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The electric theories of J. Clerk Maxwell : a historical and critical study

Author: Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem; Alan Aversa
Publisher: Cham : Springer, [2015]
Series: Boston studies in the philosophy and history of science, v. 314.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In this volume Pierre Duhem first gives an overview of 19th century electricity and magnetism. Next, he applies his keen historical, philosophical, and physical intuition to critiquing Maxwells theories, especially his electromagnetic theory of light and the ad hoc introduction of displacement current, which he considers too much a product of the esprit de g©♭om©♭trie than the esprit de finesse, as Pascal calls it.  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
History
Additional Physical Format: Printed edition:
Named Person: James Clerk Maxwell; James Clerk Maxwell
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem; Alan Aversa
ISBN: 9783319185156 3319185152 3319185144 9783319185149
OCLC Number: 910662405
Description: 1 online resource.
Contents: Chapter 1: Introduction --
PART I: THE ELECTROSTATICS OF MAXWELL --
Chapter 2: The fundamental properties of dielectrics. The doctrines of Faraday and Mossotti --
Chapter 3: The first electrostatics of Maxwell --
Chapter 4: The second electrostatics of Maxwell --
Chapter 5: The third electrostatics of Maxwell --
PART II: THE ELECTRODYNAMICS OF MAXWELL --
Chapter 6: Conduction current and displacement current --
Chapter 7: The six equations of Maxwell and electromagnetic energy --
Chapter 8: The electromagnetic theory of light --
Chapter 9: Conclusion --
References --
Index.
Series Title: Boston studies in the philosophy and history of science, v. 314.
Other Titles: Théories électriques de J. Clerk Maxwell.
Responsibility: Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem ; translated by Alan Aversa.

Abstract:

In this volume Pierre Duhem first gives an overview of 19th century electricity and magnetism. Next, he applies his keen historical, philosophical, and physical intuition to critiquing Maxwells theories, especially his electromagnetic theory of light and the ad hoc introduction of displacement current, which he considers too much a product of the esprit de g©♭om©♭trie than the esprit de finesse, as Pascal calls it. In this book, Duhem is guided by the principle that a theory that offers contradictions, even if the theory is posed by a genius, needs to be analysed and discussed until a clear distinction can be made between the propositions likely to be logically demonstrated and statements that offend logic and which must be transformed or rejected. Furthermore, Duhem felt, in criticizing such a theory one must guard against narrowness of mind and petty corrections which would make one forget the merit of the inventor; and, more importantly, one must guard against the blind superstition which, for admiration of the author, would hide the serious defects of the work. He is not so great a genius that he surpasses the laws of reason. Pierre Duhem (1861-1916), chairman of theoretical physics at Bordeaux in 1984-1916, is well-known for his works in the history and philosophy of science.

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"Work translated here is a meticulous critical review of Maxwell's derivation of the laws of electromagnetism. ... Duhem's analysis is detailed and technical. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate Read more...

 
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