Chapter

Historical Outline

David Hodgson

in The Mind Matters

Published in print February 1993 | ISBN: 9780198240686
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680236 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240686.003.0010

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Historical Outline

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By the end of the nineteenth century, tremendous advances had been made in the understanding of the physical world; and classical physics as developed up to that time provided powerful and coherent models for a wide range of phenomena. In order to suggest the range and power of classical physics, this chapter starts by reviewing briefly some areas of classical physics, and pointing out certain assumptions about the world and about measurement which underlie and are reflected in classical physics. It then outlines, as an extension of classical physics and as part of pre-quantum physics, aspects of the theory of relativity. The remainder of the chapter explains why the reasonable and common-sense views of classical physics had to be discarded; and gives some understanding of the historical development of quantum physics and of the refutations of common-sense views involved.

Keywords: classical physics; mechanics; relativity; atomic theory; A. Michelson; quantum physics

Chapter.  13880 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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