Physics Prior to the First Council

  • Pierre Marage
  • Grégoire Wallenborn
Part of the Science Networks · Historical Studies book series (SNHS, volume 22)


As the end of the 19th century approached, thanks to the conservation of energy and the electromagnetic theory of light, physics appeared to have conquered all possible territories. One of its finest representatives, William Thomson (1824 –1907), who was made Lord Kelvin in 1866 following the laying of the first transatlantic cable, felt he was in a position to state in a lecture in 1900: “In all the main areascurrent physics makes up a perfectly harmonious whole. It is a subject that is almost complete.” He did add, however: “The beauty and clarity of dynamic theory, which states that heat and light are forms of motion,are currently obscured by two clouds.” 1 The “two clouds” to which he referred were problems concerning the theory of ether, and the study of light radiation emitted by heated bodies.


Nobel Prize Modern Physic Classical Physic Newtonian Mechanic Marie Curie 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Lord KELVIN, Baltimore Lecture, 1904, pp. 486–527.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Quoted in R. DUGAS La théorie physique au sens de BoltzmannEditions du Griffon, Neuchâtel, 1959, p. 111. Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    DALTON, quoted in Les atomes. Une anthologie historiqueed. by B. Bensaude-Vincent C.Kounelis,Presses Pocket,Paris, 1991, p. 83. Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    DUMAS, quoted in Les atomes. Une anthologie historiqueop. cit., p. 142. Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    BERTHELOT, quoted in Les atomes. Une anthologie historiqueop. cit., p. 177–178. Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    OSTWALD, quoted in Les atomes. Une anthologie historiqueop. cit., p. 216. Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. PERRIN Les atomescoll. ChampsFlammarion, Paris 1991, p. 33. Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Id., p. 284–285.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    F. LOT Jean Perrin et les atomesSeghers, Paris, 1963, p. 68–69. Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Id., p. 84.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    H. BECQUEREL Comptes Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences2 mars 1896. Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    P. CURIE, Nobel Conference, quoted in Les atomes. Une anthologie historiqueop. cit., p. 282–283. Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    H. POINCARÉ La valeur de la Sciencecoll.ChampsFlammarion, Paris 1990, p. 129.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ibid., p. 127.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    A EINSTEIN, H. A. Lorentz, His Creative Genius and His Personality, in H. A. Lorentz. Impressions of his life and work, G. L. De Haas-Lorentz (ed.), North Holland, Amsterdam, 1957, p. 5.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ibid., p. 6–7.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ibid., p. 7Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ibid., p. 8Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    H. POINCARÉ La valeur de la Sciencecoll. ChampsFlammarion, Paris 1990, p. 133–134. Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    P. FRANK Einsteinsa vie et son tempsAlbin Michel, Paris, 1950, p. 270. Google Scholar
  21. 21.
  22. 22.
    EINSTEIN (SIIPC).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Marage
  • Grégoire Wallenborn

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations