ABOUT THIS BOOK
Christina Jungnickel and Russell McCormmach have created in these two volumes a panoramic history of German theoretical physics. Bridging social, institutional, and intellectual history, they chronicle the work of the researchers who, from the first years of the nineteenth century, strove for an intellectual mastery of nature.
Volume 1 opens with an account of physics in Germany at the beginning of the nineteenth century and of German physicists' reception of foreign mathematical and experimental work. Jungnickel and McCormmach follow G. S. Ohm, Wilhelm Weber, Franz Neumann, and others as these scientists work out the new possibilities for physics, introduce student laboratories and instruction in mathematical physics, organize societies and journals, and establish and advance major theories of classical physics. Before the end of the nineteenth century, German physics and its offspring, theoretical physics, had acquired nearly their present organizational forms. The foundations of the classical picture of the physical world had been securely laid, preparing the way for the developments that are the subject of volume 2.