The historical development of physics concepts: who did what and when.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

0
votes
0answers
49 views

Potential Energy = mgh. What is the name of this principle and did Newton discover it?

Somebody I know keeps trying to convince me that Potential Energy $PE=mgh$ is one of Newton's Laws (as well as the closely related idea, Work Done = force x distance moved). I am fairly certain that ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

What exactly were the “asymmetries which do not appear to be inherent in the phenomena” in Einstein's 1905 SR paper?

The first ¶ of Einstein's "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" says (my emphases): It is known that Maxwell's electrodynamics—as usually understood at the present time—when applied to moving ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Why are Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs) named after Bose and Einstein?

Why are Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs) named after Bose and Einstein? What did Einstein contribute to BECs? What were the relevant papers?
-2
votes
0answers
48 views

What did Einstein contribute to Special Relativity that hadn't already been done by Lorentz in 1904 and Poincaré in 1905? [duplicate]

What did Einstein contribute to what is now called Special Relativity theory that hadn't already been done by Lorentz in his 1904 "Electromagnetic Phenomena in a System Moving with any Velocity ...
2
votes
1answer
34 views

How did Fizeau control the cog's rotations per second?

In Fizeau's cog experiment to determine the speed of light, how would he have had a way to accurately determine the number of rotations per second of the cog, given the experiment was conducted in ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Galileo's pendulum and any references

In some texts about the simple pendulum we use to see references about some "experiments" Galileo Galilei did realize and whereby he found some important results, including that the period of the ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

History of Turbulence suggestions

I am looking for extensive historical accounts of turbulence that ideally is strong in math and physics (at least giving references). Any suggestions? The only book I found is "A Voyage Through ...
37
votes
1answer
2k views

Why was the first discovered neutrino an anti-neutrino?

In the search for neutrinos, Cowan and Reines discovered the electron anti-neutrino and named it as such. Why is the particle they discovered the anti-variety? The reason we call electrons 'electrons'...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Who determined the half-life of Uranium 235 and how?

By Wiki, the half-life of Uranium 235 is as long as 703,800,000 years. This is huge. Therefore, on an human time scale, the decay is very small. This should pose difficulty for determining the half-...
4
votes
0answers
135 views

Schrödinger's interpretation of his wave function before Born

The below shows some excerpt from Feynman's lecture notes. 21–4 The meaning of the wave function When Schrödinger first discovered his equation he discovered the conservation law of Eq. (21....
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Which experiments of harmonic generation at low frequencies preceded Franken's SHG?

In The Principles of Nonlinear Optics by Shen, he says that the generation of harmonics at low frequencies were long-known before Franken did SHG in the optical range. Franken's idea was simple. ...
-2
votes
2answers
197 views

Why did Albert Einstein receive a nobel prize? [closed]

We all know that he received the prize due to his explanation of photoelectric effect. But the photoelectric effect, it’s a mere 3-4 page topic and uses a simple equation that typically anyone can ...
-1
votes
2answers
88 views

Is electromotive force really a force? [duplicate]

As far the definition goes emf of electromotive force is basically potential difference. It even has dimensions of potential. Then why is it called a force?
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Classification of experimentally-determined physics laws? [duplicate]

Has anyone classified (or attempted to classify) all the experimentally-determined laws of physics, such as with a simple diagram or even in a full-length book?
2
votes
1answer
83 views

What is really sought when we purpose Einstein's postulates in Special Relativity?

Special Relativity can be motivated by looking at Maxwell's Electrodynamics and noticing that there is some kind of inconsistency between it and Newtonian Mechanics. Indeed, as Einstein pointed out on ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

What is the inconsistency between Maxwell's electrodynamics and newtonian mechanics?

As far as I understand, when a modification of a theory is made it is because some observation required this modifcation. Quantum Mechanics is a nice example of that: observations of microscopic ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Thermal de Broglie wavelength - definition

The thermal de Broglie wavelenght is often defined by the formula $\lambda=\frac{h}{\sqrt{2\pi mkT}}$ but equally frequently is it defined as de Broglie wavelength for a free ideal gas of massive ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

How does Compton scattering demonstrate particle over wave behavior?

Why is Compton scattering thought to demonstrate light's behavior as a particle over that as a wave. I'm interested in the thoughts at the time of Compton, but also how it contradicts current theory ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

How did Max Born come up with his rule? [duplicate]

In his rule, he stated that the probability is norm-squared of wave function, $|\psi|^2$. And as far as I knew, no one else at that time had "right" interpretation of the wave function. Even ...
-4
votes
1answer
27 views

Where can i get an online version of original works of Aristotlean physics (for free)? [closed]

I am trying to search for original works of Aristotle in physics. Pls refer an online version and kindle version is very much appreciated.
32
votes
2answers
3k views

Were the Michelson-Morley results a surprise?

How unexpected were the Michelson-Morley experiment results? Did physicists have theoretical reasons to predict that the speed of light would result to be invariant?
-1
votes
1answer
60 views

Secrets of Alexander Markovich Polyakov [closed]

I just became aware that this guy is a real genius. I tried looking on Wikipedia for some details about his life and to find out about the process and history behind some of his works especially "...
5
votes
3answers
500 views

How did we realize that light travels at a finite speed?

We all know that light travels at a finite speed of nearly $3\times10^8\mathrm{m\,s^{-1}}$. But how did we come to think that light has a finite speed? Why did the scientists try to calculate the ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

How did scientists calculate the number of atoms in one mole of a substance? [duplicate]

Please explain me about the basic methods about how can we calculate that 1 mole of a substance contains 6.022140857 × 10 23 molecules? Tell how the modern scientists calculated it and how Avogadro ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

How is Planck's radiation law related to $E=h\nu$

How did Planck conclude $E=h\nu$ from his radiation law?
7
votes
1answer
361 views

What was Newton's own explanation of Newton's rings?

What was Newton's own explanation of Newton's rings? Newton advocated a corpuscular theory of light, but his rings would most conveniently be explained by a wave theory. How did he explain his own ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

How was the concept of work-energy developed? [duplicate]

I doubt that the concept of work-energy was actually discovered this way. However in the algebra based physics book I am reading, work done by a constant net force is defined as $W = fcos \theta s$ ...
-1
votes
1answer
64 views

Which was the first Coulomb's constant value? [closed]

Which was the first Coulomb's constant value? I didn't found any info in the Internet. I need the first value of K to compare it with my experiment. Could you please help me?
45
votes
3answers
9k views

Why is a second equal to the duration of exactly 9,192,631,770 periods of radiations?

Why is a second equal to the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of radiation corresponding to the transition between two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom? Why is the number ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

(Constant) Value Of Gravitational Pull $g$ Of Earth [closed]

I want to know How the value of $g$ was found and what experiments did Newton conduct to land upon the value that we use, which is 9.8 m/s^2. I tried to search for it but I couldn't find much ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What are the major flaws of the “caloric” theory of heat? [closed]

I was reading about the history of thermodynamics and came across Lavoisier's idea of heat. He proposed that heat was a fluid. I am curious to know what are the major drawbacks of this theory. I know ...
-3
votes
1answer
86 views

Which came first - definition of wave or wave equation? [closed]

In an interview, I was asked to define what a wave is. I replied that it was a sort of disturbance which propagated. Then he asked how I could identify what a wave would be like. I said that the ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Historical costs of nuclear magnetic resonance experiments

I was wondering how the cost of magnetic resonance experiments have changed over time. Not too long ago they didn't exist, now there are whole centres that do nothing else. Does this mean they're ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Do the LIGO observations constitute proof of a black hole merger, and what happened to the black holes?

Information says that the gravitational waves, recently detected by LIGO, correspond (according to Einstein theory equations) to the effect of two black holes merging (with the masses of both black ...
0
votes
2answers
172 views

Velocity selector and charge to mass ratio of an electron

I recently read that J.J. Thompson used a velocity selector to find the charge to mass ratio of an electron. Having learnt the principle behind the velocity selector, I see no relation between these ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

When were quarks discovered?

I know this sounds stupid. Especially to those of you who are actual physicists. I am a 7th grade above-level student who knows a little bit more that the basics of physics. I have recently discovered ...
8
votes
2answers
184 views

Bohr on wholeness?

I vaguely remember that it was Bohr who insisted that in a quantum experiment the whole experimental situation (but excluding the classical preparation and detection devices) must be considered as a ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views
-8
votes
1answer
81 views

How is father of physics appointed? [closed]

I've tried Google, but couldn't figured out exactly whether its Newton, Einstein or Galileo. What is the criteria for appointment of father for a particular subject?
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Earnshaw's Theorem and Plum Pudding

I'm trying to understand what Thompson's motivation for his Plum-pudding model was. He chose the nucleus to be a sphere of uniform charge because it was mathematically nice, and chose the charge to be ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

How did people think of the universe before Hubble? [closed]

Did they think the universe had always existed? And was there even any serious scientific inquiry into the question, or was it pure speculation?
7
votes
2answers
132 views

Did Newton conduct any experiments to find something called momentum, or was he such a great genius that he was able to spot it intuitively?

I wanted to go to the depth of the discovery of classical mechanics, instead of just reading, accepting and learning things. Now my question is not a single question, but it can answer many of my ...
6
votes
0answers
91 views

Historical vs modern presentation of special relativity

I have noticed that historical or brief introductions of special relativity will discuss it in terms of inertial frames and postulates: Principle of Relativity - (from Einstein's 1905 paper) "the ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

How was the “vibrating string” studied?

The vibrating string is used to derive a lot of theory regarding strings, such as the theory about harmonics. However, since the string movement and specifically the phenomenon of harmonics seems ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

What are the reasons for accepting Coulomb's law? [duplicate]

I read the Coulomb's first memoir on Electricity and Magnetism (Louis L. Bucciarelli english translated version), and found it to contain only three trials (as complained by many) to reach the ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Experimental Bases for Schrodinger Equation and Matrix Mechanics

I am curious about the motivation for developing the Schrodinger equation (SE), and its subsequent acceptance. Are the primary experimental findings that led to the development of the SE: 1) the ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

What is the origin of the naming convention for the various branches in vibration-rotational spectroscopy?

In vibration-rotational spectroscopy, the different spectral lines are grouped into branches for different changes in the total angular momentum, i.e. $$ \begin{array}{rrrrrr} & \mathrm{O} & \...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

History of Renormalization Group

I want to study from an historical point of view the renormalization group (starting from statistical mechanics). Are there any historical (but also technical) books about this? Thanks.
-1
votes
4answers
271 views

Why is “dark matter” theory accepted? Why wasn't general relativity rejected?

Dark matter was made up to account for unexplained effects such as gravitational lensing, the speed of expansion of the universe, or the rate of rotation of certain galaxies. However, as Feynman ...
1
vote
2answers
254 views

Doppler effect of matter waves

We all know that the relativistic mass of a moving object in Special relativity increases for an observer who is measuring it for a moving object. We also know the the concept of particle-wave ...