This volume is an attempt to reconstitute the tacit knowledge - the shared, unwritten assumptions, values, and understandings - that shapes the work of science. Jed Z. Buchwald uses as his focus the social and intellectual world of 19th-century German physics. Drawing on the lab notes, published papers and unpublished manuscripts of Heinrich Hertz, Buchwald recreates Hertz's 1887 invention of a device that produced electromagnetic waves in wires. The invention itself was serendipitous and the device was quickly transformed, but Hertz's early experiments led to major innovations in electrodynamics. Buchwald explores the difficulty Hertz had in reconciling the theories of other physicists, including Hermann von Helmholtz and James Clerk Maxwell, and he considers the complex and often problematic connections between theory and experiment. In this first detailed scientific biography of Hertz and his scientific community, Buchwald demonstrates that tacit knowledge can be recovered so that we can begin to identify the unspoken rules that govern scientific practice.
List of Figures List of Tables Preface 1: Introduction: Heinrich Hertz, Maker of Effects Pt. 1: In Helmholtz's Laboratory 2: Forms of Electrodynamics 3: Realizing Potentials in the Laboratory Pt. 2: Information Direct from Nature 4: A Budding Career 5: Devices for Induction 6: Hertz's Early Exploration of Helmholtz's Concepts Pt. 3: Berlin's Golden Boy 7: Rotating Spheres 8: Elastic Interactions 9: Specific Powers in the Laboratory 10: The Cathode Ray as a Vehicle for Success Pt. 4: Studying Books 11: Frustration 12: Hertz's Argument 13: Assumption X Pt. 5: Electric Waves 14: A Novel Device 15: How the Resonator Became an Electric Probe 16: Electric Propagation Produced 17: Electric Waves Manipulated 18: Conclusion: Restraint and Reconstruction App. 1. Waveguides and Radiators in Maxwellian Electrodynamics App. 2. Helmholtz's Derivation of the Forces from a Potential App. 3. Helmholtz's Energy Argument App. 4. Polarization Currents and Experiment App. 5. Convection in Helmholtz's Electrodynamics App. 6. Instability in the Fechner-Weber Theory App. 7. Hertz's First Use of the General Helmholtz Equations App. 8. Hertz on the Induction of Polarization by Motion App. 9. Hertz on Relatively Moving, Charged Conductors App. 10. Elastic Bodies Pressed Together App. 11. Evaporation's Theoretical Limits App. 12. Hertz's Model for Geissler-Tube Discharge App. 13. Propagation in Helmholtz's Electrodynamics App. 14. Forces in Hertz's Early Experiments App. 15. Hertz's Quasi Field Theory for Narrow Cylindrical Wires App. 16. Considerations regarding the Possible Background to Helmholtz's New Physics App. 17. Poincare and Bertrand App. 18. Difficulties with Charge and Polarization Notes Bibliography Index