By S. D'Agostino
This publication provides a point of view at the heritage of theoretical physics during the last 1000's years. It contains essays at the heritage of pre-Maxwellian electrodynamics, of Maxwell's and Hertz's box theories, and of the current century's relativity and quantum physics. a typical thread around the essays is the hunt for and the exploration of topics that motivated major con ceptual alterations within the nice move of principles and experiments which heralded the emergence of theoretical physics (hereafter: TP). the thrill. damental switch concerned the popularity of the scien tific validity of theoretical physics. within the moment 1/2 the nine teenth century, it was once demanding for lots of physicists to appreciate the character and scope of theoretical physics and of its adept, the theoreti cal physicist. A physicist like Ludwig Boltzmann, one of many eminent members to the hot self-discipline, confessed in 1895 that, "even the formula of this idea [of a theoretical physicist] isn't really totally with no difficulty". 1 even if technology had consistently been divided into thought and test, it was once purely in physics that theoretical paintings constructed right into a significant examine and educating forte in its personal correct. 2 it really is actual that theoretical physics used to be usually a production of tum of-the century German physics, the place it got complete institutional acceptance, however it is additionally indisputable that amazing physicists in different ecu international locations, particularly, Ampere, Fourier, and Maxwell,
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Extra info for A History of the Ideas of Theoretical Physics: Essays on the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Physics
After ten years, Weber in Germany was inspired by Ampere's ideas. 4. Gauss's and Weber's Metrology. , one of those mathematicians who are familiar with the finest means of observation". It was in fact this combination of high mathematical expertise and great experimental ingenuity that characterised Gauss's research method. Throughout 1832 Gauss worked to develop and test a method for· measuring the quantity and direction of the earth's magnetic intensity, independently of the characteristics of the measuring compass.
The bifilar-roll was set in motion by the magnetic force exerted by a current circulating in a fixed coil of wire, the 'multiplicator' . Through his bifilar electrodynamometer, Weber accurately measured the torque between the two current-carrying coils, thus testing the validity of Ampere's law of force between currents. He found that Ampere's law about current elements was correct. 19 The same instrument was used to prove that Ampere's law was valid also for "ordinary electricity", i. , for a discharge current from a Leyden jar.
Hence Q/2't measured the ratio between magnetic and mechanical units of charge ( or equivalently of current). Weber and Kohlrausch found that the measured value was: QI2't=155370 x 106 , i. , 155370 x 106 mm/sec, corresponding to the quantity of electricity of one sign (in es units) carried by a unit (in em units) current flowing for one second in a wire. Clearly, QI2't=®l is the units ratio in table A above, and from the relation, in the same table, c =2 --J2 ®1, Weber and Kohlrausch computed the value of c: c =439450 x 106 units of length per second (Weber's unit of length = 1 mm).