A History of the Ideas of Theoretical Physics: Essays on the by S. D'Agostino

By S. D'Agostino

This e-book provides a viewpoint at the historical past of theoretical physics over the last thousands years. It includes essays at the heritage of pre-Maxwellian electrodynamics, of Maxwell's and Hertz's box theories, and of the current century's relativity and quantum physics. a standard thread around the essays is the quest for and the exploration of issues that inspired major con­ ceptual adjustments within the nice move of principles and experiments which heralded the emergence of theoretical physics (hereafter: TP). the joys. damental swap concerned the popularity of the scien­ tific validity of theoretical physics. within the moment 1/2 the nine­ teenth century, it was once difficult for plenty of physicists to appreciate the character and scope of theoretical physics and of its adept, the theoreti­ cal physicist. A physicist like Ludwig Boltzmann, one of many eminent individuals to the hot self-discipline, confessed in 1895 that, "even the formula of this idea [of a theoretical physicist] isn't completely with out difficulty". 1 even though technology had regularly been divided into concept and test, it used to be basically in physics that theoretical paintings built right into a significant study and educating strong point in its personal correct. 2 it's real that theoretical physics was once usually a production of tum­ of-the century German physics, the place it obtained complete institutional attractiveness, however it is additionally indisputable that remarkable physicists in different eu nations, particularly, Ampere, Fourier, and Maxwell,

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In Section IV of his 1852 paper, Weber underlined the connection between the derivation of his FL and the foundation of com- MATHEMATICS IN AMPERE AND WEBER 29 plete systems of absolute units for electric and magnetic quantities. He emphasized the point that in line of principles the determination of a complete system of units for electrodynamics "without any relation with the magnetic measurements" was thus achieved. 45 Clearly, in the absence of a known value for c, all the effects generated by the motions of a known (in electrostatic measure) electric charge could not be predicted through his FL: The velocity c ...

Weber developed an extended theoretical and experimental study of electric charges, of currents and of their forces of interaction, culminating in his discovery of the fundamental law (henceforth: FL) of electric interactions. He constructed his FL from what he considered to be the virtually certain interactions between Amperian current elements. 26 In fact, he listed three "facts" (Tatsachen) that represented particular cases of Ampere's law, corresponding to particular positions of the current elements and of the conducting wires: First Fact.

A comparison of the two measurements 21 allowed Weber to estimate the duration of a current discharged by a Leyden jar through various lengths of a wet string, an operation which soon acquired significance for his later work in the measurement of his characteristic velocity. The quadratic response allowed also Weber to measure the rapid or high frequency currents detected in acoustic and physiological investigations. , equivalent from an electromagnetic point of view) " replaced the current carrying bifilar-roll.

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