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The Tiger and the Shark

The Tiger and the Shark
Empirical Roots of Wave-Particle Dualism

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  • Date Published: October 1991
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521358927

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  • The early twentieth century brought about the rejection by physicists of the doctrine of determinism - the belief that complete knowledge of the initial conditions of an interaction in nature allows precise and unambiguous prediction of the outcome. This book traces the origins of a central problem leading to this change in viewpoint and paradoxes raised by attempts to formulate a consistent theory of the nature of light. It outlines the different approaches adopted by members of different national cultures to the apparent inconsistencies, explains why Einstein's early (1905) attempt at a resolution was not taken seriously for fifteen years, and describes the mixture of ideas that created a route to a new, antideterministic formulation of the laws of nature. Dr Wheaton describes the experimental work on the new forms of radiation found at the turn of the century and shows how the interpretation of energy transfer from X-rays to matter gradually transformed a classical wave explanation of light to one based on particle like quanta of energy, and further, he explains how influential scientists came reluctantly to accept a wavelike interpretation of matter as well. This new and distinctively different account of one of the major theoretical shifts in modern physical thought will be of fundamental interest to physical scientists and philosophers, as well as to historians of science.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 1991
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521358927
    • length: 380 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.525kg
    • contains: 40 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Thomas S. Kuhn
    Preface
    Notes on sources
    1. Introduction
    Part I. The Introduction of Temporal Discontinuity, 1896-1905:
    2. The electromagnetic impulse hypothesis of x-rays
    3. The analogy between y-rays and x-rays
    Part II. Ionization and the Recognition of Paradox, 1906-1910:
    4. Secondary rays: British attempts to retain mechanism
    5. The appeal in Germany to the quantum theory
    Part III. Seeking an Electrodynamic Solution, 1907-1912:
    6. Localized energy in spreading impulses
    7. Problems with visible light
    Part IV. Interference of X-Rays and the Corrobation of Paradox, 1912-1922:
    8. Origins of x-ray spectroscopy
    9. Quantum transformation experiments
    Part V. The Conceptual Origins of Wave-Particle Dualism, 1921-1925:
    10. Synthesis of matter and light
    Epilogue: The tiger and the shark
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Bruce R. Wheaton, University of California, Berkeley

    Foreword

    Thomas S. Kuhn

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