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Cartesian Physics  

John A. Schuster

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article examines the physics of René Descartes. Descartes’ natural philosophy marks a significant moment in the larger history of physics. His system of natural philosophy was a ... More

Electricity and Magnetism to Volta  

Jed Z. Buchwald

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article focuses on developments in electricity and magnetism up to the time of Alessandro Volta. Until the late 1600s electricity as a subject reduced to what has been aptly termed ... More

Electrodynamics from Thomson and Maxwell to Hertz  

Jed Z. Buchwald

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article examines developments in the field of electrodynamics from William Thomson and James Clerk Maxwell to Heinrich Hertz. It begins with a discussion of Michael Faraday’s work, ... More

Electromagnetism and Field Physics  

Friedrich Steinle

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article examines developments in electromagnetism and field physics during the early nineteenth century, when electricity had become a fully respected area of research. It begins with ... More

The Emergence of Statistical Mechanics  

Olivier Darrigol and Jürgen Renn

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
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Jul 2017
This article traces the history of statistical mechanics, beginning with a discussion of mechanical models of thermal phenomena. In particular, it considers how several circumstances, ... More

Engineering Energy: Constructing a New Physics for Victorian Britain  

Crosbie Smith

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article focuses on the construction of the new sciences of thermodynamics and energy in Britain during the Victorian era, arguing that it occurred not simply within the broad contexts ... More

Experimentation in the Physical Sciences of the Seventeenth Century  

Domenico Bertoloni Meli

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article examines experimentation in the physical sciences during the seventeenth century. It first provides an overview of some features and problems of seventeenth-century ... More

From Workshop to Factory: The Evolution of the Instrument-Making Industry, 1850–1930  

Paolo Brenni

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article focuses on the evolution and transformations of the instrument-making industry between 1850 and 1930. It begins with an overview of some broad categories of instruments, ... More

Galileo’s Mechanics of Natural Motion and Projectiles  

N. M. Swerdlow

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article examines Galileo’s ideas about the mechanics of natural motion and projectiles. Among the subjects in mechanics considered by Galileo, the most important are ‘natural motion’, ... More

Instruments and Instrument-Makers, 1700–1850  

Anita McConnell

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article focuses on instruments and instrument-makers during the period 1700–1850. Scientific instruments in the 150 years between 1700 and 1850 enjoyed rapid advances in design and ... More

Introduction  

Jed Z. Buchwald and Robert Fox

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This Handbook looks at the history of physics since the seventeenth century. It is comprised of four sections, the first of which discusses the place of reason, mathematics, and experiment ... More

Laplace and the Physics of Short-Range Forces  

Robert Fox

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article focuses on Pierre Simon Laplace’s contributions to the physics of short-range forces. Laplacian physics can be interpreted as an attempt to realize a supposedly Newtonian ... More

Mathematics and the New Sciences  

Niccolo Guicciardini

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article examines the mutual influences between mathematics and the new sciences that emerged in the long seventeenth century, whereby new scientific enterprises fostered the ... More

Mechanics in the Eighteenth Century  

Sandro Caparrini and Craig Fraser

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article focuses on mechanics in the eighteenth century. The publication in 1687 of Isaac Newton’s Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy has long been regarded as the event ... More

Newton’s Optics  

Alan E. Shapiro

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article examines Isaac Newton’s contributions to the development of optics. Newton’s Opticks: Or, a Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light (1704) ... More

Newton’s Principia  

Chris Smeenk and Eric Schliesser

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article examines the historical context of Isaac Newton’s Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (Principia) and how it reoriented natural philosophy for generations. It first ... More

Optics in the Nineteenth Century  

Jed Z. Buchwald

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article focuses on developments in optics in the nineteenth century, beginning with concepts and theories on light. It provides a background on eighteenth-century optics, citing the ... More

Physics and Cosmology  

Helge Kragh

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article considers the role of physics in transforming cosmology into a research field which relies heavily on fundamental physical knowledge. It begins with an overview of ... More

Physics and Medicine  

Iwan Rhys Morus

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article examines the relationship between physics and medicine during the nineteenth century, with particular emphasis on the ways that physics contributed to the practice of ... More

Physics and Metrology  

Kathryn M. Olesko

Print publication date:
Oct 2013
Online publication date:
Jul 2017
This article traces the history of the relationship between physics and metrology, or physical metrology. It first examines how metrology became a part of the concerns of historians of ... More

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