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The dissertation project deals with the opposition to the theory of relativity in the broader public in the 1920s. It focuses on popular concepts of science and nature on which the critique of relativity is based and investigates on both an epistemological and a social level the struggle against modern physics as a process of marginalization of popular knowledge claims.
The old quantum theory was a period of transition between classical and quantum mechanics. Successive crises led to a gradual disintegration of the mechanical worldview. At first, attempts were made to capture quantum phenomena by ad hoc modifications of the description in classical mechanics, such as quantum conditions. The problems of these attempts led to an increasing awareness that a more fundamental revision of mechanical concepts was necessary.
This group of studies is concerned with the genesis of modern quantum mechanics, which was established in the mid-1920s as a foundational theory of modern physics involving substantial conceptual modifications compared to classical physics. The research program aims at analyzing how these conceptual changes emerged from a transformation of the knowledge of classical physics.
This group of studies deals with the consolidation, extension, and reception of quantum mechanics from the 1930s onwards, as well as with the debates about its interpretation. A study investigates how quantum physics developed in China during the 20th century, paying special attention to the relationship between scientists and institutions in China, and their international connections (Xiaodong Yin).
In an increasing number of laboratories since 1995, physicists are creating a new state of matter through a process called Bose-Einstein condensation. Unlike solids, liquids, gases, and plasmas, pure Bose-Einstein condensates did not exist anywhere until eleven years ago, except in the realm of possibilities conjured up by quantum statistics—or perhaps, the scientists say, in a lab like ours in some other solar system. Manipulating these new laboratory artifacts
From the late 1820s onward, chemical formulas (such as H2O for water), introduced by Jacob Berzelius in 1813 as a shorthand for representing the composition of inorganic compounds according to the theory of proportions, became enormously productive paper tools for representing experimentally explored chemical reactions in organic chemistry, for modeling the constitution of organic substances and for creating novel modes of their classification. In the 1830s French and
Beginning in the 1760s, reformers in the Prussian State administration in Berlin organized the establishment of technical departments, such as a department of mining and smelting works, a department of civil architecture and a department of forestry. These new technical departments recruited savants (Naturforscher) for leading positions.
In addition to the main research lines focusing on the long-term development and the global dissemination of knowledge, concepts and methods of a historico-developmental theory of knowledge are being designed and explored.
Toward the beginning of the twentieth century, different theories of rationality emerged as a result of the reflection on science in the making. Investigations focus on the understanding of the genesis and development of these various theories of rationality as embedded within their specific historical contexts.