From Galileo's famous experiments in accelerated motion to Einstein's revolutionary theory of relativity, the experiments recorded here trace the evolution of modern physics from its beginnings to the mid-twentieth century. Brought together for the first time in one volume are important source readings on 25 epochal discoveries that changed man's understanding of the physical world. The accounts, written by the physicists who made them, include:
Isaac Newton: The Laws of Motion
Henry Cavendish: The Law of Gravitation
Augustin Fresnel: The Diffraction of Light
Hans Christian Oersted: Elecromagnetism
Heinrich Hertz: Electromagnetic
James Chadwick: The Neutron
Niels Bohr: The Hydrogen Atom,
and 17 more.
Morris H. Shamos, Professor Emeritus of Physics at New York University, has selected and edited the first published accounts of these important experiments and has also added numerous marginal notes that amplify and clarify the original documents. Moreover, the first 19 experiments can be readily re-created by students in a first-year physics course, making the book ideal for classroom and laboratory work as well as individual reference and study.
Finally, Dr. Shamos has provided revealing biographical sketches of the scientists and illuminating references to the political and cultural milieu in which the discoveries are made. The result is a superbly readable presentation — accessible to lay readers — of the crucial theoretical and empirical breakthroughs that altered the course of modern science.