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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

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 in the age of the scientific revolution. The first section also covers the contributions of Galileo, René Descartes, and Isaac Newton. The second section deals with the ‘long’ eighteenth century — a period that is often regarded as synonymous with the ‘age of Newton’. The third section encompasses the subcategories of heat, light, electricity, sound, and magnetism, while the fourth and final section takes us into the age of ‘modern physics’, highlighted by landmark achievements such as the discovery of the photoelectric effect in 1887, Max Planck’s work on the quanta of radiation, Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity of 1905, and the elaboration of the various aspects of what became known as quantum physics between 1900 and 1930.

Keywords: physics, mathematics, Isaac Newton, magnetism, photoelectric effect, Max Planck, radiation, Albert Einstein, special theory of relativity, quantum physics

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