The Oxford Handbook of the History of Physics brings together cutting-edge writing by more than twenty leading authorities on the history of physics from the seventeenth century to the present day. By presenting a wide diversity of studies in a single volume, it provides authoritative introductions to scholarly contributions that have tended to be dispersed in journals and books not easily accessible to the general reader. While the core thread remains the theories and experimental practices of physics, the Handbook contains chapters on other dimensions that have their place in any rounded history. These include the role of lecturing and textbooks in the communication of knowledge, the contribution of instrument-makers and instrument-making companies in providing for the needs of both research and lecture demonstrations, and the growing importance of the many interfaces between academic physics, industry, and the military.
Jed Buchwald is Doris and Henry Dreyfuss Professor of History at the California Institute of Technology. Awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1995 and a Killam Fellowship in 1990 (Canada), Buchwald was trained at Princeton (BA'71) and Harvard (MA and Ph.D '74.) From 1974 to 1992 he taught at, and then served as Director of, the University of Toronto's Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. From 1992 to 2001 he was at MIT as Dibner Professor of the History of Science, where he also directed the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology. Buchwald has authored or co-authored five books and edited eight volumes on the history of science and related matters, as well as about seventy articles. Robert Fox read physics at Oxford (BA 1961) and then took a doctorate in the history of science, also at Oxford (DPhil 1967). He taught in the Department of History of the University of Lancaster from 1966, being awarded a personal chair in the history of science there in 1987. After a brief period as Assistant Director and Head of the Research and Information Services Division in the Science Museum, London, he was appointed to the chair of the history of science at the University of Oxford in 1988. Since retiring from the Oxford chair in 2006, he has held visiting professorships in the USA, at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (2007) and East Carolina University, Greenville, NC (2009), and the Czech Republic, at the Czech National University of Technology (2010). He has served as President of the Division of History of Science of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (1993-7) and of the IUHPS (1995-7).
PART I: PHYSICS AND THE NEW SCIENCE; PART II: THE LONG EIGHTEENTH CENTURY; PART III: FASHIONING THE DISCIPLINE: FROM NATURAL PHILOSOPHY TO PHYSICS; PART IV: MODERN PHYSICS