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Cultural History of Physics Excerpt by Károly Simonyi

Cultural History of Physics Excerpt by Károly Simonyi

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Károly Simonyi
 A Cultural History of Physics
Translated by David Kramer
 
Originally published in Hungarian as
 A fizika kultûrtörténete
, Fourth Edition, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1998, and published in German as
 Kulturgeschichte der Physik 
, Third Edition,Verlag Harri Deutsch, Frankfurt am Main, 2001. First Hungarian edition 1978.CRC PressTaylor & Francis Group6000 Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300Boca Raton, FL 33487-2742© 2012 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLCCRC Press is an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa businessNo claim to original U.S. Government worksPrinted in the United States of America on acid-free paperVersion Date: 20111110International Standard Book Number: 978-1-56881-329-5 (Hardback)This book contains information obtained from authentic and highly regarded sources. Reasonable efforts have been made to publish reliable data and information, but the author andpublisher cannot assume responsibility for the validity of all materials or the consequences of their use. The authors and publishers have attempted to trace the copyright holders of allmaterial reproduced in this publication and apologize to copyright holders if permission to publish in this form has not been obtained. If any copyright material has not been acknowl-edged please write and let us know so we may rectify in any future reprint.Except as permitted under U.S. Copyright Law, no part of this book may be reprinted, reproduced, transmitted, or utilized in any form by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying, microfilming, and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the publishers.For permission to photocopy or use material electronically from this work, please access www.copyright.com (http://www.copyright.com/) or contact the Copyright Clearance Center,Inc. (CCC), 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, 978-750-8400. CCC is a not-for-profit organization that provides licenses and registration for a variety of users. For organizationsthat have been granted a photocopy license by the CCC, a separate system of payment has been arranged.
Trademark Notice:
Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe.
Library of Congress Cataloging‑in‑Publication Data
Simonyi, Károly.[Fizika kultúrtörténete. English]A cultural history of physics / Károly Simonyi ; translated by David Kramer.p. cm.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 978-1-56881-329-5 (alk. paper)1. Physics--History. I. Title.QC7.S55313 2010530.09--dc22 2010009407
Visit the Taylor & Francis Web site athttp://www.taylorandfrancis.comand the CRC Press Web site athttp://www.crcpress.com
 
 v
Foreword by Charles Simonyi
xi
Preace
xiii
Introduction: Te History o Physics and Its Relevance toOur Lives oday 
0.1 Te History o Physics and Its Relevance to Our Lives oday 
1
0.2 Assessment and Division into Epochs
3
0.2.1 A Historical imeline Based on the Intensity o Scientifc Activity 
3
0.2.2 Scientifc Knowledge rom the Viewpoint o the Physicist o oday 
4
0.2.3 Division into Epochs Based on Teoretical Synthesis
7
0.2.4 Te Role o Modeling
8
0.3 Elements o the Philosophy o Science
10
0.3.1 Illusory Simplicity 
10
0.3.2 Reason and Experience
12
0.3.3 Pitalls o the Inductive Method
14
0.4 Te Dynamism o History 
15
0.4.1 Forces or Progress
15
0.4.2 Limits, Possibilities, and Dangers
19
0.4.3 Uncertainty in the Precision
21
0.4.4 Physics in a New Role
23
0.4.5 Characterization o Epochs in Physics
24
Chapter 1: Te Classical Heritage
1.1 Te Greek Inheritance
31
1.1.1 Te Beginnings o Science
31
1.1.2 Egypt and Mesopotamia
32
1.2 Te Harmonious, Beautiul Order
45
1.2.1 Overview: emporal, Spatial, and Causal Connections
45
1.2.2 Mysticism and Mathematics: Pythagoras
50
1.2.3 Idea and Reality 
54
1.2.4 Plato on Insight and Ideas
57
1.3 Matter and Motion: Te Aristotelian Synthesis
60
1.3.1 Atoms and Elements
60
1.3.2 Motion under errestrial Conditions: Peripatetic Dynamics
65
1.3.3 Celestial Motion
72
1.3.4 Te Aristotelian Worldview 
74
1.3.5 A Selection rom Aristotle’s Metaphysics
76
1.4 Te Greatest Achievements o the Ancient Sciences
78
1.4.1 Archimedes
79
1.4.2 Te Ptolemaic System or Describing Celestial Motion
89
1.4.3 Measuring the Cosmos: Geography 
90
1.4.4 Geometry 
95
1.4.5 Scientifc Instruments and echnology 
98
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