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Ernst Mach in Prague and the Dawn of Gas Dynamics

  • Rudolf DvořákEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook book series (VCIY, volume 22)

Abstract

Ernst Mach came to Prague in 1867 to become Professor of Experimental Physics and Director of the Institute of Physics of the Carlo-Ferdinand University. He spent in Prague 28 years before leaving for Vienna in 1895 to become Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Vienna. Besides teaching duties during the first years in Prague, he resumed his former research in physiology of sensations and experimentally proved the Doppler effect. With his students he carried out a systematic investigation into propagation and interaction of acoustic waves. As an empirio-critical philosopher Mach subjected to critique Newton´s mechanics in a book on mechanics which strongly influenced Einstein. However, most important was his contribution to the science of gas dynamics: he was the first to visualize successfully the high-speed flow phenomena and to unveil the secrets of shock waves – the most typical and important phenomenon of high speed aerodynamics.

References

  1. Dvořák R.: Ernst Mach – Physicist and Philosopher (In Czech), Prometheus, Prague, 2005,Google Scholar
  2. Dvořák R.: Contribution of Ernst Mach to Gas Dynamics, EUROMECH Newsletter 21, June 2002.Google Scholar
  3. Reichenbach H.: Contributions of Ernst Mach to Fluid Mechanics, In: Ann.Rev.Fluid Mechanics, Vol.15, 1983, pp.1–28,CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Úlehla I.: One hundred and fifty years since the birth of Ernst Mach, In: Ernst Mach and the Development of Physics, Intern.Conf., Prague 1988, pp. 25-65Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Thermomechanics, Czech Academy of SciencesPragueCzech Republic

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