Research report 2004 - Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

Handwerksgelehrte or What kind of science is experimental physics?

Sibum, H. Otto

Experimentelle Wissenschaftsgeschichte (MPG) (PD Dr. H. Otto Sibum)
MPI für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin

In theory as well as in practice the relationship between experience, experiment and theory has changed over time. The studies concentrate on the period between the 18th and the early decades of the 20th century. Around 1800 we observe the complex interplay of practical knowledge traditions (mechanical arts, crafts) and their impact on the formation of the physical sciences. Around 1900 new experimental techniques werde developed within experimental physics, evoking a fundamental discussion about the potentials and limits of sensory experience in the sciences.

For the full text, see the German version.

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