© 1989

Methodological Aspects of the Development of Low Temperature Physics 1881–1956

Concepts Out of Context(s)


Part of the Science and Philosophy book series (SCPH, volume 4)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. The how

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Kostas Gavroglu, Yorgos Goudaroulis
      Pages 3-41
  3. The What

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 43-43
    2. Kostas Gavroglu, Yorgos Goudaroulis
      Pages 45-61
    3. Kostas Gavroglu, Yorgos Goudaroulis
      Pages 62-90
    4. Kostas Gavroglu, Yorgos Goudaroulis
      Pages 91-115
  4. The therefore

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 117-117
    2. Kostas Gavroglu, Yorgos Goudaroulis
      Pages 119-136
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 137-178

About this book


This book is primarily about the methodological questions involved in attempts to understand two of the most peculiar phenomena in physics, both occurring at the lowest of temperatures. Superconductivity (the disappearance of electrical resistance) and superfluidity (the total absence of viscosity in liquid helium) are not merely peculiar in their own right. Being the only macroscopic quantum phenomena they also manifest a sudden and dramatic change even in those properties which have been amply used within the classical framework and which were thought to be fully understood after the advent of quantum theory. A few years ago we set ourselves the task of carrying out a methodological study of the "most peculiar" phenomena in physics and trying to understand the process by which an observed (rather than predicted) new phenomenon gets "translated" into a physical problem. We thought the best way of deciding which phenomena to choose was to rely on our intuitive notion about the "degrees of peculiarity" developed, no doubt, during the past ten years of active research in theoretical atomic and elementary particle physics. While the merits of the different candidates were compared, we were amazed to realize that neither the phenomena of the very small nor those of the very large could compete with the phenomena of the very cold. These were truly remarkable phenomena if for no other reason than for the difficulties encountered in merely describing them.


development elementary particle elementary particle physics equation of state experiment experimental investigations low temperature low temperature physics particle physics physics quantum theory resistance superfluidity taxonomy temperature

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsNational Technical UniversityAthensGreece
  2. 2.Physics Division, School of TechnologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Methodological Aspects of the Development of Low Temperature Physics 1881–1956
  • Book Subtitle Concepts Out of Context(s)
  • Authors K. Gavroglu
    Yorgos Goudaroulis
  • Series Title Science and Philosophy
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1989
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-247-3699-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-010-7655-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-009-2556-4
  • Series ISSN 0924-4697
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 178
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Philosophy of Science
  • Buy this book on publisher's site