We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Cover

The History of Physics: A Very Short Introduction

J. L. Heilbron

January 2018

ISBN: 9780199684120

192 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99

How does the physics we know today - a highly professionalised enterprise, inextricably linked to government and industry - link back to its origins as a liberal art in Ancient Greece? John Heilbron's crisp and witty book tells the 2500-year story and highlights the implications for humankind's self-understanding.

Share:

Description

How does the physics we know today - a highly professionalised enterprise, inextricably linked to government and industry - link back to its origins as a liberal art in Ancient Greece? John Heilbron's crisp and witty book tells the 2500-year story and highlights the implications for humankind's self-understanding.

  • An engaging narrative, describing and explaining the transformations undergone by physics during its 2,500 years of development from its origins in Ancient Greece to its current worldwide cultivation
  • Explores the emergence of "physics" as a distinct field of study and its changing relations with mathematics, experiment, technology, ethics, and the societies that have supported it
  • Discusses the limits of our knowledge, and the questions physics has yet to answer
  • First published in hardback as Physics: a short history from quintessence to quarks
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over nine million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

J. L. Heilbron, Professor of History, Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

John Heilbron was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, in physics and history; and began teaching at the University of Pennsylvania in 1964. He returned to Berkeley in 1967, where he rose to become professor of history and vice chancellor. After retiring in 1994 Heilbron taught sporadically at Caltech and Yale, and lived mostly around Oxford, where he has been Senior research Fellow at Worcester College and the Oxford Museum for History of Science. He has written several books for Oxford University Press, including Galileo (2010) and Love, literature, and the quantum atom. Niels Bohr's 1913 trilogy revisited (2013), with Finn Aaserud.

Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1:Invention and Diversity in Greece and Rome
    2:Selection and Development in Islam
    3:Domestication in the West
    4:A Second Creation
    5:Classical Physics and its Cure
    6:From Old World to New
    7:By Way of Conclusion
    References and Further Reading
    Index

Reviews

"A comprehensive treatment of the history of physics in the West" - David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

"Pick up a copy to get to grips with the 2500-year history of physics." - Tushna Commissariat, Physics World

"Elegantly written and entertaining." - Daan Wegener, Isis Review

"This book is essential reading. Insightful ... never boring." - Frost Magazine

"delightful... Heilbron leaves us rooted in lived reality" - Nature, Robert P. Crease

"manages to pack an awful lot into that very short space ... interesting and informative for non-scientists" - A Hermit's Progress

"The book is effectively a short history of ideas that moves around the cultures of Europe depending on time and place, so there is a fascinating chapter on Islamic contributions." - Network Review