."
For a complete list of our bibliographies of published books and journal articles on the history of physics and allied fields, visit

The last issue of Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, the supplement to Vol. 37, contains Anja Skaar Jacobsen, "Léon Rosenfeld’s Marxist Defense of Complementarity," and two related articles by Jeroen van Dongen: "Emil Rupp, Albert Einstein, and the Canal Ray Experiments on Wave-Particle Duality: Scientific Fraud and Theoretical Bias," and "The Interpretation of the Einstein-Rupp Experiments and Their Influence on the History of Quantum Mechanics." The journal is now named Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences. Vol. 38, No. 1 maintains an interest in physics in John Krige’s "The Peaceful Atom as Political Weapon: Euratom and American Foreign Policy in the Late 1950s," and in geophysics in Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway and Matthew Shindell, "From Chicken Little to Dr. Pangloss: William Nierenberg, Global Warming, and the Social Deconstruction of Scientific Knowledge."

In Vol. 38, No. 4 of Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Gérard G. Emch presents "Models and the Dynamics of Theory-Building in Physics. Part II—Case Studies." It also contains Roberto Torretti, "The Problem of Time’s Arrow Historico-Critically Reexamined," Tilman Sauer, "An Einstein Manuscript on the EPR Paradox for Spin Observables," and Michael Stöltzner’s essay review of John von Neumann: Selected Letters, titled "A New Glimpse of John von Neumann’s Thought Laboratory." Vol. 39, No. 1 brings us Torsten Wilholt, "When Realism Made a Difference: The Constitution of Matter and Its Conceptual Enigmas in Late 19th Century Physics," Gary Gibbons and Clifford M. Will, "On the Multiple Deaths of Whitehead’s Theory of Gravity," Mauricio Suárez and Nancy Cartwright, "Theories: Tools Versus Models," and K.A. Brading and T.A. Ryckman, "Hilbert’s Foundations of Physics: Gravitation and Electromagnetism Within the Axiomatic Method."

Vol. 9, No. 4 of Physics in Perspective features Paul Halpern, "Klein, Einstein, and Five-Dimensional Unification," Roland Wittje, "Nuclear Physics in Norway, 1933-1955," Sara Lippincott, "A Conversation with Valentine L. Telegdi, Part I," and the Physical Tourist visits Scotland in John Henry, "Physics in Edinburgh: From Napier’s Bones to Higgs’s Boson."

Archive for History of Exact Sciences, Vol. 62, No. 1 includes Tilman Sauer, "Nova Geminorum 1912 and the Origin of the Idea of Gravitational Lensing."

The major general science studies journals offer a number of articles of interest on history of physics and allied fields. Isis, Vol. 98, No. 3 features Danian Hu, "The Reception of Relativity in China" in a Focus section dedicated to "Science and Modern China."

The British Journal for the History of Science, Vol. 40, No. 3 includes Cristoph Hoffmann, "Constant Differences: Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel, the Concept of the Observer in Early Nineteenth-Century Practical Astronomy and the History of the Personal Equation," and Christine Macleod and Jennifer Tann, "From Engineer to Scientist: Reinventing Invention in the Watt and Faraday Centenaries, 1919-31." No. 4 includes Manolis Patiniotis, "Periphery Reassessed: Eugenios Voulgaris Converses with Isaac Newton." Vol. 41, No. 1 brings Part I of Russell Smith, "Optical Reflection and Mechanical Rebound: The Shift from Analogy to Axiomatization in the Seventeenth Century."

Vol. 20, No. 4 of Science in Context features Koffi Maglo, "Force, Mathematics, and Physics in Newton’s Principia: A New Approach to Enduring Issues," while Vol. 21, No. 1 has Michael Elazar, "Honoré Fabri and the Trojan Horse of Inertia."

Revisiting his work on gravitational wave physics, Harry Collins inquires about "Mathematical Understanding and the Physical Sciences" in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, Vol. 38, No. 4.

Annals of Science, Vol. 64, No. 4 brings us Helge Kragh and Dominique Lambert "The Context of Discovery: Lemaître and the Origin of the Primeval-Atom Universe." In Vol. 65, No. 1, Jed Buchwald discusses "Descartes’s Experimental Journey Past the Prism and Through the Invisible World to the Rainbow," while Galina Granek and Giora Hon present "Searching for Asses, Finding a Kingdom: The Story of the Invention of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM)."

In an issue of Notes and Records of the Royal Society dedicated to "Technicians" and guest edited by Rob Iliffe (Vol. 62, No. 1), Jeff Hughes discusses "William Kay, Samuel Devons and Memories of Practice in Rutherford’s Manchester laboratory."

The recent bout of Majorana-madness continues in Foundations of Physics, Vol. 38, No. 3, with E. Di Grezia and S. Esposito, "Majorana and the Quasi-Stationary States in Nuclear Physics."

The Journal for the History of Astronomy, Vol. 38, No. 3 presents Michael Hoskin, "Novae and Variables Before the Spectroscope," while No. 4 features Helge Kragh, "Cosmic Radioactivity and the Age of the Universe, 1900-1930." Vol. 39, No. 1 has David Marshall Miller, "O Male Factum: Rectilinearity and Kepler’s Discovery of the Ellipse."

The roundup from the physics and general science periodicals offers a nice array of items of historical interest. In the December 2007 edition of Physics Today Mano Singham discusses "The Copernican Myths." In January 2008 Thierry Dauxois delves into the prehistory of chaos theory with "Fermi, Pasta, Ulam, and a Mysterious Lady," while in February Dirk van Delft discusses Heike Kamerlingh Onnes’s liquefication of helium in "Little Cup of Helium, Big Science."

In the CERN Courier, Vol. 47, No. 7 features Françoise Vauquois and Christine Sutton celebrating the anniversary of the Institut Laue-Langevin in "ILL Celebrates 40 Years in the Service of Science," while Antonino Zichichi looks back at "Yukawa’s Gold Mine." In No. 8, Georg Wolschin and other members of Heidelberg University celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hans Jenson, "Father of the Shell Model" of the nucleus. In No. 9 Ernest Courant brings us "Brookhaven and CERN: The AGS and the PS" as Brookhaven celebrates its 60th anniversary. In Vol. 48, No. 1, Steven Weinberg reflects on history "From BCS to the LHC."

The American Journal of Physics, Vol. 75, No. 11, features two articles of historical interest: Charles G. Wohl, "Scientist as Detective: Luis Alvarez and the Pyramid Burial Chambers, the JFK Assassination, and the End of the Dinosaurs," and David Topper and Dwight Vincent, "Einstein’s 1934 Two-Blackboard Derivation of Energy-Mass Equivalence." No. 12 has B. Cameron Reed, "Arthur Compton’s 1941 Report on Explosive Fission of U-235: A Look at the Physics." In 2008, Vol. 76, No. 1 has Don S. Lemons and Margaret K. Penner, "Sadi Carnot’s Contributions to the Second Law of Thermodynamics," while, in No. 2, Hrvoje Nikolic brings us the tongue-twisting counterfactual "Would Bohr be Born if Bohm were Born Before Born?"

In the February 2008 issue of Physics World, Anthony Constable discusses "William Cavendish: The Man Behind the Lab."

William Sheehan and Anthony Misch discuss Percival Lowell’s search for life on Mars in "The Great Mars Chase of 1907" in the November 2007 issue of Sky and Telescope.

Finally, in the December 2007 issue of Scientific American, Peter Byrne explores the later life of the creator of the multiple universe theory of quantum mechanics in "The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett."

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