The Electric Theories of J. Clerk Maxwell: A Historical and Critical Study by Pierre Maurice Marie DuhemThe Electric Theories of J. Clerk Maxwell: A Historical and Critical Study by Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem

The Electric Theories of J. Clerk Maxwell: A Historical and Critical Study

byPierre Maurice Marie DuhemEditorAlan Aversa

Hardcover | June 11, 2015

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In this volume Pierre Duhem first gives an overview of 19thcentury electricity and magnetism. Next, he applies his keen historical, philosophical, and physical intuition to critiquing Maxwell's theories, especially his electromagnetic theory of light and thead hocintroduction of displacement current, which he considers too much a product of the "esprit de géométrie" than the "esprit de finesse," as Pascal calls it.

In this book, Duhem is guided by the principle that a theory that offers contradictions, even if the theory is posed by a genius, needs to be analysed and discussed until a clear distinction can be made between the propositions likely to be logically demonstrated and statements that offend logic and which must be transformed or rejected.

Furthermore, Duhem felt, in criticizing such a theory one must guard against narrowness of mind and petty corrections which would make one forget the merit of the inventor; and, more importantly, one must guard against the blind superstition which, for admiration of the author, would hide the serious defects of the work. He is not so great a genius that he surpasses the laws of reason.

Pierre Duhem (1861-1916), chairman of theoretical physics at Bordeaux in 1984-1916, is well-known for his works in the history and philosophy of science.

Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem (b. 1861)-an accomplished physicist, philosopher of physics, and historian of physics-ranked first in his class at the École Normale Supérieure, France's most prestigious university, and first on the national physics concours exam for agrégation in 1885. In his third year at the École Normale, he was the firs...
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Title:The Electric Theories of J. Clerk Maxwell: A Historical and Critical StudyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:185 pagesPublished:June 11, 2015Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3319185144

ISBN - 13:9783319185149

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction.- PART I: THE ELECTROSTATICS OF MAXWELL.- Chapter 2: The fundamental properties of dielectrics. The doctrines of Faraday and Mossotti.- Chapter 3: The first electrostatics of Maxwell.- Chapter 4: The second electrostatics of Maxwell.- Chapter 5: The third electrostatics of Maxwell.- PART II: THE ELECTRODYNAMICS OF MAXWELL.- Chapter 6: Conduction current and displacement current.- Chapter 7: The six equations of Maxwell and electromagnetic energy.- Chapter 8: The electromagnetic theory of light.- Chapter 9: Conclusion.- References.- Index.

Editorial Reviews

"Work translated here is a meticulous critical review of Maxwell's derivation of the laws of electromagnetism. . Duhem's analysis is detailed and technical. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers/faculty, and professionals/practitioners." (D. Bantz, Choice, Vol. 53 (8), April, 2016)