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A Brief History and Philosophy of Physics

Trent University: http://www.trentu.ca/academic/physics/history_895.html

by Alan J. Slavin,
epartment o! "hysics, #rent $niversity,
August 1994
Updated 15 June 21
#his brie! history and philosophy o! physics has been written to %ive physics students some
appreciation o! where their discipline has come !rom, and o! the philosophical principles underpinnin%
it. &t is hoped that this will provide students with a sense o! physics as a livin%, evolvin% discipline, and
o! their place in its evolution. "hysics, indeed all o! science, is not a static a%%lomeration o! proven
!acts and inviolable theories. 'hile there are many theories which are so well tried that they are
%enerally accepted as bein% correct, all scienti!ic theories are still open to attac( !rom some new,
reproducible e)periment which disa%rees with them. #he history below bears this out.

*urthermore, while science per se may be value+less, neither %ood or bad, the teachin% or application
o! science always has values attached. &! it is tau%ht by a scientist without any mention o! the need to
use the learnin% responsibly, then students may assume that scientists need not be concerned about the
application o! science. &! this happens, then the scientist ultimately abdicates to the politician or
manu!acturer the decision on the use o! her or his own wor(, even thou%h it is unli(ely that either the
politician or manu!acturer will understand as well as the scientist the e!!ects o! its use. ,y this, & am
not su%%estin% that scientists are the only ones -uali!ied to decide on the application o! science.
scientists can also be blind to the potential in what they do. &t is hoped that this paper will contribute to
the ability o! students to as( the necessary -uestions re%ardin% the science they and others participate
in, both now and throu%hout their lives.

#his summary is desi%ned to outline the %eneral development o! the main branches o! physics as we
(now them today. &t is presented here as occurrin% in a !airly linear !ashion, and discusses only the
principal !i%ures in each area. /owever, it must always be remembered that there were a %reat many
more people wor(in% on these problems than mentioned here, with many o! them bein% unaware o! the
wor( o! the others. As a result, many o! these areas pro%ressed in a more+or+less 0random wal(0
between theory and e)periment until about the last two hundred years, when improved
communications made it much easier to (eep up to date with developments world+wide.
1iven the !act that hal! the world2s population is !emale, there is a notable absence o! women in this
history. #his is lar%ely because women have been systematically e)cluded !rom science over the
centuries until very recently, with !ew e)ceptions. 3ven when women did ma(e ma4or contributions as
part o! a lar%er team in relatively recent times, as was the case o! the women 0computers0 in astronomy
at /arvard 5olle%e 6bservatory in the late 7888s, usually only the male team leader %ained reco%nition
9:ossiter;. 6ne can only mourn the loss to the discipline !rom the e)clusion o! other <arie 5uries, and
wor( towards encoura%in% the participation o! many more women in the !uture.

Earliest Beginnings, and the Greeks
"eople have always been acutely aware o! the re%ularities in nature: the sun rises every day. the moon
appears at the same place in the s(y rou%hly every twenty+seven days, about the same as a woman2s
menstrual cycle. the seasons always !ollow in the same order. the pattern o! the 0!i)ed0 stars =all the
heavenly bodies e)cept !or the planets, sun, moon and comets> repeats itsel! at the same time every
year. snow!la(es all have si) points. a dropped stone always !alls. &n !act, the very well+bein% o! a
!amily depended until recent times on (nowin% when to plant, or when to move camp !or the ne)t
season2s %ame.

#his obvious order be%%ed !or e)planation, and the earliest people attributed it to a ran%e o! %ods and
%oddesses who controlled the world. 'ith the 1ree(s, !or e)ample, 1aea was the earth %oddess, ?eus
threw li%htnin% bolts, and Apollo drove the !iery chariot o! the sun once per day across the heavens.

0Science0 is the attempt to %ive a rational, rather than reli%ious or ma%ical, e)planation !or the order in
nature. "eople in di!!erent parts o! the world be%an to develop science at di!!erent times, with di!!erent
emphases. As one e)ample, as early as @A ,.5. 95ole, p.BA; the <ayan people o! what is now <e)ico
and 5entral America used a calendar with an accuracy e-uivalent to (nowin% the len%th o! the year to
within si) seconds, and plotted the movement o! the sun, moon and planets. #hey also used a 0place
system0 !or numbers =li(e our decimal place system> at the time when the :omans were still usin% a
new symbol !or every new power o! ten they encountered, and the <ayans employed the Cero
centuries be!ore 3urope. =#he Cero was used in &ndia !rom about 858 A..> Althou%h the <ayans had
recorded much o! their customs and learnin% on hundreds o! boo(s made o! beaten+bar( paper, very
little remains today. #heir Spanish con-uerors systematically destroyed almost all o! this 0heathen0
#he !irst 3uropean attempts to provide a rational e)planation !or the wor(in%s o! nature be%an with the
1ree(s, about A88 ,.5. *or e)ample, "ytha%oras =58D+588 ,.5.> and his !ollowers belon%ed to a
reli%ious !raternity dedicated to the study o! numbers. #hey believed that the world, li(e the whole
number system, was divided into !inite elements, an early precursor to the idea o! atoms =0atom0
means 0indivisible0>. #heir discovery o! irrational numbers such as D, which could not be e)pressed
as a ratio o! whole numbers, was a serious threat to this system, and history tells us that they (illed the
"ytha%orean who released this secret to the world.

#he 1ree(s Eeucippus =FBB8 ,.5.>, emocritus =FBD8 ,.5.> and 3picurus =@BD+DG8 ,.5.> put !orward
the hypothesis that matter was composed o! e)tremely small atoms, with di!!erent materials bein%
composed o! di!!erent combinations o! these atoms. Aristarchus o! Samos =@78+D@8 ,.5.> is the !irst
person (nown to have proposed that the earth rotates once per year around the sun, rather than the
intuitive e)planation that the sun rotates around the earth. /e also attempted to calculate relative siCes
!or the earth, moon and sun. /owever, it was not considered necessary by the 1ree(s to test such
hypotheses e)perimentally. all that most o! them were loo(in% !or was a sel!+consistent e)planation o!
the world based on a small number o! philosophical principles.

Aristotle is %enerally credited with providin% the most comprehensive o! such e)planations. /e
believed that there were !our earthly elements: earth, water, air and !ire. 3ach had its natural place
determined by its wei%ht. 3arth, bein% the heaviest, 0wanted0 to be at the centre o! the universe. 'ater
was above the earth, with air above water, and then !ire. #his order ma(es intuitive sense. Solid
=0earthy0> bodies sin( in water. i! you release air under water the air bubbles to the sur!ace. and !lames
leap upward durin% burnin%. ='ood could !loat even thou%h it was a solid body, because it contained
both earth and !ire. the !ire was released on burnin%.> #he !arther a body was !rom the earth, the more
per!ect it became. /ence the moon was the least per!ect o! the heavenly bodies, as could be seen by its
uneven appearance, while the !i)ed stars were the most per!ect o! all, and were composed o! a !i!th
element =the 0-uintessence0> which had no wei%ht at all.

&n Aristotle2s physics, a movin% body o! any mass had to be in contact with a 0mover0, somethin%
which caused its motion, or it would stop. #his mover could either be internal as !or animals, or
e)ternal as in the case o! a bowstrin% pushin% on an arrow. #he arrow was (ept in !li%ht by air
displaced !rom the !ront rushin% to the bac( to !ill the vacuum le!t by the arrow. Since Aristotle said
that a vacuum was impossible =0nature abhors a vacuum0>, this e)planation o! an arrow2s motion was
a%ain internally consistent. /owever, because the stars were without mass, once they were put in
motion by a 0prime mover0 they could continue to move by themselves.
#he 1ree(s spent much e!!ort tryin% to e)plain the motion o! the sun, moon, planets and stars. Since
this motion also played a ma4or role in the development o! modern science, it is worth discussin% in
some detail. #he stars are so !ar !rom us that their relative motions cannot be observed e)cept over
timescales o! a !ew centuries. #here!ore, to someone standin% on the earth the stars appear to be !i)ed
in a vast sphere, concentric with the earth. #his sphere rotates at constant speed about the earth at a rate
o! 4ust more than once in twenty+!our hours, returnin% to almost the same position at a %iven time o!
day once every year. Similarly, the sun and moon appear to lie on spheres, which rotate about the earth
once per day and once every DG days, respectively. #he motions o! the planets appear much more
complicated to an earthly observer. 'e now (now that the planets are all on orbits with di!!erent
avera%e distances !rom the sun, and orbital periods that increase the !arther the planet is !rom the sun.
*or e)ample Henus, 3arth2s nearest and bri%htest planetary nei%hbour, has a period o! DD5 days,
compared to 3arth2s @A5. #his means that as Henus ma(es its annual pil%rima%e throu%h the ni%ht s(y
as viewed !rom 3arth, it occasionally moves bac(wards relative to the !i)ed stars, in 0retro%rade
motion0, as its orbit carries it opposite to the direction the earth is movin%. =/ence the name 0planet0,
meanin% 0wanderer0.>

#he 1ree(s usually described this motion usin% a device invented by 3udo)us o! 5nidus =B89+@5A
,.5.>, who was apparently the !irst 1ree( to use -uantitative observation to develop a mathematical
description. Iotin% that the motion o! the planets was periodic, he developed a system o! spheres each
o! which carried a planet, with each sphere centred on the earth but with its a)is o! rotation !i)ed in a
lar%er sphere. #his e)planation !itted with the 1ree( belie! that the circle was the most per!ect
%eometrical !orm. /owever, this system was appro)imate at best. Apollonius o! "er%a =FDD8 ,.5.>
su%%ested, instead, that each planet was attached to a small sphere which, in turn, rolled on a lar%e
sphere centred on the earth, with the lar%er one rotatin% rou%hly once per day. #he lar%e sphere
accounted !or the daily motion o! the planet, while the small one =the 0epicycle0> e)plained the
retro%rade motion. A later addition was the use o! the 0eccentric0, which allowed the centre o! rotation
o! the lar%e sphere !or each planet to lie away !rom the centre o! 3arth.

As the accuracy o! the mathematical description increased, so did the need !or reliable observations.
#his was reco%niCed by /ipparchus o! Iicea =798+7D8 ,.5.> who had studied the observational
records o! the earlier 1ree(s and ,abylonians, with the latter datin% bac( to the seventh century ,.5.
&n this process, /ipparchus discovered the 0precession o! the e-uino)es0. that is, that it ta(es the sun
about D8 seconds more to return to its position at the e-uino) every year than it does to return to its
position amon% the !i)ed stars. #o satis!y the need !or accurate data, /ipparchus catalo%ued the
position and bri%htness o! 7888 stars. ,y the time o! "tolemy =85+7A5 A..>, who observed at
Ale)andria in 3%ypt, the system o! epicycles and eccentrics re-uired ei%hty circles to describe the
(nown periodicities o! the heavens.

6! course, the 1ree(s did not restrict their science to physics. *or e)ample, the /ippocratic oath sworn
by doctors today ta(es its name !rom /ippocrates o! 5os =FBA8+@GG ,.5.>. Aristotle2s most lastin%
contribution to science was in biolo%y, where he classi!ied about 5B8 animal species, and carried out
care!ul dissections o! at least 58 di!!erent animals. Archimedes =D8G+D7D ,.5.>, scientist+en%ineer, has
been described as one o! the three %reatest %eniuses o! all time 9Jramer;. /e invented the
Archimedean screw !or raisin% water, discovered the principle o! buoyancy o! a body in a li-uid, and
calculated an accurate value !or , amon% other accomplishments.

&n li%ht o! his !uture in!luence on the course o! 3uropean science, it is o! interest to loo( at Aristotle2s
attitude towards the role o! women. &n his 01eneration o! Animals0 he says, 0'herever possible and so
!ar as possible the male is separate !rom the !emale, since 9he; is somethin% better and more divine in
that 9he; is the principle o! movement !or %enerated thin%s, while the !emale serves as their matter ...
'e should loo( upon the !emale state as it were a de!ormity, thou%h one which occurs in the ordinary
course o! nature.0 9*rench p.7@8;. #his attitude was not shared by all 1ree(s. *or e)ample, "ytha%oras
admitted women to his school e-ually with men. 9*rench, p.7BB.;

The Dark Ages, and the Translations
'ith the !all o! the :oman empire about B88 A.., most o! the 1ree( learnin% was lost to 3urope as it
entered the ar( A%es. 3ven the (nowled%e that the 3arth was round, (nown to the 1ree(s who had a
%ood estimate !or its diameter, was replaced by the conception o! a !lat 3arth. =#his does not mean that
all learnin% stopped durin% the ar( A%es. important technolo%ical discoveries were made durin% this
period, such as the invention o! the plou%h and the water wheel.> #he 1ree( (nowled%e itsel!,
however, was not lost. &t had mi%rated into the <iddle 3ast and 3%ypt under the 1ree( and :oman
empires, and was translated into Arabic by the people who lived in these re%ions. #he Arabs not only
(ept 1ree( science alive, they added to it considerably. *or e)ample, the Arabs had important medical
schools and !irst discovered the law o! re!raction, now (nown as Snell2s law. #hey also translated
ma4or &ndian scienti!ic wor(s into Arabic, and be%an to use the numerals and al%ebra developed in
&ndia. Al+,attani =F858+9D9 A..> measured a value !or the precession o! the e-uino)es that was more
accurate than "tolemy2s. #he Arabs also transported the art o! paper+ma(in% !rom 5hina to the west.
#heir contribution remains enshrined in Arabic words which we still use today, includin% al%ebra and

'hen 5hristians recaptured Spain in the eleventh century, the brid%e was !ormed to carry this learnin%
bac( into 3urope. A ma4or translation centre was set up in #oledo a!ter it was captured in 7885, with a
lesser centre in Sicily a!ter it !ell to the 5hristians in 7897. #ranslation was done primarily into Eatin,
the lan%ua%e o! learnin% in 3urope at this time. /owever, most o! the translators !ocused on the 1ree(
wor(s, and some Arabic and "ersian wor(s remain untranslated today.

The Middle Ages
#he scholarly wor( in 3urope durin% the ar( A%es =rou%hly !rom the !all o! :ome to the be%innin% o!
the <iddle A%es, or <edieval period, about 7788> had been primarily concerned with the copyin% o!
church manuscripts. As a result, it was natural that as ancient learnin% be%an to reach 3urope it should
be studied !irst in the cathedral schools. #hese schools evolved into the !irst universities, with colle%es
in 5ambrid%e and 6)!ord, !or e)ample, bein% !ounded in the 7D88s. #hese were !ollowed by
universities set up by both city =e.%. ,olo%na, "adua> or state =e.%. Iaples> %overnments. #he scholars
in these early universities laid much o! the %roundwor( !or later scienti!ic developments.

6ne o! the most important schools !or the development o! physics was in 6)!ord, where the impetus
theorists, be%innin% with 'illiam o! 6c(ham =F7D95+7@B9>, investi%ated the cause o! motion. #hey
believed that a body in motion did not need to be in contact with a 0mover0 to stay in motion as
Aristotle had claimed, but did so out o! its own 0impetus0. #his was a precursor to our modern concept
o! momentum. Another ma4or contribution has become (nown as 06c(ham2s :aCor0. #his principle
states that the best scienti!ic theory, other thin%s bein% e-ual, is the one which re-uires the !ewest new
startin% assumptions. &t is still accepted today. &t was important historically because it provided an
ob4ective means !or choosin% between two theories and did not attempt to answer the -uestion o!
which was 0true0.

#he !lood o! ancient, 0pa%an0 (nowled%e into 3urope throu%h the translations !rom Arabic produced a
crisis !or 5hristian theolo%ians: /ow could one accept a world philosophy which was not rooted in the
5hristian !aithK #his problem was lar%ely overcome, at least !or the time bein%, by St. #homas A-uinas
=7DD5+GB> who inte%rated Aristotelian philosophy and 1ree( lo%ic with 5atholic theolo%y. *or
e)ample, his !irst proo! o! the e)istence o! 1od was that the !i)ed stars needed a source o! motion,
which he identi!ied with Aristotle2s 0"rime <over0.

6ne must as( why, when so many o! the early scienti!ic discoveries were made in the east, the
development o! modern science was primarily in the west. Al!red Iorth 'hitehead, in Science and the
Modern World, su%%ests that this was due to the inte%ration o! 1ree( rationality with 5hristian
monotheism under #homas A-uinas. #he all+seein% 1od o! 5hristianity created the world in an
ordered, lo%ical !ashion as related in the biblical boo( o! 1enesis. #here!ore it was only natural to loo(
!or a rational e)planation o! the phenomena o! nature.

The Renaissance (1300-100!
#he rebirth =0:enaissance0> o! (nowled%e and learnin% in 3urope, which !ollowed the rediscovery o!
1ree( and Arab learnin%, a!!ected all o! society. Awa(ened to the !act that there was so much 0new0
(nowled%e to be e)plored, people became !ree to invent their own. #he arts !lourished, with urer
inventin% perspective drawin% in 1ermany, <ichelan%elo studyin% anatomy to %ive li!e to his
sculpture in &taly, and orchestral music bein% born. &t saw the be%innin% o! the "rotestant :e!ormation
in 757G, with <artin Euther nailin% his 95 theses to the door o! 'ittenbur% 5athedral. #his was the
period o! the %reat 3uropean voya%es o! discovery, with 5olumbus arrivin% in America in 7B9D and
<a%ellan sailin% around the tip o! South America. $n!ortunately, this period also saw the destruction
o! much o! the learnin% o! the peoples 0discovered0 by the 3uropeans, who still believed that non+
5hristian/3uropean culture was valueless. #his 3urocentrism is still active today, as witnessed by the
almost complete omission o! the %reat 5entral American civiliCations !rom today2s school curriculum
in 5anada.

/owever, durin% the :enaissance A-uinas2 inte%ration o! 1ree(, and particularly Aristotelian,
philosophy with 5atholic theolo%y eventually led to as many problems !or the church as it had solved.
5opernicus2 su%%estion =about 75@8> that the 3arth and the other planets moved around the sun, rather
than the reverse, was seen as heresy by the 5hurch. Iot only did it contradict Aristotle2s teachin% and
several ,iblical assertions that the 3arth was stationary, it also challen%ed the authority o! the 5hurch
by -uestionin% the hierarchical structure on which its entire e)istence was based. &! the 3arth was not
stationary at the centre o! the universe, perhaps /eaven was not outside the sphere o! the stars, and
where did this leave 1od, not to mention all o! /is ecclesiastical dele%atesK #he idea o! a movin%
3arth was so revolutionary that 5opernicus did not a%ree to have it published until he was on his death
bed =75B@>. &t is no surprise that the two people most responsible !or the publishin% o! 5opernicus2
boo( were !ollowers o! <artin Euther, who had dared to -uestion the authority o! the 5atholic church
on scriptural matters.

#he :enaissance also saw the be%innin%s o! modern science under 1alileo 1alilei =75AB+7ABD>. 6ne o!
1alileo2s %reatest contributions was to reco%niCe that the role o! the scientist was not to e)plain 0why0
thin%s happened as they do in nature, but only to describe them. &n one o! his 0ialo%ues0 he as(s a
collea%ue why ob4ects !all when released. 'hen the collea%ue replies that everyone (nows that %ravity
ma(es them !all, 1alileo replies that he has not e)plained anythin%, 4ust %iven it a name. #his new role
%reatly simpli!ied the wor( o! the scientist, who no lon%er had to wonder why 1od would have caused
a particular phenomenon to occur. &t su!!iced to reco%niCe that it did occur, and allowed one to %et on
with the 4ob o! decidin% how best to describe it.

#his leads us to 1alileo2s second ma4or contribution, the description o! natural phenomena usin%
mathematics and the appeal to nature throu%h e)perimentation to see i! the description is correct. #his
was a ma4or deviation !rom the -ualitative science o! Aristotle in which, !or the most part, all that was
re-uired o! an e)planation was that it a%reed -ualitatively with reality: solid ob4ects !ell because they
were composed o! earthy material whose natural place was at the centre o! the universe. &n 1alileo2s
science, on the other hand, one had to describe mathematically how !ar an ob4ect !ell in a %iven time,
and then veri!y e)perimentally that this description was correct. <oreover, he reco%niCed that the
e)perimenter had to devise the e)periment so as to isolate the phenomenon bein% studied. !or e)ample,
to minimiCe the e!!ect o! !riction in the study o! !allin% bodies.

1alileo2s most important applications o! these ideas was in the mechanics o! !allin% bodies, buildin% on
the early ideas o! the impetus theorists. /e showed that all compact bodies !ell at the same rate, such
that the distance covered was proportional to the s-uare o! the elapsed time o! !all. ,ecause ob4ects in
!ree !all drop too !ast !or easy measurement, 1alileo did his measurements by rollin% balls down an
inclined plane. 3ven so, there were no cloc(s at the time accurate enou%h to ma(e the measurements
1alileo has recorded. =1alileo is, in !act, credited with the su%%estion o! usin% a pendulum as cloc(.>
Stillman ra(e, a 5anadian who was one o! the world2s !oremost scholar o! 1alileo, has noted that a
person can (eep time while sin%in% with a precision o! about 8.87 seconds. ra(e shows that 1alileo
could have made his measurements by notin% where the rollin% ball was at each beat in a son% 9ra(e,

1alileo is probably best (nown !or his con!lict with the 5atholic church over his support !or
5opernicus2 description o! the solar system. 'hen 1alileo heard o! the invention o! the telescope, he
desi%ned and built one !or himsel!. #his, the !irst telescope usable !or astronomical observations,
-uic(ly led 1alileo to realiCe that 5opernicus2 theory was more than 4ust an alternative to the "tolemaic
approach !or calculatin% the positions o! the planets. /e saw that Jupiter had moons, and so was a
miniature model o! the solar system in itsel!. that Henus showed phases similar to those o! the moon,
as it must under the 5opernican system. and that the moon had mountains and so was similar to the
3arth. Io wonder the church saw him as a threatL 1alileo, a%ed si)ty+ei%ht, was tried by the
&n-uisition and sentenced to house arrest !or the remainder o! his li!e !or darin% to support 5opernicus2
theory, even thou%h he recanted when !aced with the death penalty. &ronically, he used this time to
develop mechanics to the point at which it could e)plain why the planets would not !all into the sun i!
they were not held up by their 0natural place0.

De"elo#$ent o% The &cienti%ic Method

*rancis ,acon =75A7+7ADA> ta(es credit !or providin% much o! the philosophical basis !or our modern
scienti!ic method. /is ma4or wor(s, published in 7A85 and 7AD8, were very in!luential in directin% the
approach to science over the ne)t two hundred years and remain relevant today. ,acon had a vision
that science could %reatly improve the lot o! humanity, and set out how he thou%ht this could best be
accomplished. #his belie! in human 0pro%ress0, that humanity is movin% towards some ultimate state
o! happiness in which war, illness and poverty will be abolished, was uni-ue to the west. "art o! this
vision was his belie!, !ounded in the 1enesis story o! creation, in the ri%ht o! man to dominate nature,
0to bind her to your service and ma(e her your slave0 9*rench, p.77G;. #his ri%ht o! domination over
the rest o! nature has been a %uidin% principle o! science and technolo%y !or most o! the time since
,acon. &t is only now be%innin% to be challen%ed by the developin% ecolo%ical awareness that people,
too, are part o! nature, and that they i%nore the inter+relationship at their peril. <arilyn *rench %oes on
to ar%ue that, since nature has %enerally been seen as 0!emale0, ,acon2s claim !or the ri%ht o! men to
dominate nature has helped perpetrate the domination o! women by men.

,acon2s approach was basically e)perimental, -ualitative and inductive. /e re4ected a priori
assumptions such as the idea o! the per!ection o! spherical motion used by the 1ree(s. :ather, ,acon
believed that i! enou%h observations could be made which involved a particular phenomenon, an
observer could use these to induce the !undamental principles involved. #he !irst step o! this process,
then, was the %atherin% o! as many unbiased !acts as possible, drawin% heavily on in!ormation already
available in cra!t and industrial processes. #he ne)t was to correlate these so as to discern the
!undamental truths within them.

:enM escartes =759A+7A58>, !rom *rance, proposed a di!!erent approach to the development o!
science. &nstead o! startin% with raw !acts, as ,acon had su%%ested, escartes believed that the basic
principles rulin% nature could be obtained by a combination o! pure reason and mathematical lo%ic
=e.%., 0& thin(, there!ore & e)ist.0> /is approach was analytic. &t involved brea(in% down a problem into
its parts and arran%in% them lo%ically, a techni-ue which is still used constantly in science today. &t is
termed 0reductionism0, because its basic assumption is that we can reduce a phenomenon to a
collection o! independent components. i! we can understand each o! them ta(en independently, then
we can understand the entire phenomenon, in a way similar to our understandin% o! the operation o! a
machine. #his approach has dominated scienti!ic investi%ation over the last three hundred years, and
has proven very success!ul in areas in which in which the parts really are lar%ely independent.
0/olism0, the opposite o! reductionism, assumes that some phenomena, at least, can only be
understood as inte%rated wholes, and so cannot be bro(en down into independent parts. An e)cellent
discussion o! the need !or more holistic thin(in% in modern science can be !ound in *rit4o! 5apra2s The
Turning Point. 5apra ar%ues that the need !or a holistic approach has a theoretical basis in the -uantum
nature o! matter, as discussed below.

escartes2 0mathematical+deductive0 approach was diametrically opposed to ,acon2s 0-ualitative+
inductive0 method, whereas modern science uses a combination o! the two. 1iven ,acon2s emphasis
on e)perimentation, and escartes2 emphasis on deductive reasonin%, it is not too surprisin% that in the
ne)t hundred years 3n%lish scientists stressed e)perimentation while *rench scientists stressed
mathematical theory. &n developin% his approach, escartes made several important mathematical
contributions o! his own. "rincipal amon% these was the invention o! cartesian %eometry, which
describes %eometrical !i%ures in the !orm o! al%ebraic e-uations.

escartes really believed that the world and most o! what was in it were essentially machines. 1od had
created and wound up the system at the be%innin%, and it had been runnin% ever since under the laws
o! nature without !urther intervention. #he one e)ception to a machine was the soul =or mind> o! a
human, which was divine and separate !rom the mechanical body. Since animals did not possess a
mind, they were pure machines which could not !eel pain. *or a period there were 5artesian !ollowers
who would vivisect animals to show how well a machine made by nature could mimic su!!erin%. #his
concept o! the world as a machine persisted !or many years, and was stren%thened by Iewton2s
mechanics. &n !act, in 787D Eaplace, a %reat mathematical physicist, made the !ollowin% statement,
9Schneer, p.7D9; 0&! an intelli%ence, !or a %iven instant, reco%niCes all the !orces which animate Iature,
and the respective positions o! all thin%s which compose it, and i! that intelli%ence is su!!iciently vast
to sub4ect these data to analysis, it will comprehend in one !ormula the movements o! the lar%est
bodies o! the universe as well as those o! the minutest atom. nothin% will be uncertain to it, and the
!uture as well as the past will be present to its vision. #he human mind o!!ers in the per!ection which it
has been able to %ive to astronomy, a modest e)ample o! such an intelli%ence.
The De"elo#$ent o% 'lassical (h)sics* Mechanics, +eat, ,#tics,
Electro$agnetis$, Ato$s

Sir &saac Iewton =7ABD+7GDG>, born the year 1alileo died, is the most important !i%ure in the
development o! mechanics. /is three 0laws0 !orm the base on which all o! mechanics prior to 7988
was constructed. #his model o! buildin% an edi!ice o! theory on the !oundation o! a !ew !undamental
de!initions and laws is essentially that used by 3uclid in his %eometry. &t became the ideal !or all !uture
physical theories, includin% thermodynamics with three basic laws =Ceroth, !irst and second>, optics
=laws o! re!lection and re!raction> and electroma%netism =<a)well2s laws>. <uch o! the physics o! the
hundred years a!ter the death o! Iewton was spent in applyin% his three laws to di!!erent phenomena.

Iewton2s crownin% accomplishment was the application o! his mechanics to show that the entire
universe obeyed the same laws o! nature, as published in his Mathematical Principles of Natural
Philosophy =the Principia> in 7A8G. ,y assumin% that two masses attracted each other with a !orce
inversely proportional to the s-uare o! the distance between them, Iewton proved that the mechanics
which determined how bodies !all on 3arth also e)plained the periodic motions o! the planets.
/owever, Iewton did not restrict his wor( to mechanics. he also did e)tensive studies on li%ht and
shares the credit !or the invention o! calculus with the 1erman, 1ott!ried 'ilhelm EeibnitC =7ABA+
7G7A>, with whom he !ou%ht a lon% battle over who was !irst. Iewton also wrote on theolo%y, and was
<aster o! the :oyal <int.

Thermal Physics
#he invention o! a practical steam en%ine by #homas Iewcomen =7AA@+7GD9> prompted %reat
scienti!ic interest in the study o! heat, and was a ma4or contribution to the industrial revolution which
be%an in 3n%land in the mid 78th century. =&t is ironic that the industrial revolution, which be%an to
apply scienti!ic principles to the production o! %oods as predicted by ,acon one hundred years earlier,
also led to the virtual slave labour o! children and the poor in mines and !actories.> Sadi 5arnot =7G9A+
78@D>, a *rench en%ineer, laid the basis !or our understandin% o! heat en%ines =any en%ine which uses
heat to produce power, such as the automobile en%ine, or a coal or nuclear electrical power station>. /e
compared the operation o! a heat en%ine with that o! a waterwheel, with heat 0!allin%0 !rom a hi%her to
a lower temperature. Joseph ,lac( =7GD8+99>, the pro!essor o! medicine at 1las%ow $niversity, be%an
to -uanti!y heat by the measurement o! the speci!ic heat capacities =the amount o! heat re-uired to
raise the temperature o! a %iven mass by one de%ree> o! di!!erent substances, compared to that o! water.
<otivated by the heat %enerated in the borin% o! cannons, 5ount :um!ord =7G5@+787B>, !irst showed
that heat could be produced in limitless -uantities by !riction, and so was not a material substance
=caloric> as had been believed previously.

James "rescott Joule =7878+89>, by rotatin% a 0paddle wheel0 under water and measurin% the increase
o! temperature, established a numerical e-uivalence between wor( and heat. /e also showed that the
heat produced by an electrical current & in a wire o! resistance : was %iven by &
:, a relationship now
(nown as Joule2s law. Joule2s -uantitative wor( on the interconversion o! ener%y laid the basis !or the
!irst law o! thermodynamics, which says that the chan%e in the ener%y o! a system is e-ual to the heat
input to it plus the mechanical wor( done on it. #his law was !irst stated e)plicitly by the 1erman
:udolph 5lausius and 3n%lishman 'illiam #homas Jelvin in 7857. 5lausius also realiCed that a heat
en%ine could utiliCe only some o! the available heat to do wor(, and !rom this developed the concept o!
entropy, the -uantity o! heat trans!erred divided by the temperature. 5lausius showed that the entropy
always increased in any spontaneous natural process, and so established the second law o!
thermodynamics. As with Iewton2s three laws, the laws o! thermodynamics !orm the !oundation !or
the understandin% o! thermal physics.

Light and Optics
#he 1ree(s had applied the methods o! %eometry to the study o! optics, and "tolemy had a crude
appro)imation to the law o! re!raction. #his wor( was e)tended by the Arab Al+/aCen =9A5+78@8>,
who showed that "tolemy2s law was 4ust an appro)imation, valid at small an%les. Al+/aCen also carried
out e)periments which brou%ht him close to the thin lens !ormula !or conve) lenses. #he telescope and
compound microscope were invented in /olland near the be%innin% o! the seventeenth century, with
the telescope used to advanta%e by the early astronomers includin% 1alileo. &n 7AD7 'illebrod Snell
rediscovered the correct !ormula !or the re!raction o! li%ht, which now bears his name.

*rom the time o! escartes there was considerable debate as to whether li%ht consisted o! small
particles which were localiCed and travelled in strai%ht lines, or o! waves which spread out in space.
escartes adhered to the !ormer e)planation whereas in the late 7A88s 5hristian /uy%ens ar%ued !or a
wave theory, with the waves travellin% throu%h an ether which permeated all space and all ob4ects.
Iewton used a combination o! the two approaches: while li%ht itsel! consisted o! 0corpuscles0, he
believed that these particles could induce vibrations in the ether throu%h which they travelled, which in
turn could a!!ect the transport o! the particles. *or e)ample, he used this theory to e)plain 0Iewton2s
rin%s0, alternatin% li%ht and dar( bands which appear when a sli%htly curved lens is placed in contact
with a !lat mirror. *or a century a!ter Iewton, the ma4ority o! scientists adhered to the corpuscular
#homas Noun% =7GG@+78D9> revived the wave theory !or li%ht. &t was %enerally accepted that sound
was transported by waves carried throu%h the air, and Noun% ar%ued that li%ht travelled in a similar
way. /e used the inter!erence pattern produced in his !amous 0two+slit e)periment0, still studied in
introductory physics courses today, as proo! o! this wave nature. =A similar pattern, in the !orm o! a
cross, can be seen with the na(ed eye by loo(in% at a distant street li%ht throu%h a window screen,
althou%h usin% binoculars improves the ima%e.> *rom these patterns he was able to measure the
wavelen%th o! li%ht which he proved to be very small. /e went on to show that this led to li%ht
travellin% in appro)imately strai%ht lines !or the vast ma4ority o! common cases, althou%h it did bend
sli%htly around ob4ects to produce patterns in their shadows, patterns which could be e)plained by his
wave theory. #hen, in 787G, the *renchman Au%ustin *resnel showed that all (nown optical
phenomena could be e)plained by the wave theory provided that, !ollowin% a su%%estion o! Noun%2s,
the vibrations were transverse =perpendicular to the direction o! li%ht propa%ation> rather than parallel
to it as !or sound waves. #his !irmly established the wave theory as dominant, althou%h it did raise the
-uestion o! how a !luid such as the ether could support a transverse vibration, since !luids usually have
only lon%itudinal vibrations. #his problem was a harbin%er o! an upcomin% debate over the very
e)istence o! the ether.

#he study o! electroma%netism be%an in e)perimental studies o! such e!!ects as static electricity and
ma%netism. "eople had (nown !rom ancient times that rubbin% certain materials on dry hair would
ma(e the two attract each other, and the naturally occurrin%, ma%netic lodestone was used as a
navi%atin% compass by the 5hinese !rom about 788 ,.5. Systematic studies o! electricity be%an in
earnest once apparatus had been invented !or %eneratin% and storin% electrical char%e. #he !irst
electrostatic %enerator, a machine which rubbed a cloth a%ainst a rotatin% ball o! sulphur, was invented
by 6tto von 1ueri(e =7A8D+8A>, while "ieter van <uschenbroe( =7A9D+7GA7> made the !irst Eeiden 4ar
to store electrical char%e. &n contrast to the spar( dischar%es o! an electrostatic %enerator, the voltaic
cell =battery>, invented by Holta in &taly in 7G99, could provide a continuous !low o! current.

&n a !amous =and dan%erousL> e)periment in 7G5D, ,en4amin *ran(lin used a (ite to collect char%e
!rom a thunder cloud and store it in a Eeiden 4ar. /e then showed that this char%e had identical
properties to that produced by an electrostatic %enerator, provin% that li%htnin% was 4ust one
mani!estation o! electricity. /owever, *ran(lin2s main contribution to the theory o! electricity was his
su%%estion that char%e came in two types, which he called positive and ne%ative, with li(e char%es
repellin% each other and unli(e char%es attractin%. ,y these simple assumptions he could e)plain all
(nown e)perimental !acts about electricity, whereas previous theories had re-uired about D8 di!!erent
assumptions, includin% di!!erent shapes !or particles o! electricity in di!!erent media. #his is one
e)ample o! the use o! 6c(ham2s :aCor in decidin% between rival theories. *ran(lin also showed that
there was a connection between electricity and ma%netism, because iron needles could be ma%netiCed
by placin% them near a wire carryin% an electrical current.

&n 7G58 John <itchell, at 5ambrid%e, had discovered the inverse+s-uare repulsion o! ma%netic poles,
by usin% a 0torsion balance0 to measure the twistin% o! a thread supportin% one ma%net when another
was brou%ht close. &n a period be%innin% in 7G85, the *renchman 5harles Au%ustin 5oulomb
reinvented the torsion balance and showed that both ma%netic and electric !orces e)perienced an
inverse+s-uare dependence on distance, now called 05oulomb2s law0 in the case o! electrostatics.

&n 1ermany there developed a separate school o! thou%ht, that o! the 0nature philosophers0. #hey
believed that matter was not inert, as claimed by the mechanist school, but alive, with a universal
world spirit that interconnected all !orces. 6ne member o! this movement was the philosopher
&mmanuel Jant =7GDB+788B>, who asserted that it was the interplay o! innate repulsive and attractive
!orces that %overned matter. &! only repulsive !orces e)isted, all matter would disperse. i! only
attractive !orces were present, all matter would coalesce into a point. #his balance between attractive
and repulsive !orces is today the startin% point !or the theoretical analysis o! the structure o! solids and
li-uids, althou%h the !orces are no lon%er believed to re!lect a li!e !orce.

#he study o! both electricity and ma%netism was popular with 1erman scientists, because the presence
o! opposite polarities in these phenomena !itted with their philosophy. #hese ideas also led to the
conviction that every e!!ect in nature had its inverse e!!ect, since the vital !orces were all connected.
#his idea that every e!!ect has its inverse is !undamental to modern physics. *or e)ample, i! you
connect two wires made o! di!!erent materials, and heat the 4unction, a volta%e develops between the
!ree ends o! the wires. #his e!!ect, discovered by #homas Seebec(, another 1erman Iature+
"hilosopher, is the principle behind the use o! a 0thermocouple0 !or measurin% temperatures.
5onversely, a volta%e applied with the correct polarity across the !ree ends o! the two wires causes the
4unction to decrease in temperature. #his is the principle behind the 0thermoelectric cooler0, o!ten used
to cool devices in electronic circuits.
#he belie! in the interconnectedness o! all !orces in nature led /ans 5hristian 6ersted, in 5openha%en,
to announce in 788G that he was loo(in% !or a connection between ma%netism and electricity. /e !ound
that a ma%net would move in a circle around a wire carryin% a current, and that a wire carryin% a
current would move around a ma%net. #his is the principle re-uired !or the construction o! an electric
motor. #he ma%netic !orces near current+carryin% wires were the !irst !orces which had been
discovered which did not operate radially !rom the two interactin% bodies. #he ne)t ma4or
contributions in electricity and ma%netism came !rom the theoretician AndrM <arie AmpOre in *rance,
and the e)perimentalist <ichael *araday in 3n%land. AmpOre =7GG5+78@A> developed a theory !or the
calculation o! ma%netic !orces caused by a %iven electrical current, and su%%ested that the ma%netic
e!!ects o! some solids were caused by small circulatin% currents in the particles ma(in% up these

*araday =7G97+78AG>, on the other hand, had very little mathematics but was a superb e)perimentalist.
/is most important e)perimental observation in electroma%netism was that o! induced currents, made
in 78@7: a wire loop would have an electric current developed in it, i! either the loop was moved near a
ma%net, or the ma%net was moved. #his is the principle behind the %eneration o! electricity by
mechanical means, as occurs in every hydro+ or thermo+electric power %eneratin% station, or in every
car alternator.

3ven thou%h mathematically unlearned, *araday made a very important contribution to the
development o! the theory o! electroma%netism by constructin% a -ualitative model o! how electrical
and ma%netic !orces acted. /e supposed that each 0particle0 o! electricity or ma%netism produced a
0line o! !orce0 which emanated !rom a positive pole o! a particle and returned to a ne%ative pole. #hese
lines tended to contract alon% their len%th, and to e)pand perpendicular to their len%th. #he lines could
not cross. #he number o! such lines passin% throu%h a %iven area =i.e. the areal density> was a measure
o! the stren%th o! the !orce provided by them. #hese assumptions e)plained the repulsion and attraction
o! ma%netic and char%ed bodies: the tendency to contract len%thwise would pull bodies o! opposite
polarity to%ether, whereas the tendency !or them to e)pand laterally would push bodies o! opposite
polarity apart. Since the area o! a sphere increases with the s-uare o! the radius, the inverse+s-uare
decrease in intensity o! the !orces was a natural conse-uence o! the decrease in the areal density o! the
lines o! !orce with distance !rom the char%e or ma%netic poles. #he visual appeal o! these lines o! !orce
still plays an important role in our understandin% o! electroma%netic phenomena. <oreover, *araday
believed that the lines o! !orce would be present even i! only a sin%le char%ed or ma%netic ob4ect
e)isted. that is, even i! there were no other body on which the !irst one could e)ert a !orce. #hus he
invented the concept o! the 0!ield0, as a physical presence which had the ability to produce a !orce ++
ma%netic, electric or %ravitational ++ i! a second body happened to come into its vicinity. #he concept
o! the !ield has served as one o! the most power!ul o! all theoretical tools o! modern physics.
James 5ler( <a)well =78@7+G9> set out to ma(e *araday2s ideas -uantitative. /e described the lines o!
!orce usin% Iewtonian mechanics, envisionin% them as rotatin% tubes o! !luid =the ether> which had the
properties re-uired by *araday: the rotation would cause the tubes to e)pand laterally and contract
lon%itudinally. #he resultin% set o! only !our e-uations =0<a)well2s e-uations0> described all (nown
electric and ma%netic phenomena e)actly. <a)well, however, realiCed that the enormous machinery
with which he had !illed all space was not an essential part o! his theory, and eventually 4ust used his
e-uations as thou%h the machinery did not e)ist. #his is how we use his e-uations today. #he
relationship between the ori%inal machinery and the !inal e-uations was not without its detractors,
however. 6ne *rench reader stated that when he started to read <a)well2s wor( he e)pected to !ind
himsel! in the midst o! the -uiet %roves o! electroma%netic theory, and instead !ound himsel! inside a
!actoryL 9'illiams, p.7DD;.

6ne o! the une)pected results o! <a)well2s wor( was that it predicted that electroma%netic waves
could be produced which would propa%ate at the speed o! li%ht. #his showed that li%ht was an
electroma%netic phenomenon, and not a separate sub4ect.

iscoveries in electroma%netism were applied -uite rapidly to the development o! use!ul devices. *or
e)ample, the tele%raph was invented in 78@G by 5harles 'heatstone only one year a!ter the
development o! the !irst reliable battery, and the !irst practical electrical %enerator was invented by
'erner Siemens in 1ermany in 78AA, @5 years a!ter *araday2s discovery o! induced currents.

$ntil the twentieth century, the development o! the atomic theory o! matter was pursued by scientists
who are o!ten more closely identi!ied with chemistry than with physics. &n 7G89 Antoine Eavoisier
published his Elements of Chemistry. &n this wor(, he emphasiCed the need !or -uantitative methods in
chemistry. ,y care!ully devised e)periments, he was able to isolate D@ elements, !undamental
substances that could not be bro(en down into simpler !orms. &n 3n%land in the late 7G88s, the
e)perimentalists Joseph ,lac(, /enry 5avendish and Joseph "riestley isolated several di!!erent %ases
and showed how they could be produced. Schneer ma(es the interestin% point that a lar%e number o!
the most success!ul scientists o! this era, includin% "riestley, alton, *araday, James 'att =who %reatly
improved the steam en%ine>, #homas Noun%, and *ran(lin, were all Pua(ers, a non+con!ormin%
reli%ious %roup who dared to challen%e the established belie!s o! the day.

#hen in 788D John alton, an 3n%lish schoolmaster, revived the theory o! atoms. &t was (nown by this
time that %ases always combine in !i)ed ratios by mass. *or e)ample one %ram o! hydro%en burns with
ei%ht %rams o! o)y%en to produce nine %rams o! water. alton proposed that these ratios o! whole
numbers could be e)plained i! the %ases were !ormed o! atoms whose masses were, themselves, in the
ratio o! simple inte%ers. #he !ormation o! water discussed above could then be e)plained by the
combination o! two hydro%en atoms with one o)y%en atom. At this time, alton was unaware that both
hydro%en and o)y%en %as consisted o! 0molecules0 which were each composed o! two atoms, but his
theory was correct in essence.

&n 78A9 imitri <endeleev o! :ussia, combinin% alton2s atomic description with the !act that certain
%roups o! elements had similar chemical properties, constructed the !irst periodic table. /e pointed out
that the %aps in this table should correspond to as+yet+undiscovered elements, and was able to predict
their properties and atomic masses. Armed with this (nowled%e, scientists very -uic(ly discovered
most o! the missin% elements.

Darwin's Theory of Evolution
A brie! mention must be made here to the theory o! biolo%ical evolution, because o! its philosophical
relevance to the physical idea o! an evolvin% universe. A basic tenet o! the theory o! evolution is that
the world as we (now it today has evolved !rom an earlier !orm o! the world under the pressures o!
natural !orces which were in e)istence at the time, such as erosion and sedimentation, and not by
divine intervention in this process. #his idea o! 0uni!ormitarianism0 was !irst put !orward by James
/utton o! 3dinbur%h in 7G85, as an e)planation !or the !ormation o! the %eolo%ical structures o! the
earth. /e !ound part o! his 4usti!ication !or this theory in the motion o! the planets, which re-uired only
the !orces o! nature to (eep them movin% in their orbits !orever. &n analo%y to the timeless motion o!
the planets, /utton assumed that the !ormation o! the earth had occurred over e)tremely lon% periods
o! time. /utton2s ideas were unpopular in his time because they were perceived to be in con!lict with
the teachin% o! the ,ible. #hey were received little better by scientists when revived by 5harles Eyell
in The Principles of Geology published in 78@8+@@, but were accepted much more readily by the
populace. <ason su%%ests that one o! the reasons !or this chan%e in reception was that the idea o! the
pro%ress o! humanity, championed by such writers as *rancis ,acon and the economist Adam Smith
who published An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in 7GGA, was now
%enerally accepted by society.

5harles arwin ac(nowled%es that it was the concept o! uni!ormitarianism that led him to his theory o!
evolution, the idea that biolo%ical species mi%ht evolve in the same way that the earth2s %eolo%y did,
under the natural !orces continually in e)istence. #he part that needed to be added was the answer to
what determined the direction o! this evolution. 6!!sprin% are born with characteristics which are
sli%htly di!!erent !rom those o! the parents. arwin claimed that when these new characteristics better
prepared the or%anism to live to reproductive a%e, then it would be able to pass these characteristics on
to its children: thus, nature selected those o!!sprin% !or survival much as a cattle owner selected !or
breedin% those animals born with desirable characteristics. /is theory did not re-uire a reason !or the
variation readily observed in o!!sprin%, althou%h he speculated that it mi%ht be due to chan%es in !ood
or climate. /owever, he believed that these chan%es were e)ceedin%ly sli%ht, and could result in a new
species =a class o! li!e that is only !ertile within that class> over very lon% periods o! time. Jnowin%
that his theory was in contradiction with a literal interpretation o! the ,ible, arwin spent twenty years
amassin% data be!ore the publication o! On The Origin of the Species in 7859.

Althou%h this boo( raised a !urore when !irst published, the lo%ic o! its ar%uments and its philosophical
consistency with other scienti!ic theories %radually won the day. &ndeed, evolution turned out to be a
use!ul, thou%h !allacious, ar%ument !or 4usti!yin% both colonialism and racism. /erbert Spencer coined
the phrase 0survival o! the !ittest0 to replace arwin2s 0natural selection0, and applied it to the
evolution o! society. 'ith the idea o! human pro%ress !ully ensconced in society2s thin(in%, it was a
short step to assume that the race or nationality in power deserved to be there, because it was the one
most !it to rule. 0Survival o! the !ittest0 soon became 0mi%ht is ri%ht0, a belie! which is still at wor( in
the world today.

Modern (h)sics* Relati"it) and -uantu$ (h)sics

,y the end o! the nineteenth century, most physicists were !eelin% -uite smu%. #hey seemed to have
theories in place that would e)plain all physical phenomena. #here was clearly a lot o! cleanin% up to
do, but it loo(ed li(e a !airly mechanical 4ob: turn the cran( on the calculator until the results come
out. Apart !rom a !ew ni%%lin% problems li(e those lines in the li%ht emitted by %as dischar%es, and the
apparent dependence o! the mass o! hi%h+speed electrons on their velocity ....

#wenty+!ive years later, this complacency had been completely destroyed by the invention o! three
entirely new theories: special relativity, %eneral relativity, and -uantum mechanics. #he outstandin%
!i%ure o! this period was Albert 3instein. /is name became a household word !or his development,
virtually sin%le+handedly, o! the theory o! relativity, and he made a ma4or contribution to the
development o! -uantum mechanics in his e)planation o! the photoelectric e!!ect.

3instein was a cler( in a Swiss patent o!!ice when he published his special theory o! relativity in 7985.
/e claimed in later li!e that the need !or this theory emer%ed out o! <a)well2s e-uations. #hose
e-uations chan%ed their !orm when one rewrote them !rom the conventional perspective o! a person
movin% at constant velocity. 6n the other hand, our e)perience tells us that we cannot tell i! we are
movin% as lon% as our velocity is constant: you can throw a ball bac( and !orth in a rapidly movin%
train car 4ust as you can when the train is still. &t is only when it accelerates ++ slows down or speeds up
++ that one e)periences a chan%e. <oreover, <a)well2s e-uations indicated that the speed o! li%ht did
not depend on the speed o! the person measurin% this speed, whereas i! one throws a stone while
runnin%, the speed o! the runner contributes to the speed o! the stone. #o overcome these apparent
di!!iculties with <a)well2s theory, which 3instein believed to describe reality correctly, he considered
the e!!ect o! two postulates. #he !irst was that all physical phenomena must obey the same e-uations
!or people movin% at di!!erent constant velocities =the principle o! relativity>, and the second was that
the speed, c, measured !or li%ht does not depend on the speed o! the 0observer0 =the person carryin%
out the measurement>.

#hese two postulates led directly to almost unbelievable results. #hey showed that the measurement o!
space and time depended on each other =that the time you measured !or an occurrence depended on
your position>, and also depended on the speed o! the observer. 6ne immediate result is that
0simultaneity 0 is relative to the observer. #wo 0events0 that occur at the same time !or one observer
occur at di!!erent times as seen by an observer in motion relative to the !irst, provided that the events
occur at di!!erent spatial locations. the concept o! absolute time and space which had underpinned
mechanics !or two centuries lay in shatters. 3instein2s theory also showed that the measured mass o! an
ob4ect depended on its velocity, and that mass =m> could be converted to ener%y =3> accordin% to
, the principle behind the atomic bomb and nuclear power plants.

6ne o! the beauties o! 3instein2s theory was that, as you let a body2s speed become small compared to
the speed o! li%ht, the e-uations would reduce to those o! Iewtonian mechanics. #his re-uirement o!
physics, that a more %eneral theory must reduce in some limit to more restrictive theories, is called the
0correspondence principle0. #hus we see that the development o! the special theory o! relativity in no
way diminishes the stature o! Iewton. Althou%h his concept o! absolute space and time were incorrect,
his %enius remains: Iewton2s mechanics is still correct e)cept !or bodies whose speeds approach that
o! li%ht.

&t is important to discuss the !act that the results o! the special theory contradict 0common sense0: we
(now that we do not have to correct our watches a!ter we have been in a car, and that people who are
runnin% do not appear thinner than when at rest. #he problem here is that our common sense is, by
de!inition, the sense o! how the common world wor(s. /owever, the e!!ects predicted by the special
theory are si%ni!icant only at a speed approachin% that o! li%ht, and none o! us has ever moved at such
a speed relative to another ob4ect with which we can interact. #here!ore, we must not assume that our
low+speed common sense also applies at very hi%h speeds. Similarly, we will see that the mechanics
%overnin% sub+microscopic bodies such as atoms is -uite di!!erent to the mechanics describin% A8+(%
human bein%s.

&n 788G the Americans Albert <ichelson and 3dward <orley had attempted to measure the speed o!
the 3arth throu%h the ether by measurin% the di!!erence in the speed o! li%ht travellin% in two
perpendicular directions. A di!!erence was e)pected, !or the same reason that the speed o! a water
wave relative to you depends on whether you are travellin% in the same direction as the wave or
otherwise. #hey !ound no dependence on the direction o! motion o! the li%ht, and interpreted this null
result by claimin% that the 3arth dra%%ed the ether with it. ,ut i! the ether interacted with matter in this
way, why could it not be detected directlyK <oreover, the observation by James ,radley in 7GD5 o!
stellar aberation rules out the hypothesis o! ether dra%. =Stellar aberation is the apparent movement o!
the stars in a small ellipse over the course o! a year, because the 3arth is movin% and it ta(es some time
!or the li%ht o! the stars to reach 3arth.> &n 789D, /endri( EorentC and 1.*. *itC%erald independently
hypothesiCed that the siCe o! <ichelson and <orley2s measurin% device must depend on its velocity so
as to contract in the direction o! motion e)actly enou%h to %ive the null result.

3instein2s second postulate presented yet another possibility: the measured speed o! li%ht was
intrinsically independent o! the speed o! the observer. /owever, it went much beyond interpretin% the
<ichelson +<orley result and e)plained, !or e)ample, the e)perimental observation that an electron2s
mass depended on its velocity. &n !act, /enri "oincarM, a renowned physicist, had su%%ested a year
be!ore 3instein2s publication that a whole new mechanics mi%ht be re-uired, in which mass depended
on velocity. 3instein2s theory cleared up so many outstandin% problems that it was -uite -uic(ly
accepted by most physicists.

,e!ore leavin% special relativity it is important to discuss brie!ly 3instein2s role in the development o!
nuclear weapons. Iuclear !ission had been discovered in 1ermany in 79@8, 4ust a!ter the invasion o!
Austria by /itler2s !orces. &n 79@9, !aced with the threat that 1ermany would develop a nuclear bomb,
3instein was convinced by physicist Eeo SCilard to write to "resident :oosevelt, pointin% out the
possibility and encoura%in% American research in this direction. &n spite o! this, 3instein actively
opposed !urther development o! nuclear weapons !ollowin% the Second 'orld 'ar. &n !act, he and
,ritish philosopher/mathematician ,ertrand :ussell !ounded the "u%wash or%aniCation, named a!ter its
!irst meetin% in "u%wash, Iova Scotia, in 795B. #his or%aniCation o! leadin% scientists throu%hout the
world, and its student win%, still meet re%ularly to discuss issues concernin% the impact o! science on
society, and to prepare position papers !or presentation to %overnments and the $nited Iations.

#he 1eneral #heory o! :elativity e)tended 3instein2s ideas to bodies which are acceleratin%, rather
than movin% at constant velocity. 3instein showed that spacetime near masses could not be described
by 3uclidean %eometry, but rather that a %eometry invented by :iemann must be used. &n this way,
%ravitation was shown to be a result o! the curvature o! spacetime in the vicinity o! mass. #he %eneral
theory allowed 3instein to predict the amount o! the de!lection o! li%ht in the eclipses o! 7979 and
79D7, a value which a%reed with that measured. /owever, 3instein2s theory o! %eneral relativity was
not the last word on the sub4ect. 1eneral relativity is still an active area o! research today, partly
because it provides us with much evidence on the evolution o! the universe includin% such -uestions
as, 0'ill the universe someday be%in to collapse bac( upon itsel! under its %ravitational attractionK0

uantum Physics
3instein2s theories o! relativity were developed in a way close to escartes2 mathematical+deductive
method. #he special theory came !rom an attempt to harmoniCe electroma%netic theory with the
principle o! relativity. #he %eneral theory evolved !rom tryin% to reconcile the !act that inertial mass,
the 0resistance0 to the !orce in the e-uation *Qma, has the same value as %ravitational mass, even
thou%h the two are totally unrelated in Iewtonian mechanics. Puantum physics, on the other hand,
emer%ed !rom attempts to e)plain e)perimental observations. &n the late 7888s a ma4or area o! research
centred on the e)planation o! 0blac(body0 radiation: a blac( ob4ect such as a !ireplace po(er, when
heated until it be%ins to %low, emits li%ht whose intensity depends on wavelen%th in a way which
depends lar%ely on the temperature o! the body and little on its material o! construction. ,ecause o! the
universal nature o! this phenomenon, it was apparent that it must depend on !undamental physical
principles. &n 7988 <a) "lanc( used a 0luc(y %uess0 9Jammer p.79; to obtain a mathematical e-uation
which !itted the e)perimental data accurately. #hree months later he derived the e)pression
theoretically. #o do this he assumed that a blac(body contained many small oscillators which emitted
the li%ht, much the way the oscillations o! electrons alon% a transmission antenna emit radio waves.
/owever, he had to allow these oscillators to emit ener%y only at certain !re-uencies rather than with a
continuous ran%e o! !re-uencies, as would be e)pected !rom classical electroma%netism. "lanc( had no
physical basis !or this assumption. it was 4ust the only way that he could !it the data.
3instein used "lanc(2s idea in his e)planation o! the photoelectric e!!ect, in which electrons are e4ected
!rom a metal when it is e)posed to li%ht whose !re-uency e)ceeds a certain value. 3instein e)tended
"lanc(2s ideas on the emission o! li%ht !rom a blac(body to the %eneral statement that li%ht, itsel!, came
in pac(ets o! ener%y, or -uanta =called 0photons0 !rom the 1ree( 0photos0 meanin% 0li%ht0>. 3ach
-uantum has an ener%y 3Qh!, where ! is the !re-uency o! li%ht and h is 0"lanc(2s constant0. #his was a
bold move, since the wor( o! Noun% and *resnel had seemed to establish beyond all doubt that li%ht
acted as a wave, and <a)well2s theory did not include any mention o! a particle nature to li%ht.
/owever, 3instein2s assumption e)plained the !act that even an intense li%ht below a certain !re-uency
could not cause the emission o! electrons: i! each incomin% li%ht -uantum %ave all its ener%y to an
electron in the metal, the electron could not escape i! this ener%y was less than the bindin% ener%y o!
the electron. #his e)planation dismayed "lanc(, who never e)pected his su%%estion to be applied so

&n 7977 3rnest :uther!ord !ired very small particles, emitted in radioactive decay, at a thin !ilm o!
%old. *rom the scatterin% pattern o! the particles, he determined that the atom consisted o! a small,
heavy, positively char%ed nucleus surrounded by very li%ht electrons. Iiels ,ohr used this model and
the -uantum ideas o! "lanc( and 3instein in 797@ to e)plain why the li%ht !rom %as dischar%es was
emitted at only a !ew, discrete !re-uencies. this li%ht !ormed emission 0lines0 o! di!!erent colours when
the li%ht was passed throu%h a slit and dispersed by a prism. ,ohr su%%ested that the electrons in an
atom were only allowed to occupy certain orbits o! de!inite radius r around the nucleus, namely orbits
whose an%ular momentum was %iven by mvrQnh/D where m and v are the mass and velocity o! the
electron, and n is an inte%er. 'hen an electron %ained ener%y and was 0e)cited0 to a hi%her orbit
durin% the %as dischar%e, it could lose this ener%y only by !allin% bac( to one o! the lower allowed
orbits, with its ener%y loss 3 bein% carried o!! by the emission o! a -uantum o! li%ht o! ener%y
!Q3/h. #he predicted !re-uencies !or hydro%en matched the e)perimental values.

,e%innin% with the claim that mechanical models such as ,ohr2s were inappropriate because they tried
to use the mechanics which had been developed !or macroscopic bodies in situations where it mi%ht
not apply, 'erner /eisenber% in 79D5 derived a purely mathematical theory that incorporated directly
the empirical data, such as the wavelen%ths o! spectral lines. #he same year, Eouis de ,ro%lie ar%ued
that i! li%ht could act both as a wave and as a particle =photon> with de!inite ener%y, then perhaps
material particles such as electrons could as well. /e su%%ested that such a particle should have a
wavelen%th %iven by Qh/mv, where m is the particle2s mass and v is its velocity.
,y the ne)t year, de ,ro%lie2s hypothesis had been used by 3rwin SchrRdin%er to e)plain the
-uantiCation o! ,ohr2s orbits. <oreover, SchrRdin%er showed that his wave mechanics was e-uivalent
to /eisenber%2s theory. ,y 79DG, 5.J. avisson and E./. 1ermer had con!irmed de ,ro%lie2s
hypothesis directly by producin% a di!!raction pattern by scatterin% electrons !rom the ordered atoms
on the sur!ace o! a nic(el sample, much li(e the two+slit inter!erence pattern used by #homas Noun% to
prove that li%ht behaved as a wave. #his result is impossible i! we consider the electron as a classical
particle: it means that the electron must scatter o!! more than one nic(el atom simultaneously or, in the
two+slit analo%y, %o throu%h both slits at the same timeL

:ather than placin% the electrons in the atom in de!inite orbits as envisioned by ,ohr, SchrRdin%er2s
wave mechanics, as interpreted by ,orn, treated the s-uare o! the particle2s wave amplitude as
%ivin% the probability that the electron was at a particular place in space, with the most probable
positions correspondin% to ,ohr2s orbits. *rom this discussion it is clear that we are treatin% the
electron both as a particle and a wave. 5onsider Noun%2s two+slit e)periment a%ain, but usin% electrons
instead o! li%ht as the incident radiation. Suppose we position a !luorescent screen behind the two
holes, and decrease the intensity o! the electron beam until only one electron hits the screen at a time.
3)perimentally we see that each electron produces a tiny !lash on the screen, as thou%h it were struc(
by a particle rather than a wave. /owever, the number o! particles arrivin% in a %iven re%ion o! the
screen is %reater where the di!!raction pattern has its ma)ima. #he electron acts li(e a particle when we
demand a particle+li(e response, but li(e a wave when we demand a wave+li(e response. #his is the
conclusion come to by ,ohr, in establishin% his 0principle o! complementarity0: the wave and particle
descriptions o! matter =or electroma%netic radiation> are complementary, in the sense that our
e)periments can test !or one or the other, but never !or both properties at the same time.

&n 79DG /eisenber% proved that it was impossible to determine both a particle2s position and
momentum with arbitrary precision. i! one is (nown very accurately, then the uncertainty in the other
becomes lar%e. #his 0$ncertainty "rinciple0 showed that there are theoretical limits on a person2s
ability to describe the world. #he limits are not a serious consideration !or lar%e bodies, but become
very important !or bodies the siCe o! an atom or smaller. #he uncertainty principle also ma(es it clear
that the presence o! the e)perimenter always a!!ects the results o! an e)periment at some level. *or
e)ample, i! we try to determine the position o! a small particle very accurately we must, in principle,
chan%e its momentum by the very act o! observin% it.
Puantum mechanics has now been e)tended to e)plain a wide ran%e o! phenomena at the sub+
microscopic level, includin% the structure o! the atomic nucleus. 3)perimentally, this structure has
been determined in a manner similar in principle to :uther!ord2s scatterin% e)periment, usin%
accelerators which produce incident particles o! very hi%h ener%y.

"hilosophically, the developments o! -uantum mechanics were !ar+reachin%. Ei(e relativity, they a%ain
showed that humans could not assume that the physical laws which seem to %overn a A8+(% person
movin% at speeds up to several hundred (ilometres per hour also applied to bodies !ar !rom this
re%ime. #hey also brou%ht into -uestion the assumption o! the per!ectly deterministic world proposed
by Eaplace. 5learly it was impossible to predict the position and velocity o! every body !or all !uture
times i! you could not even (now these coordinates accurately at a sin%le instant in time. #his
conclusion has even been used as the basis o! the claim that humans have !ree will, that all is not
predetermined as would seem to be the case in a purely mechanistic, deterministic world %overned by
the laws o! physics. #hese ideas are still heavily debated today, as in a recent article by :o%er "enrose
in the boo( uantum !mplications.

&ndeed, 3instein himsel! was never able to accept !ully the uncertainty implied in -uantum mechanics,
declarin% that he did not believe that 1od played dice =5lar(, pp.B7B,B75>. &n an attempt to show that
-uantum theory was at variance with the real world, he helped develop the 3instein+"odols(y+:osen
=3":> parado), a 0thou%ht e)periment0 which shows that -uantum mechanical theory must lead to
what seems li(e an impossible situation: what you do to one particle can a!!ect a second, even i! they
are su!!iciently separated in space that a li%ht si%nal could not pass !rom the !irst to the second !ast
enou%h to cause the observed e!!ect. #hat is, either the (nowled%e o! the event can travel between the
particles !aster than the speed o! li%ht, or the two particles really are not separate but remain
interconnected in some !undamental sense. &t was the latter option which was under debate.

An e)periment desi%ned to test this hypothesis was carried out by . Aspect and cowor(ers in 7987
9"hysical :eview Eetters 4!,BA8 =7987> and 49, 97 =798D>; and was shown to con!irm what was
predicted: the two particles really were connected over lar%e distances by 0non+local0 !orces actin%
instantaneously. #hat is, the 3": parado), rather than showin% a basic inconsistency in -uantum
theory, actually points to one more aspect o! nature that contravenes common sense.

The !nification of Physical Phenomena
#he wor( o! <a)well represents the !irst %reat theoretical uni!ication o! physical phenomena, in this
case the inte%ration o! ma%netic, electrical and optical theory into one all+encompassin% !ramewor(.
A%ain, this must be seen as desirable under 6c(ham2s :aCor, which ar%ues !or economy o!
understandin%. Such economy is the stren%th o! modern analytical science, which emphasiCes the
lo%ical description o! a vast ran%e o! physical phenomena !rom a !ew basic principles, rather than the
memoriCation o! a lar%e number o! isolated !acts or !ormulae. #he !ormer approach enables the user to
predict e!!ects not seen previously, to invent, whereas the latter restricts one to what already is (nown.

6ther %reat uni!ications that have ta(en place in physics include the inte%ration o! classical mechanics,
-uantum physics and heat in the development o! statistical mechanics. #his sub4ect assumes that the
properties o! lar%e systems, such as %ases or solids, can be calculated by wor(in% out the avera%e o!
the properties o! all their constituent particles. *or e)ample, the relationship between the temperature
and pressure o! a %as can be calculated by treatin% the %as as bein% made up o! a very lar%e number o!
independent molecules, and calculatin% the avera%e !orce they produce as they collide with the
container walls, usin% Iewtonian mechanics !or the particles. #his approach was !ollowed !or %ases by
<a)well and Eudwi% ,oltCmann =78BB+798A>. ,oltCmann also showed that 5lausius2 entropy could be
interpreted as a measure o! the disorder o! a system. &n particular, he proved that the value !or entropy
can be obtained !rom a (nowled%e o! the total number o! di!!erent states in which a system can be
!ound. #hat, in turn, depends on the number o! di!!erent potential con!i%urations o! all the particles
which comprised the system. #his statistical approach has led to the development o! 0-uantum
statistics0, the application o! statistical mechanics to -uantum phenomena.

"erhaps the %reatest such uni!ication that has ta(en place in this century is the inte%ration o!
electroma%netism and -uantum mechanics, in -uantum electrodynamics =P3>. #his !eat earned
:ichard *eynman, Julian Schwin%er, and Sin+itiro #omona%a the Iobel "riCe !or physics in 79A5. &t is
capable o! predictin% the spin %+!actor o! the electron with a numerical accuracy o! 7 part in 78

&n 79G9, Sheldon 1lashow, Abdus Salam, and Stephen 'einber% were %iven the Iobel "riCe !or their
0electrowea( theory0 that uni!ied the electroma%netic and wea( nuclear !orces. Attempts have also
been made to !orm a -uantum theory o! the stron% nuclear !orce. ,ecause o! its similarity to P3, it
has been called -uantum chromodynamics =P5>. 05hromo0 comes !rom the 1ree( word !or colour,
and re!ers to the !act that the -uar(s that ma(e up neutrons and protons come in several varieties that
have been %iven the names red, blue and %reen, and their antiparticles. =#hese names have been chosen
in analo%y to li%ht. #hese three colours can be combined to %ive white li%ht. the three -uar(s combine
to %ive a 0colourless0 particle.> #he combination o! electrowea( theory and P5 comprises what is
called the 0Standard <odel0. Attempts are still under way to inte%rate P5 and electrowea( theory
into a sin%le 01rand $ni!ied #heory0 =1$#>.

<uch e!!ort has also %one into tryin% to uni!y electroma%netism and %ravitation. &n !act, 3instein spent
most o! the latter part o! his li!e tryin% to create a -uantum !orm o! the %eneral theory o! relativity. As
can be seen !rom these !ew e)amples, the nineteenth+century belie! that the main theoretical wor( o!
physicists was over could not have been !urther !rom the truthL

Dissemination of the Results of "cientific Research
'ritten e)chan%e o! in!ormation amon% scientists in di!!erent countries was common !rom be!ore the
time o! 1alileo, and boo(s on science were published !rom shortly a!ter the development o! the
printin% press in 3urope by 7B58. Startin% in 7ABB in 3n%land, John 'il(ins, a "uritan cler%yman,
or%aniCed wee(ly meetin%s o! several scientists in Eondon, who called themselves the 0"hilosophical
5olle%e0. #hey met to discuss scienti!ic theory and carry out e)periments, !irst at a pub and then at
1resham 5olle%e. 'hen the "uritans under 5romwell came to power, 'il(ins was appointed the head
o! 'adham 5olle%e in 6)!ord. #here he established the "hilosophical Society !or the discussion o!
science. $nder the 5ommonwealth, interest in science had increased substantially, and shortly a!ter the
restoration o! 5harles && to the throne in 7AA8 a %roup o! !orty+one persons !ounded a colle%e !or
scienti!ic learnin% which became the 0:oyal Society !or the &mprovement o! Iatural Jnowled%e0 two
years later, with about one hundred members. John 'il(ins was one o! its two secretaries. #his
or%aniCation eventually became the :oyal Society o! Eondon, which persists to today. Similar societies
emer%ed on the continent. #hese or%aniCations published re%ular 4ournals o! the !indin%s o! their

#oday, there are hundreds o! scienti!ic societies world+wide, some discipline+based and national in
!ocus such as the 5anadian Association o! "hysicists, and some research+area+based and very
international in membership, such as the American Hacuum Society. <ost hold meetin%s annually or
more o!ten. #here are more than 788,888 articles published per year in physics alone. 'ith this
enormous amount o! in!ormation, it has been necessary to develop biblio%raphic search tools 4ust to
enable researchers to !ind papers o! interest. &n physics these include three ma4or 4ournals. Physics
A"stracts, published monthly, catalo%ues by sub4ect and author almost all the articles published in
physics in the previous period. Current Contents, published wee(ly, lists by 4ournal, author and sub4ect
all papers in the main 4ournals. Science Citation !nde#, published monthly, lists articles coverin% all the
sciences, which have been published or cited =re!erred to> in the previous period. #his last 4ournal
enables researchers to use their (nowled%e o! a seminal article in a %iven !ield to !ind the most current
related wor(. #hese search tools have become immensely more power!ul recently, with the application
o! computer pro%rams which provide rapid searchin%, cross+re!erencin% and automatic print+outs.
Searchin% can even be done on+line usin% remote data ban(s.

Applied Physics
,acon2s vision o! the application o! science !or human use has been realiCed this century, with tens o!
thousands o! scientists and en%ineers wor(in% world+wide to develop usable products. /owever, the
deal has been *austian. 'e have our 4umbo 4ets, cellular telephones, catscans, personal computers and
5+players, all direct applications o! physics which we en4oy. 'e have also developed the !ission
bomb which (illed 778,888 in /iroshima and similar numbers in Ia%asa(i, with some D588 people
continuin% to die per year !or decades !rom radiation+related illness =the !usion bombs currently
deployed are typically 58 times more power!ul>. modern conventional weapons and communications
(eep millions o! the world2s people in economic slavery. the world2s ecosystem, o! which we are a part,
is endan%ered by the pollution resultin% !rom our technolo%ical successes. the technolo%ically
developed world consumes some ten times that o! the lesser developed world per capita, so limitin%
the economic viability o! the rest o! the world.

As su%%ested by 5apra in The Turning Point, it is time to ta(e a lesson !rom the 3": parado) and
consider the world more holistically. "hysics still has a power!ul role to play in the evolution o! our
society, and it is our individual and collective responsibility to choose its direction care!ully.

#he motivation !or writin% this paper arose !rom lon% discussions with my partner, Einda, on the need
!or physics students to -uestion their role in the world. #he material presented above has been chosen
as that which the author has !ound most use!ul in doin% this !or himsel!. &t has come !rom a wide
variety o! secondary sources, many o! which are %iven in the attached biblio%raphy. /owever, the
dates and other details have been con!irmed !or this writin% usin% primarily the e)cellent boo(, A
$istory of the Sciences by Stephen *. <ason, with some assistance !rom Schneer2s The E%olution of
Physical Science& <any use!ul comments !rom "eter awson have been incorporated into the te)t.
A (artial Bi/liogra#h)
,utter!ield, /., The Origins of Modern Science' ()**+(,**
=5lar(e+&rwin, #oronto> 79GG. A %ood discussion o! the interplay between science and society.
5apra, *., The Turning Point =Simon and Schuster, Iew Nor(> 798D. :eductionist %s& holistic science,
!rom a physicist2s perspective.
5lar(, :.'., Einstein' The -ife and Times =Avon, Iew Nor(> 79G7.
5line, ,.E., Men .ho Made a Ne. Physics =previously entitled The uestioners> =Si%net, Iew Nor(>
79A5. A very readable account o! the ori%ins o! -uantum physics and relativity.
5ole, <.., The Maya, @rd ed. =#hames and /udson, Eondon> 798B.
i4(sterhuis, 3.J., The Mechani/ation of the World Picture =6)!ord $niversity> 79A7.
ra(e, S., Telescopes' Tides and Tactics0 A Galilean 1ialogue a"out the Starry Messenger and
Systems of the World =$niversity o! 5hica%o "ress, 5hica%o> 798@. #his boo( includes a translation o!
1alileo2s description o! his !irst astronomical observations, and <$S# be read. &t contains copies o!
1alileo2s ori%inal s(etches o! the appearance o! the <oon and o! the moons o! Jupiter.
ra(e, S., The 2ole of Music in Galileo3s E#periments Scienti!ic American, p. 98, June 79G5.
*inocchiaro, <.A., The Galileo Affair' A 1ocumentary $istory =$niversity o! 5ali!ornia "ress,
,er(eley> 7989. 1ives the conte)t !or 1alileo2s trial, and a translation o! a number o! the ori%inal
*rench, <., 4eyond Po.er =,allantine, Iew Nor(> 7985. A !eminist perspective on patriarchal society.
/aw(in%, S.'., A 4rief $istory of Time =,antam, 7988>. A discussion o! modern cosmolo%y !or the
layperson, !rom one o! the world2s e)perts.
/or%an, J., uantum Philosophy, Scienti!ic American, July 799D, p.9B. A discussion o! recent
investi%ations o! the 3": parado).
/iley, ,.J. and "eat, *.. =editors>, uantum !mplications + Essays in $onour of 1a%id 4ohm
=:outled%e, Iew Nor(> 798G. An e)cellent but !airly mathematical consideration o! the implications o!
-uantum theory.
Jramer, 3., Nature and Gro.th of Modern Mathematics, ="rinceton $niversity "ress, Iew Nor(>
Jammer, <., The Conceptual 1e%elopment of uantum Mechanics, =<c1raw+/ill, Iew Nor(> 79AA.
#his boo( is -uite mathematical.
<ason, S.*., A $istory of the Sciences =5ollier, Iew Nor(>, 79AD. An e)cellent %eneral history, very
:ossiter, <.'., Women Scientists in America0 Struggles and Strategies to (56*, =John /op(ins
$niversity "ress, ,altimore> 798D.
Schneer, 5.J., The E%olution of Physical Science =1rove "ress, Iew Nor(> 79A8. 1ree(s to modern
physical science.
#uana, I. =editor>, 7eminism and Science =&ndiana $niversity "ress, ,loomin%ton> 7989. Addresses
%ender bias in science.
'hitehead, A.I., Science and the Modern World, =5ambrid%e $niversity "ress> 79@@.
'illiams, E."., The Origins of 7ield Theory =:andom /ouse, #oronto> 79AA. =Iot in #rent Eibrary>.
Updated 15 June 21

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