Thirteen articles by leading historians of science provide a sampling of contemporary historical studies of major discoveries and theories in physics from Galileo to Einstein. This reprint book includes an annotated bibliography of more than 200 publications (with indications of those articles suitable for student reading)
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Stephen G. Brush was one of forty finalists in the 1951 Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He received his A. B. in Physics summa cum laude at Harvard College (1955) and his D.Phil. in theoretical physics at Oxford University (1958). He held a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford (1955 to 1958) and an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at Imperial College, London (1958 to 1959).
He was employed as a physicist at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (Livermore, California) from 1959 to 1965, doing theoretical research on the properties of matter at high temperatures and high pressures, and on the history of kinetic theory and statistical mechanics. Among his contributions to theoretical physics was the first computer calculation (Monte Carlo simulation) showing that an idealized classical plasma could condense to an ordered solid state. This result has been used in recent studies of stellar and planetary structure.
In 1965 Dr. Brush went to Harvard to participate in the development of the Project Physics course for high schools. This course was designed to attract students who would not become physics majors but, as citizens, would need to know something about science and might be more interested in a historical approach. He also held a part-time position at Harvard University as a lecturer on physics and history of science from 1966 to 1968.
In 1968 Dr. Brush came to the University of Maryland, College Park, as the first full-time historian of science there. He served as a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher in 1980-81, and in 1995 was named Distinguished University Professor, with a joint appointment in the Department of History and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology . He helped to organize (in 1975) the Committee on the History and Philosophy of Science, which administered a graduate degree program in cooperation with the Departments of History and Philosophy, and served as Chairperson of the Committee for several years. He taught introductory and advanced courses and directed graduate work in the history of science, especially physical sciences and mathematics since 1500. Stephen Brush is author, co-author, editor, or translator of multiple books on physical science and its history. Dr. Brush retired in 2006 and was appointed Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at the University of Maryland.
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