Otto Blüh and Ernst Mach’s Legacy: Inheritance and Task
Otto Blüh (1902–1981) was a professor of physics who maintained a lifelong interest in Mach and contributed actively to previous commemorations. Dozent and first assistant at the German University of Prague, he was forced into exile as a result of the German occupation and held research and academic positions in Birmingham (UK), and the universities of British Columbia (Canada) and Vanderbilt (USA). Blüh not only was a pioneer in recognizing the relevance that physics teaching had in Mach’s ideas but developed many of them, highlighting critical thinking, the importance of history and philosophy in physics, bridging specialization and bringing humanism back to science. This paper provides an overview of Otto Blüh’s life and ideas, with a Bildung and Machian character, and their relevance for today.