Pursuing Power and Light: Technology and Physics from James Watt to Albert Einstein

Pursuing Power and Light: Technology and Physics from James Watt to Albert Einstein

by Bruce J. Hunt
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In the nineteenth century, science and technology developed a close and continuing relationship. The most important advancements in physics—the science of energy and the theory of the electromagnetic field—were deeply rooted in the new technologies of the steam engine, the telegraph, and electric power and light. Bruce J. Hunt here explores how the

Overview

In the nineteenth century, science and technology developed a close and continuing relationship. The most important advancements in physics—the science of energy and the theory of the electromagnetic field—were deeply rooted in the new technologies of the steam engine, the telegraph, and electric power and light. Bruce J. Hunt here explores how the leading technologies of the industrial age helped reshape modern physics.

This period marked a watershed in how human beings exerted power over the world around them. Sweeping changes in manufacturing, transportation, and communications transformed the economy, society, and daily life in ways never before imagined. At the same time, physical scientists made great strides in the study of energy, atoms, and electromagnetism. Hunt shows how technology informed science and vice versa, examining the interaction between steam technology and the formulation of the laws of thermodynamics, for example, and that between telegraphy and the rise of electrical science.

Hunt’s groundbreaking introduction to the history of physics points to the shift to atomic and quantum physics. It closes with a brief look at Albert Einstein’s work at the Swiss patent office and the part it played in his formulation of relativity theory. Hunt translates his often-demanding material into engaging and accessible language suitable for undergraduate students of the history of science and technology.

Editorial Reviews

Choice

Highly recommended.

Physics Today
Pursuing Power and Light is the best and most up-to-date treatment, especially for undergraduates, of the key concepts and figures of 19th-century physics.

— Robert Friedel

Metascience
Essential reading both for students in engineering and the sciences and for those in HPS departments... enjoyable and very interesting reading.

— Stathis Arapostathis

British Journal of the History of Science
Pursuing Power and Light is a bravura performance that should inform and inspire many an undergraduate and general reader.

— David Philip Miller

British Journal for the History of Science
Pursuing Power and Light is a bravura performance that should inform and inspire many an undergraduate and general reader.

— David Philip Miller

Physics Today - Robert Friedel
Pursuing Power and Light is the best and most up-to-date treatment, especially for undergraduates, of the key concepts and figures of 19th-century physics.

Metascience - Stathis Arapostathis
Essential reading both for students in engineering and the sciences and for those in HPS departments... enjoyable and very interesting reading.

British Journal of the History of Science - David Philip Miller
Pursuing Power and Light is a bravura performance that should inform and inspire many an undergraduate and general reader.

Isis - Suman Seth
Concise, technically lucid, and remarkably readable.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801893599
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
03/05/2010
Series:
Johns Hopkins Introductory Studies in the History of Science
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Bruce J. Hunt is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin and author of The Maxwellians.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >