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When Physics Became King
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When Physics Became King

Iwan Rhys Morus


As recently as two hundred years ago, physics as we know it today did not exist. Born in the early nineteenth century during the second scientific revolution, physics struggled at first to achieve legitimacy in the scientific community and culture at large. In fact, the term “physicist” did not appear in English until the 1830s. This book traces the emergence of this revolutionary science, demonstrating how a discipline that barely existed in 1800 came to be regarded a century later as the ultimate key to unlocking nature's secrets. A cultural history designed to provide a big-picture view, it ... More

Keywords: second scientific revolution, physicist, physics, natural philosophy, industrialism, statistical mechanics, astronomical laboratories, precision measurement tools, First World War

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780226542010
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226542003.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Iwan Rhys Morus, author