Eddington's Search for a Fundamental Theory: A Key to the Universe

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Many people today are unaware that back in the 1930s, Sir Arthur Eddington, the celebrated astrophysicist, made great strides toward his own "theory of everything". In 1936 and 1946 Eddington's last two books were published. These works are strangely tentative and obscure, unlike his earlier lucid and authoritative works. This volume examines how Eddington came to write these uncharacteristic books—in terms of the physics and history of the day—and what value they have to modern physics. The result is an illuminating description of the development of theoretical physics in the first half of the twentieth century from a unique point of view. It will provide fascinating reading for scholars in the philosophy of science, theoretical physics, applied mathematics and the history of science.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...an interesting window on the turbulent onset of the 'new physics' during the first forty years of this century," David Kaiser, Isis

"...a valuable addition to the literature." Julian B. Barbour, The Times Higher Education Supplement

"...an illuminating description of the development of theoretical physics in the first half of the twentieth century from a unique point of view: how it affected Eddington's thought....will be of interest to anyone with a curiosity about physics and the development of theories of nature." Louis H. Kauffman, Mathematical Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521371650
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2012
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. The mystery; Part I. 1882–1928: 2. The astrophysicist; 3. General relativity; 4. Consequences of general relativity; 5. 'Something has slipped through the net'; 6. Quantum mechanics; Part II. 1928–33: 7. Algebra to the fore; 8. Electric charge; 9. The proton–electron mass-ratio; Part III. 1933–44: 10. The turning point; 11. Critical views of RTPE; 12. The last decade; References; Index.

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