An Almost New Journal in the History of Physical Science

A new journal for the history of physics appeared in 2010—well, an almost new journal: European Physical Journal: Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Physics—EPJ H for short. The fourth issue is now available and it shows that this is an important new venue for our community.

The journal is produced jointly by Springer Verlag, the Italian Physical Society, and EDPS (the publishing part of the French Physical Society).

This first volume is numbered 35, an indication that this is, in a sense, a continuation of an earlier journal, Annales de Physique. So this new title continues a venerable tradition.

In these first years of renewal, the editor has established a solid basis for publishing quality articles in history of physics.

These first four issues contain 18 articles:

Vol. 35, no. 1, 2010

P. Söding, "On the discovery of the gluon"

M. Eckert, "The troublesome birth of hydrodynamic stability theory: Sommerfeld and the turbulence problem"

B. Schroer, "Jorge A. Swieca's contributions to quantum field theory in the 60s and 70s and their relevance in present research"

V. Trimble, "The origins and abundances of the chemical elements before 1957: from Prout's hypothesis to Pasadena"

Vol. 35, no. 2, 2010

O. Darrigol and S. Shatashvili, "Editorial: In honour of James MacCullagh (1809–1847)"

T.D. Spearman, "James MacCullagh 1809–1847"

J. Bennett, "MacCullough’s Ireland: the institutional and cultural space for geometry and physics"

O. Darrigol, "James MacCullagh’s ether: An optical route to Maxwell's equations?"

S. Goldstein, J.L. Lebowitz, R. Tumulka, and N. Zanghi, "Long-time behavior of macroscopic quantum systems: Commentary accompanying the English translation of John von Neumann's 1929 article on the quantum ergodic theorem"

J. von Neumann, "Proof of the ergodic theorem and the H-theorem in quantum mechanics"

Vol. 35, no. 3, 2010

Klaus Fredenhagen, "Lille 1957: The birth of the concept of local algebras of observables"

Rudolf Haag, Discussion of the 'axioms' and the asymptotic properties of a local field theory with composite particles

Rudolf Haag, Local algebras: A look back at the early years and at some achievements and missed opportunities

Rudolf Haag, Some people and some problems met in half a century of commitment to mathematical physics

Vol. 35, no. 4, April 2011

P. Carlson and A. De Angelis, Nationalism and internationalism in science: the case of the discovery of cosmic rays

H.G. Dosch and V.F. Müller, The facets of relativistic quantum field theory

B. Schroer, Pasqual Jordan’s legacy and the ongoing research in quantum field theory

These articles present a strong indication that the history of physics is thriving. The concentration is decidedly on mathematical and theoretical physics, but the article on the history of cosmic ray research indicates that this may reflect the accident of submission and that the journal editor accepts a broader sense of the history of physics. Historians should consider this journal for their work, without neglecting the existing journals whose scope includes history of physical science.

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