Editor-in-Chief : V.K. Rastogi
|AJP||ISSN : 0971 – 3093
Vol 23, No. 1 & 2, January – June, 2014
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 1-3
A Very Strange Tea
Philip J Wyatt
Wyatt Technology Corporation Santa Barbara, CA 93110, USA
Ref : 8
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 5-15
Memories of Julian Schwinger
*University of Pittsburgh Department of Physics and Astronomy,
Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA
The career and accomplishments of Julian Schwinger, who shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 1965, have been reviewed in numerous books and articles.† For this reason these Memories, which seek to convey a sense of Schwinger’s remarkable talents as a physicist, concentrate primarily (though not entirely) on heretofore unpublished pertinent recollections of the youthful Schwinger by this writer, who first encountered Schwinger in 1934 when they both were undergraduates at the City College of New York. © Anita Publications. All rights are reserved.
Total Ref : 35
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 17-26
Ralph A Alpher, George Antonovich Gamow, and the Prediction of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
Victor S Alpher
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 27-42
Chandrasekhara Venkatraman (C V Raman) and the Light Scattering Effect He discovered
Anant Krishna Ramdas and Aiyasami Jayaraman
Lark-Horovitz Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
In this article we present a brief life history and scientific work of C V Raman, his discovery of the Light Scattering Effect on February 28, 1928, that goes by the name Raman Effect, and his getting the Nobel Prize for physics in 1930 for it. He was the first Asian to receive this prize. Raman created many scientific Institutions and trained generations of students in his Laboratory, both in Calcutta and Bangalore. He was a charismatic scientist of India and a superb Spokesman for science. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 43-46
A Significant Discovery in Nuclear Physics
Former Professor, Indian Institute of Science and Professor and Dean, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
The thirties and forties of the last century saw a flurry of activity and major discoveries in nuclear physics. Although the centre of such research was mainly Europe, there were isolated instances of inspired individuals who made significant contributions. Shyamadas Chatterjee, better known as S.D. Chatterjee, was one such individual working on his own in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India who discovered spontneous fission of Uranium and determined the half-life almost at the same time as Flerov and Petrzhak in the USSR. This article relates the social context of this discovery together with his other contributions such as setting up one of the first cloud chambers in India and his discovery of Helium in hot springs in West Bengal. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 47-54
Physics at Fisk University
Nelson Fuson1 and Ronald E Mickens2*
1Department of Physics, Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee 37203, USA
Our goal is to provide a summary of the major physics related activities at Fisk University. Almost from its genesis in 1929, the Physics Department has provided a venue for the performance of internationally recognized research in several areas of the molecular and material sciences. What is remarkable about these achievements is that they took place at a university started for freed slaves at the end of the American Civil War (1860-1864), and for which most of its existence as an institute of higher learning, the total student population was less than a thousand individuals.© Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Fisk University, Physics Department, Infrared Spectroscopy Research Laboratory, R&D 100 Awards.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 55-80
Dennis Sciama and the Steady State Universe
J Christopher Hunt
Department of Physical Sciences and Engineering Prince George’s Community College
Dennis Sciama (1926-1999) was a long-standing advocate of the steady state cosmology, proposed in 1948. This essay explores Sciama’s reasons for adopting the theory, his original contributions to it, his defenses of it, and finally his rejection of it in 1966. Contrary to the image of a scientist as a detached investigator, Sciama fervently hoped the steady state model to be correct, and was significantly motivated by factors often considered to be “extrascientific.” Also, in contrast to the naïve falsificationism usually presented as a virtue of the scientific method, Sciama went through a several-year period of attempting to “save” the model from hostile data. Simultaneously, Sciama’s ultimate abandonment of the theory also stands as a counterexample to irrationalist criticisms of science, such as the Duhem-Quine Thesis and Planck’s Principle. Sciama’s conversion also sheds light on the iterative process that scientists use to attempt to repair faults in their theories.© Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 81-90
The Scientific Impact of Einstein’s visit to Argentina, in 1925
Alejandro Gangui1 and Eduardo L Ortiz2
1Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio, Conicet and University of Buenos Aires,
CC 67, Suc 28, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina
The arrival of Albert Einstein in Argentina in 1925 had an impact, equally relevant, on the scientific community and on the general public. In this paper we discuss that visit from three different perspectives. Firstly, we consider the conditions that allowed for such visit to be possible. Then we focus on the institutional actors that facilitated it, as well as on the expertise and written references on topics related to relativity theory circulating at the time in the local community. In the last section we consider the implications of that visit for the local scientific environment. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Total Refs : 23
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 91-100
Anybody But Hubble!
Department of Physics and Astronomy
The recent literature of history of astronomy and cosmology has included a good many suggestions for “who first recognized the expansion of the universe?” with cases having been made for Lemaître, Lundmark, de Sitter, Slipher, Shapley, Friedmann, Wirtz and perhaps others. I will touch on these but also mention others (some of whose names have not come down to us) who might reasonably be credited © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 101-106
Albert Michelson, the Michelson-Morley experiment, and the dichotomy between megaprojects and table-top science
Philip L Taylor
During the past 130 years the range of sizes and costs for scientific apparatus has expanded enormously. While some groundbreaking science is still done at modest cost, other experiments now require several billions of dollars to achieve their goals. A description of some significant milestones in the career of Albert Abraham Michelson illustrates how in this one individual’s life this divergence may have had its first exemplar, as his vision expanded beyond the exquisitely precise interferometer used in the Michelson-Morley experiment to the mile-long vacuum tube used in his later measurements of the speed of light. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 107-112
On the determination of stellar masses
Alan H Batten
A brief account is given of the history of our increasing and improving knowledge of the masses of stars. The basis of this knowledge is the study of binary systems, whose existence was first recognized early in the nineteenth century. The earliest determinations of mass were few in number and poor in quality, but we now know the masses of a wide range of stars on the main sequence to within a few per cent. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 113-114
A Note on the Philosophical Treatment of Optical Instruments: The Telescope versus the Microscope
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 115-138
From the dawn of nuclear physics to the first atomic bombs
Stephen J Woolbright, Jacob P Schumacher, and Ekaterina I Michonova-Alexova
This review gives a fresh look at the major discoveries leading to nuclear fission withinthe historical perspective. The focus is on the main contributors to the discoveries in nuclear physics, leading to the idea of fission and its application to the creation of the atomic bombs used at the end of the World War II. The present work is a more complete review on the history of the nuclear physics discoveries and their application to the atomic bomb. In addition to the traditional approach to the topic, focusing mainly on the fundamental physics discoveries in Europe and on the Manhattan Project in the United States, the nuclear research in Japan is also emphasized. Along with that, a review of the existing credible scholar publications, providing evidence for possible atomic bomb research in Japan, is provided. Proper credit is given to the women physicists, whose contributions had not always been recognized. Considering the historical and political situation at the time of the scientific discoveries, thought-provoking questions about decision-making, morality, and responsibility are also addressed. We hope that this work, referring to the contributions of over 20 Nobel Prize winners, will be inspirational and will stimulate interest in the history of physics not only in physicists but in other readers of all backgrounds, genders, and generations. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 139-144
A mixture of ancient and modern understanding concerning the distance and motion of the moon
Ptolemy’s model of the Moon’s motion implied that its distance varies by nearly a factor of two, implying that its angular size should also vary by nearly a factor of two. We present an analysis of 100 naked eye observations of the Moon’s angular size obtained over 1145 days, showing regular variations of at least 3 arc minutes. Thus, ancient astronomers could have shown that a key implication of Ptolemy’s model was wrong. In modern times we attribute the variation of distance of the Moon to the combined effect of the eccentricity of the Moon’s orbit and the pertur-bing effect of the Sun on the Earth-Moon system. We show graphically how this affects the ecliptic longitudes and radial distance of the Moon. The longitude and distance “anomalies” are correlated with the Moon’s phase. This is illustrated without any complex equations or geometry. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 145-170
Early Astronomical Tests of General Relativity: the gravitational deflection of light
Keith John Treschman
One of three astronomical tests of the general relativity theory of Einstein was the gravitational deflection of light. The British total solar eclipse of 1919 is lauded in history as having decided the case in favour of Einstein. This conclusion is questioned in the light of the philosophy of Science and the method employed to analyse the results. The case is put that more emphasis ought be placed on the outcome of the 1922 total solar eclipse in Australia where eight parties attempted measurements of light deflection in the vicinity of the Sun. Importance is attached to Campbell of the Lick Observatory, camped at Western Australia. His results were not completed until 1928. Other leaders, their affiliation and place of observation were Spencer Jones of the Royal Greenwich Observatory on Christmas Island, Freundlich for a German-Dutch expedition to Christmas Island, Evershed of the Kodaikanal Observatory in India also set up inWestern Australia, Chant of the University of Toronto measuring at Western Australia, Dodwell of the Adelaide Observatory in a remote part of South Australia and Cooke from the Sydney Observatory and Baldwin of the Melbourne Observatory both in Queensland. ©Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Total Refs : 106
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 171-188
Early Astronomical Tests of General Relativity: The anomalous advance in the perihelion of Mercury and gravitational redshift
Keith John Treschman
There were three astronomical tests of general relativity. Besides the gravitational bending of light, there werethe anomalous advance of the perihelion of Mercury and gravitational redshift. The early history of these latter two tests is addressed here. For Mercury, data for its position were obtained principally from transit phenomena. Le Verrier was the first to account for the known perturbation effects on the elliptical orbit of Mercury and calculated an unexplained discrepancy. This was supported by Newcomb who revised the figure. With the use of his general theory of relativity, Einstein appeared to calculate this disagreement from Newtonian principles. Yet, other avenues needed to be explored before an acceptance of general relativity as a reasonable paradigm. This is part of a more general query of when should scientists endorse a theory.
For the test of the redshift of radiation in the presence of a gravitational field, support for this phenomenon followed a winding route. Many factors, which could contribute to the redshift of spectral lines needed to be nominated, and their individual contribution, if any, had to be teased from the rest. Very small measurements had to be effected. This situation received some respite when measurements moved from the Sun to large mass objects such as white dwarfs which theory suggested should have a much larger redshift. 1928 was taken as the year in which the results could be interpreted as support for general relativity. However, developments opened up subsequently and further confirmation has continued to the present day. The story is threaded with a theme that new ideas in science follow anything but a straightforward course and that real history is much more interesting. ©Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Total Refs: 78
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 189-208
This paper reviews studies relating to asteroids conducted by Japanese researchers after the discovery of asteroid families by Kiyotsugu Hirayama in 1918. But the concept and importance of asteroid families were not immediately recognized by the international astronomical community. Thereafter, eminent researches on asteroid dynamics based on secular perturbation theories appeared in Japan after World War II, as represented by the Kozai mechanism (1962), influenced by Hirayama’s monumental discovery. A pioneering work on the physical properties of asteroids was published in 1959, but has not been pursued further. This study compared the colors of 42 asteroids with the reflectance spectra of several meteorites measured in the laboratory. Modern impact experiments initiated by Fujiwara in 1975 have soon grown into an important technique to investigate the origin of asteroid families and craters seen on the surfaces of airless celestial bodies. Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, founded in Japan in 1981, has played a vital role in space exploration studies and planetary sciences using spacecraft. The unique achievements of Hayabusa, an asteroid sample return mission, remain as a highlight of asteroid studies. The physical properties of asteroids have been further elucidated by analyses of numerous Antarctic meteorites, chiefly discovered by Japanese Antarctic exploration teams from 1969 to 1980s. Finally, as a recent topic from telescopic observations of asteroids, we report results on the statistical nature of very small asteroids (< 1 km diameter) in the main asteroid belt-that had not been previously explored-. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 209-220
Religiously motivated responses to the discovery of the asteroids : 1803-1853
Clifford J Cunningham
During the fifty-year span considered in this review, the first four asteroids – like a character actor who has been in many stage performances – played numerous roles. Variously applauded and booed by their theological audience, they achieved centre stage in the great drama of an exploding planet that supposedly existed between Mars and Jupiter. Singularly unable to offer an explanation as to how a planet could explode based on the principles of physics, they resorted to the same ploy used by ancient Greek dramatists to explain the unexplainable – the deux ex machina, or, in this case, the Christian God. This paper, which focuses on English-language literature, is the first to explore this aspect of early nineteenth century asteroid studies. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 221-232
Interferometry from Space: A Great Dream
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 233-240
Astrosociology: Interwiews about an infinite universe
If the universe is infinite now it has always been infinite. This is the opinion of many astronomers today as can be concluded from the following series of interviews, but the opinions differ much more than I had expected. Many astronomers do not have a clear opinion on this matter. Others have a clear opinion, but very different from the majority. Detailed arguments by two experts on general relativity are also included. Observations show that the universe is flat, i.e. the curvature is zero within the small uncertainty of measurements. This implies an infinite universe, though most probably we will never know that for certain. For comparison with the recent interviews, opinions during the past 2300 years since Aristotle about the universe being finite or infinite have been collected from literature, and it appears that the scientists often had quite definite opinions. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 241-256
The quantum revolution and quantum chemistry
Sam Schweber1 and Gal Ben Porat2
1Department of Physics, Brandeis University and Department of the History of Science,Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, United States and
The recent advances in the use of density functional theory (DFT) in quantum chemistry and in material sciences are considered from the perspective of the quantum theoretical description of the microscopic world. A view point is presented on how to think about the quantum revolution and how to fit the DFT developments into it. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 257-264
On some debates about naming planets
Ennio Badolati & Sandra Ciccone
Università del Molise, Via de Sanctis 1, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
Università del Molise, Via de Sanctis 1, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 265-286
The divergence between the historical and the logical developments of physics–Forgotten old insights can serve modern physics
Many textbooks and monographs sketch historical facets of the topics under discussion as a stimulating element. It serves for illustrative purposes and is presented in the spirit of the (questionable!) unity of the logical and historical developments of physics. This contribution points to (constructs of) ideas that have been discarded or forgotten, although their use would have disburdened the development of new areas, would have avoided long periods of confusion, or are even helpful for the understanding of modern physics. The examples reach from Huygens till Feynman and can be exploited for courses on classical, statistical and quantum mechanics, on electromagnetism and on transport and propagation. At once, the unity of physics is referred to not only at the methodological, but also at the practical level. Concrete steps are presented towards a unified representation of, (i), classical and special-relativistic mechanics, (ii), classical mechanics and electromagnetism, (iii), classical and quantum mechanics, (iv), classical and quantum statistical mechanics, (v), evolution processes. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2 (2014) 287-292
Natural Selection and the Development of Science
Professor of Physics Natural Science and Mathematics
What led to the intellectual transition from mythology to science in ancient Greece? The factors that are generally accepted as having created favorable conditions for such transition were geographic, economic, religious, and political. In this paper I add a new factor, the effect of making a habit of scientific thinking. This factor is really a consequence of the fact thatnatural selection in biologymay be imposed by a habit. Hence it can be argued that practicing science habitually imposed an epistemological kind of natural selection by promoting intellectually favorable environments where learning science could continue to happen and new scientists could exist, thrive, and become abundant, contributing therefore to the constant development of the scientific outlook at the expense of the mythological one. ©Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Total Refs : 12