I know that there are a lot theses being published on lives of physicists. Is there a history/non-fiction book that tracks the development of a problem chronologically? Like pieces of a puzzle. I would like it to be mathematical and trying to get into the heads of people trying to solve that problem.

Something like a case study.

  • $\begingroup$ Can i know why the downvote? $\endgroup$ May 8 '13 at 6:07
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    $\begingroup$ Yes. This isn't a constructive question and book questions aren't accepted any more. Use search. You may be interested in physics.stackexchange.com/questions/18632 $\endgroup$ May 8 '13 at 6:08
  • $\begingroup$ ok. Is there a part of SE where book questions be acceptable? $\endgroup$ May 8 '13 at 9:44
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    $\begingroup$ @BrandonEnright I think it is enough if the question gets closed (BTW I still disagree with the corresponding relatively recent change of policies). Asking about a book is not that a terrible sin like posting spam or really bad stuff that it needs to be downvoted too ... So I countervoted the downvote. $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    May 8 '13 at 10:28

There is hardly a book covering all physics, but for particular subjects there is some. For example:
Jammer: The Conceptual Development of Quantum Mechanics.
Whittaker: A History of The Theories of Aether and Electricity.

  • $\begingroup$ Cool! Thanks. these do seem to fit the bill. I didn't ask for one encompassing all of physics, but specific problems, e.g Quasiparticles (how they appear in different contexts all over the place - and how one is different from the other), for light reading - but aware of the technical details all the same. $\endgroup$ May 8 '13 at 10:00
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    $\begingroup$ Such books become more rare for the areas developed in the mid- and second half of 20th century. Though I know another couple: 1) The Rise of the Standart Model 2) Goenner: On the History of Unified Field Theories (an article). About quasiparticles, I haven't met anything of such kind. $\endgroup$
    – firtree
    May 8 '13 at 10:28

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