The Tiger And The Shark: Empirical Roots of Wave-Particle Dualism by Bruce R. WheatonThe Tiger And The Shark: Empirical Roots of Wave-Particle Dualism by Bruce R. Wheaton

The Tiger And The Shark: Empirical Roots of Wave-Particle Dualism

byBruce R. WheatonForeword byThomas S. Kuhn

Paperback | July 26, 1991

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 248 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


The early twentieth century brought about the rejection by physicists of the doctrine of determinism - the belief that complete knowledge of the initial conditions of an interaction in nature allows precise and unambiguous prediction of the outcome. This book traces the origins of a central problem leading to this change in viewpoint and paradoxes raised by attempts to formulate a consistent theory of the nature of light. It outlines the different approaches adopted by members of different national cultures to the apparent inconsistencies, explains why Einstein's early (1905) attempt at a resolution was not taken seriously for fifteen years, and describes the mixture of ideas that created a route to a new, antideterministic formulation of the laws of nature. Dr Wheaton describes the experimental work on the new forms of radiation found at the turn of the century and shows how the interpretation of energy transfer from X-rays to matter gradually transformed a classical wave explanation of light to one based on particle like quanta of energy, and further, he explains how influential scientists came reluctantly to accept a wavelike interpretation of matter as well. This new and distinctively different account of one of the major theoretical shifts in modern physical thought will be of fundamental interest to physical scientists and philosophers, as well as to historians of science.
Thomas S. Kuhn's work is best described as a normative historiography of science. He was educated at Harvard University, where in 1949 he completed a doctorate in physics. As a student, he was impressed by the differences between scientific method, as conventionally taught, and the way science actually works. Before moving to the Massa...
Title:The Tiger And The Shark: Empirical Roots of Wave-Particle DualismFormat:PaperbackDimensions:380 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.83 inPublished:July 26, 1991Publisher:Cambridge University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521358922

ISBN - 13:9780521358927


Table of Contents

Foreword Thomas S. Kuhn; Preface; Notes on sources; 1. Introduction; Part I. The Introduction of Temporal Discontinuity, 1896-1905: 2. The electromagnetic impulse hypothesis of x-rays; 3. The analogy between y-rays and x-rays; Part II. Ionization and the Recognition of Paradox, 1906-1910: 4. Secondary rays: British attempts to retain mechanism; 5. The appeal in Germany to the quantum theory; Part III. Seeking an Electrodynamic Solution, 1907-1912: 6. Localized energy in spreading impulses; 7. Problems with visible light; Part IV. Interference of X-Rays and the Corrobation of Paradox, 1912-1922: 8. Origins of x-ray spectroscopy; 9. Quantum transformation experiments; Part V. The Conceptual Origins of Wave-Particle Dualism, 1921-1925: 10. Synthesis of matter and light; Epilogue: The tiger and the shark; Bibliography; Index.

From Our Editors

This study grew out of concerns first raised while I was a student of physics. This inadequacy of most textbook discussions of historical and epistemological issues led me back to original papers and then to the literature on history of science.

Editorial Reviews

..."attention to this early work is clearly of contemporary, and not just historical or pedagogic, interest. The author is to be warmly commended for performing this task in such a clear and useful fashion." Physics Today