Inventing Temperature: Measurement and Scientific Progress

Paperback | October 4, 2007

byHasok Chang

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What is temperature, and how can we measure it correctly? These may seem like simple questions, but the most renowned scientists struggled with them throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In Inventing Temperature, Chang examines how scientists first created thermometers; how they measuredtemperature beyond the reach of standard thermometers; and how they managed to assess the reliability and accuracy of these instruments without a circular reliance on the instruments themselves. In a discussion that brings together the history of science with the philosophy of science, Chang presents the simple eet challenging epistemic and technical questions about these instruments, and the complex web of abstract philosophical issues surrounding them. Chang's book shows that many itemsof knowledge that we take for granted now are in fact spectacular achievements, obtained only after a great deal of innovative thinking, painstaking experiments, bold conjectures, and controversy. Lurking behind these achievements are some very important philosophical questions about how and whenpeople accept the authority of science.

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From the Publisher

What is temperature, and how can we measure it correctly? These may seem like simple questions, but the most renowned scientists struggled with them throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In Inventing Temperature, Chang examines how scientists first created thermometers; how they measuredtemperature beyond the reach of standard thermo...

Hasok Chang is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Science at University College London.

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Kobo ebook|May 23 2012

$59.69 online$77.52list price(save 23%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.71 inPublished:October 4, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195337387

ISBN - 13:9780195337389

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Table of Contents

Chronology. 1. Keeping the Fixed Points Fixed2. Spirit, Air, and Quicksilver3. To Go Beyond4. Theory, Measurement, and Absolute Temperature5. Measurement, Justification, and Scientific Progress

Editorial Reviews

"...an interesting, and at times fascinating, history of the development of the concept of temperature and the construction of thermometers... even those who don't have an extensive background in physics will find the book valuable."--Allen Franklin, Physics, University of Colorado