The Rise of Modern Physics: A Popular Sketch

The Rise of Modern Physics: A Popular Sketch

The Rise of Modern Physics: A Popular Sketch

The Rise of Modern Physics: A Popular Sketch

Excerpt

The plan and method of this book are simple in the extreme. It is intended for readers who have had little previous knowledge of the subject but who would be glad of an informal introduction to this fascinating science. It originated in the following manner. In 1919, at the suggestion of Dr. Lynn H. Hough, then President of Northwestern University, my late colleague, Professor William A Locy and I agreed to join in giving a course of lectures, for juniors and seniors, on the History of Science. Professor Locy had been lecturing with marked success for some years on the history of biology along the lines laid down in his two volumes, Biology and its Makers and The Growth of Biology. I entered upon this program with enthusiasm for I had never regarded physics as an abstract subject, but rather as a concrete human achievement. The course was to be addressed to undergraduates of some maturity who had more or less interest in science; but it was not to presuppose any special training on their part either in biology or in physics. The following chapters are the outcome of this plan; but, of course, they do not cover the subject with the same completeness as the lectures.

The author has constantly had in view two purposes. The first is to reduce to a minimum the accounts of mistaken viewpoints and outworn theories; the second is to introduce more of what the biologists call "connective tissue" than has hitherto been customary in histories of . . .

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