Advertisement

Defending the Practical: The American Response

  • Stanley Goldberg

Abstract

In turning to the American response to Einstein’s theory we introduce several new variables to our study. First, there is the great physical gulf between America on one side of the Atlantic, and the three European countries on the other side. Second, in comparison to the European communities, American culture is extremely young and the American physics community was, until the last decades of the nineteenth century, virtually nonexistent. Certainly, American physics had none of the character with which it is associated today.

Keywords

Early Response Special Theory American Culture American Physic Fourth Dimension 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. *.
    N. Reingald, “American Indifference to Basic Research: A Reappraisal,” in G. H. Daniels (ed), Nineteenth Century American Science: A Reappraisal (Evanston, 1972) pp. 38–62.Google Scholar
  2. *.
    A. de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, trans., Henry Reeves (Philadelphia, 1841), Vol 2, p. 42.Google Scholar
  3. *.
    William McMurtrie, “Address at the Dedication of the Walker Laboratory of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,” Science, 1907, 26:329–332. Of course, it was Marie Curie, assisted by Pierre, who discovered radium.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. *.
    For a detailed account of the history of the American physics community see D. J. Kevles, The Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in America (New York, 1978).Google Scholar
  5. *.
    C. W. Rafferty, “Scientific Opinion,” Scientific American Supplement, 1909, 68:198.Google Scholar
  6. †.
    D. F. Comstock, “Reasons for Believing in an Aether,” Science, 1907, 25:432–433.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. *.
    D. F. Comstock, “On the Relation of Mass to Energy,” Philosophical Magazine, 1908, 15:1–21. t D. F. Comstock, Personal Interview, December, 1964.Google Scholar
  8. *.
    G. N. Lewis, “A Revision of the Fundamental Laws of Matter and Energy,” Philosophical Magazine, 1908, 16:707–717.Google Scholar
  9. *.
    C. T. More, “On Theories of Matter and Mass,” Philosophical Magazine, 1909, 18:17–26.Google Scholar
  10. *.
    C. L. Speyer, “The Fundamental Laws of Matter and Energy” Science, 1909, 29:656–659.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. †.
    G. N. Lewis and R. C. Tolman, “The Principle of Relativity and non Newtonian Mechanics,” Philosophical Magazine, 1909, 28:510–523.Google Scholar
  12. *.
    O. M. Stewart, “The Second Postulate of Relativity and the Electromagnetism of Light,” Physical Review, 1911, 32:418–428.ADSGoogle Scholar
  13. *.
    L. T. More, “Recent Theories of Electricity,” Philosophical Magazine, 1911, 21:196–218.Google Scholar
  14. *.
    A. D. Cole, “The American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section B—Physics,” Science, 1912, 35:510–516.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. †.
    Philipp Frank, Personal Communication, December 1964,Google Scholar
  16. *.
    W. F. Magie, “The Primary Concepts of Physics,” Science 1912, 25:281–292.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. *.
    Scientific American, (Jan. 9) 1909, 100:26. The announcement was repeated in the issues of January 30, February 27 and March 20, 1909. The contest was closed on March 27, 1909, when it was announced that there had been a large number of entrants and that entries had been received from all parts of the world.Google Scholar
  18. †.
    Scientific American, (July 3) 1909, 101 pp. 6, 15.Google Scholar
  19. *.
    In the year 1903, with the support of the Carnegie Institution James M. Cattell began gathering data for the publication of a register of American scientists. American Men of Science was published in 1906 and has gone through fourteen editions. It is now titled American Men and Women of Science. At the time that he collected the data, Cattell used polling devices to determine who among those in the registry were the most productive and respected. Those names were denoted in the registry by a star; they became known as “scientists starred.” Almost all the individuals in America who responded to the theory of relativity up to 1911, including Lewis, Tolman, More, Magie, Cole, and Franklin were starred scientists. Cf. S. S. Visher, Scientists Starred—1903–1943—in American Men of Science (New York, 1975).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston, Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley Goldberg

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations