Physics in Oxford, 1839-1939
Laboratories, Learning and College Life
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Physics in Oxford, 1839-1939 by Professor Robert Fox
Book DescriptionPhysics in Oxford, 1839-1939 offers a challenging new interpretation of pre-war physics at the University of Oxford, which was far more dynamic than most historians and physicists have been prepared to believe. It explains, on the one hand, how attempts to develop the University's Clarendon Laboratory by Robert Clifton, Professor of Experimental Philosophy from 1865 to 1915, were thwarted by academic politics and funding problems, and latterly by Clifton's idiosyncratic concern with precision instrumentation. Conversely, by examining in detail the work of college fellows and their laboratories, the book reconstructs the decentralized environment that allowed physics to enter on a period of conspicuous vigour in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially at the characteristically Oxonian intersections between physics, physical chemistry, mechanics, and mathematics. Whereas histories of Cambridge physics have tended to focus on the self-sustaining culture of the Cavendish Laboratory, it was Oxford's college-trained physicists who enabled the discipline to flourish in due course in university as well as college facilities, notably under the newly appointed professors, J. S. E. Townsend from 1900 and F. A. Lindemann from 1919. This broader perspective allows us to understand better the vitality with which physicists in Oxford responded to the demands of wartime research on radar and techniques relevant to atomic weapons and laid the foundations for the dramatic post-war expansion in teaching and research that has endowed Oxford with one of the largest and most dynamic schools of physics in the world.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780198567929
(254mm x 178mm x 25mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 16-Jun-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Professor Robert Fox
Thomas Harriot and His World, Hardback (June 2012)
A second volume of papers on Thomas Harriot that is based on the annual Harriot lectures delivered at Oriel College, Oxford between 2000 and 2009. It complements the previous volume, published as "Thomas Harriot".
Pierre-Simon Laplace, 1749-1827, Paperback (February 2000)
Pierre-Simon Laplace was among the nfluential scientists in history. This book traces the development of Laplace's research program and of his participation in the Academy of Science during the last decades of the Old Regime into the early years of the French Revolution.
Technological Change, Hardback (February 1996)
This text gathers together examples of the current thinking on methodology and the theoretical perspectives that are increasingly of concern to historians of technology, whilst at the same time presenting other papers which reflect the key areas of historical debate.
Education, Technology and Industrial Performance in Europe, 1850-1939, Hardback (July 1993)» View all books by Professor Robert Fox
Discusses the development of higher scientific and technical education in Europe and the USA between the mid-19th century and the 1930s. The text focuses on complex, often conflicting, circumstances to show how education was never a universally applicable panacaea for a flagging economy.
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Author Biography - Professor Robert Fox
Graeme Gooday is Senior Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds, UK.
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