Groups

Working Groups

Physical Sciences

The Working Group on the History of the Physical Sciences meets monthly to discuss a colleague’s work in progress or to discuss readings that are of particular interest to participants.  Meetings are usually held at the Consortium offices in Philadelphia from 6:30 to 8:00 on first Wednesdays.  Scholars located anywhere can also participate online.

If you would like to join this working group please contact or .


Upcoming Meetings

May 6, 2015

Vivien Hamilton of Harvey Mudd College will introduce her draft, “Physics in the New York Times: 1880-1920”.



Past Meetings


April 1, 2015

Andrew Zangwill of Georgia Tech introduced his paper, “Density Functional Theory at 50: A Look Back.”

March 4, 2015

Peter Ramberg of Truman State University introduced his paper, “Popularizing Astronomy in the German Free Religious Movement, 1850-1852.” Abstract: Although historians have outlined the popular treatments of astronomy in the nineteenth century Britain by Mary Somerville, Richard Proctor and Agnes Clerke, the popular presentation of astronomy in nineteenth century Germany remains relatively unexplored. This essay examines articles on astronomy that appeared in Kirchliche Reform, a prominent journal of the German free religious movement of the 1840s and 1850s. This series of eight articles were written by the Halle schoolteacher H. Weißgerber between 1850 and 1852 and took their readers on a tour of the structure and origin of the solar system and the Milky Way. In all of his articles, Weißgerber took every opportunity to show how the results of modern astronomy made traditional religion obsolete.

February 4, 2015

Cameron Lazaroff-Puck, University of Minnesota introduced his paper “Gearing up for Lagrangian Dynamics: The Flywheel Analogy in Maxwell’s 1865 Paper on Electrodynamics.”

December 3, 2014

Carsten Reinhardt of CHF introduced his draft paper, “The Dynamics of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.”

Oct 29, 2014

Nasser Zakariya of CHF introduced a draft book chapter, “Tales of Hawks and Hounds: Scientific Narratives of the SSC and NASA Origins”

Oct 1, 2014

Jessica Wang of UBC introduced her article “Physics, Emotion, and the Scientific Self: Merle Tuve’s Cold War”, HSNS v.42 n.5.

May 7, 2014

Joe Martin of Colby College introduced his paper, “The Simple and Courageous Course: Industrial Patronage of Basic Research at the University of Chicago, 1945–1961.”

April 2, 2014

Bill Rankin of Yale introduced his draft chapter on the politics of military coordinate systems and alternatives to latitude and longitude, “Aiming Guns, Recording Land, and Stitching Map to Territory: The Invention of Cartographic Grid Systems, 1914­-1939.”

March 5, 2014

Teasel Muir-Harmony of MIT and PACHS introduced her paper “Selling Space Capsules, Moon Rocks, and America: The Use of Spaceflight in Public Diplomacy, 1961-1979.”

February 5, 2014

Alex Csiszar of Harvard University and Chemical Heritage Foundation introduced his “Owning It: authorship and discovery, 1835-1850.”

December 4, 2013

Alex Wellerstein of the American Institute of Physics introduced his “‘Old H-bomb arguments never die!’ Secrecy, invention, and the Teller-Ulam priority dispute.”

November 6, 2013

Evan Hepler-Smith of Princeton University introduced his draft “Systematic nomenclature at the 1892 Geneva Congress and the structuring of the molecular world.”

October 2, 2013

Matt Stanley of NYU introduced his “By design: James Clerk Maxwell and the evangelical unification of science”, The British Journal for the History of Science, 45 (2012) pp 57-73

May 11, 2013

Joint Atlantic Seminar for the History of the Physical Sciences

April 2, 2013

Jeffery Womack introduced his draft Ethics of Uncertainty: Medicine, the Roentgen Ray, and the Erythema Dose
March 5, 2013

Ann Robinson introduced a dissertation chapter, Not Like Minerva From the Head of Jupiter: The Foundation and Discovery of the Periodic Law, 1860-1869

February 5, 2013

Richard Staley introduced his Trajectories in the history and historiography of physics in the twentieth century

December 4, 2012

Joe Martin introduced his draft dissertation chapter A Good Name and Great Riches: Materials Science, Condensed Matter Physics, and the Seeds of Solid State’s Fracture

November 6, 2012

Ari Gross introduced his Pictures and Pedagogy: The Role of Diagrams in Feynman’s Early Lectures, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. 43 (3). pp. 184-94. 2012.

October 2, 2012

Ann Robinson introduced Elements of the Table: Visual Discourse and the Preperiodic Representation of Chemical Classification by Benjamin R. Cohen, Configurations 12 (2004): 41-75

Login

Working group members log in for contact form and downloads.