Against Transcendence : Essays on the Physical Significance of Modern Culture

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-10-30
  • Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr
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Against Transcendence is the first gathering of Paul Forman's influential essays in the history of modern physics. Written over the last twenty years, and offered here with newly written introductions, Paul Forman's essays are exemplary in connecting the content with the context of modern physics. They explore the scientific life in Germany following World War I and America following World War II, underscoring the bearing of wider cultural factors upon the organisation, direction, interpretation, and success of physical research. The volume includes two seminal essays in the history of physics: Weimar Culture, Causality, and Quantum Theory, 1918-1927: Adaptation by German Physicists and Mathematicians to a Hostile Intellectual Environment, and Beyond Quantum Electronics: National Security as Basis for Physical Research in the United States, 1945-1960. Elegantly written and meticulously researched, the essays in Against Transcendence paint a history of modern physics that historians and physicists alike will find fascinating.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Freeman J. Dyson
Part I. After The First World War
1. The NFV in Nauheim, 1920: an introduction to scientific life in the Weimar Republic (1986)
2. Scientific internationalism and the Weimar physicists (1973)
3. Financial support and political alignment of the physicists in Weimar Germay (1974)
4. Weimar culture, causality, and quantum theory (1971)
5. Reception of an acausal quantum mechanics in Germany and Britain (1979)
6. How cultural values prescribed the character and lessons ascribed to the quantum mechanics (1984)
Part II. After The Second World War
7. Social niche and self-image of the American physicist (1989)
8. Behind quantum electronics: national security as basis for physical research in the United States, 1945-60 (1987)
9. Making the maser, 1945-57 (forthcoming)
Part III. Afterword: independence, not transcendence, for the historian of science

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