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On the history of the quantum: Introduction to the HQ2 special issue

By J.A.E.F. van Dongen, D.G.B.J. Dieks, J.B.M. Uffink and A.J. Kox


The historiography of quantum theory exhibits a period of intense activity that started in the 1960s, with the Archives for the History of Quantum Physics project, and continued with the work of scholars like Max Jammer, Martin J. Klein, John Heilbron, Paul Forman and Thomas Kuhn. At the end of the 1970s, however, interest of historians seems to have shifted away, even if there have been notable exceptions, such as the multi-volume work by Jagdish Mehra and Helmut Rechenberg, and monographs like those of Olivier Darrigol and Mara Beller. Perhaps this development has had to do with a diminishing number of scholars possessing the necessary technical skills in physics together with historical sensitivity. Moreover, many historians of physics in this period have focused their interest on another subject, namely the development of the theory of relativity. Stimulated by the start of the Einstein Papers Project, and initiated by pioneers such as John Stachel and John Norton around 1980, very soon a dedicated group of scholars devoted time and energy to analyzing the genesis and development of general relativity, and other aspects of Einstein’s science

Year: 2009
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