fredag den 11. februar 2011

Fejlslagne revolutioner i fysikken


Higher Speculations
Grand Theories and Failed Revolutions in Physics and Cosmology
by Helge Kragh
416 pages | 17 b/w line and halftone illustrations | 240x168mm
978-0-19-959988-2 | Hardback | 06 January 2011
Oxford University Press 2011
  • First comprehensive and critical study of the history of ultimate theories in physics and cosmology
  • Uses history of science as a resource for insight into current problems of fundamental physics
  • Combines scholarship with accessible presentation
  • Presents much new material and documentation
Throughout history, people have tried to construct 'theories of everything': highly ambitious attempts to understand nature in its totality. This account presents these theories in their historical contexts, from little known hypotheses from the past to modern developments such as the theory of superstrings, the anthropic principle and ideas of many universes, and uses them to problematize the limits of scientific knowledge. Do claims to theories of everything belong to science at all? Which are the epistemic standards on which an alleged scientific theory of the universe - or the multiverse - is to be judged? Such questions are currently being discussed by physicists and cosmologists, but rarely within a historical perspective. This book argues that these questions have a history and that knowledge of the historical development of 'higher speculations' may inform and qualify the current debate of the nature and limits of scientific explanation.

Readership: Historians and philosophers of science; general public interested in physics, astronomy and cosmology.