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Archimedes

One Hundred Years of Pressure

Hydrostatics from Stevin to Newton

Authors: chalmers, alan francis

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  • Details the history of hydrostatics for the first time
  • Highlights the kind of conceptual change typical of advances in science
  • Stresses the fact that the notion of pressure was not obvious at the beginning of the seventeenth century and needed to be constructed
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eBook 85,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-56529-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 103,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
Softcover 103,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
About this book

This monograph investigates the development of hydrostatics as a science. In the process, it sheds new light on the nature of science and its origins in the Scientific Revolution. Readers will come to see that the history of hydrostatics reveals subtle ways in which the science of the seventeenth century differed from previous periods.

The key, the author argues, is the new insights into the concept of pressure that emerged during the Scientific Revolution. This came about due to contributions from such figures as Simon Stevin, Pascal, Boyle and Newton. The author compares their work with Galileo and Descartes, neither of whom grasped the need for a new conception of pressure. As a result, their contributions to hydrostatics were unproductive.

The story ends with Newton insofar as his version of hydrostatics set the subject on its modern course. He articulated a technical notion of pressure that was up to the task. Newton compared the mathematical way in hydrostatics and the experimental way, and sided with the former. The subtleties that lie behind Newton's position throws light on the way in which developments in seventeenth-century science simultaneously involved mathematization and experimentation.
This book serves as an example of the degree of conceptual change that new sciences often require. It will be of interest to those involved in the study of history and philosophy of science. It will also appeal to physicists as well as interested general readers.

About the authors

Alan F. Chalmers is the author of What is this thing called science? (1976, 1982, 1999, 2013) which has been translated into eighteen languages and has been a basic text in philosophy of science for four decades. He is  also the Author of Science and its Fabrication (1990) , The Scientist’s atom and the philosopher’s stone (2009) and over fifty journal articles on the history and philosophy of the physical sciences. His  interests are in the history and philosophy of the physical sciences.

Having acquired a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of London in 1971 he moved to the University of Sydney where he remained employed until my ‘retirement’ in 2000. In the late 1980s Alan set up the Unit for History and Philosophy of Science that has flourished and is flourishing.

His retirement has given him more time to devote to his research. He has been able to take advantage of Visiting Fellowships at the Dibner Institute for History of Science and Technology, The Centre for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh and the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Durham. On three separate occasions he has been a Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and is two weeks into the third of these as this is written.  


Reviews

“One hundred years of pressure offers a rich and searching analysis of the conceptual development of what has become known as the science of hydrostatics. … Chalmers’s account is impeccable; the logic of his argument is consistent and convincing. Confining the account to a ‘conceptual self-realization of hydrostatics’ allows for a clear and precise analysis.” (Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis, Metascience, Vol. 28, 2019)
“Chalmers (retired, Univ. of Sydney, Australia) delves into the understanding of pressure that has evolved over the centuries … . The main focus is how the knowledge of pressure within a stationary liquid … developed in the context of historical changes. Chalmers explores the mechanistic philosophy that led to the understanding of the concept, with major shifts after the 17th century. … Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; faculty and professionals.” (N. Sadanand, Choice, Vol. 55 (4), December, 2017)
“This book should be available in the library of institutions that have researchers in either of these fields. Likewise, physicists from the field of hydrostatics will probably enjoy reading Chalmers’ book and benefit from his analysis.” (Peter Heering, Science and Education, Vol. 27, 2018)


Table of contents (12 chapters)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 85,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-56529-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 103,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
Softcover 103,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
One Hundred Years of Pressure
Book Subtitle
Hydrostatics from Stevin to Newton
Authors
Series Title
Archimedes
Series Volume
51
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-56529-3
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-56529-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-56528-6
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-85938-5
Series ISSN
1385-0180
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 197
Number of Illustrations
14 b/w illustrations
Topics

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