Navarro, Jaume (Editor)
Ether and Modernity offers a snapshot of the status of an epistemic object, the "ether" (or "aether"), in the early twentieth century. The contributed papers show that the ether was often regarded as one of the objects of modernity, hand in hand with the electron, radioactivity or X-rays, and not simply as the stubborn residue of an old-fashioned, long-discarded science. The prestige and authority of scientists and popularisers like Oliver Lodge and Arthur Eddington in Britain, Phillip Lenard in Germany or Dayton C. Miller in the USA was instrumental in the preservation, defence or even re-emergence of the ether in the 1920s. Moreover, the consolidation of wireless communications and radio broadcasting, indeed a very modern technology, brought the ether into audiences that would otherwise never have heard about such an esoteric entity.The ether also played a pivotal role among some artists in the early twentieth century: the values of modernism found in the complexities and contradictions of modern physics, such as wireless action or wave-particle puzzles, a fertile ground for the development of new artistic languages; in literature as much as in the pictorial and performing arts. Essays on the intellectual foundations of Umberto Boccioni's art, the linguistic techniques of Lodge, and Ernst Mach's considerations on aesthetics and physics witness to the imbricate relationship between the ether and modernism. Last but not least, the ether played a fundamental part in the resurgence of modern spiritualism in the aftermath of the Great War.This book examines the complex array of meanings, strategies and milieus that enabled the ether to remain an active part in scientific and cultural debates well into the 1930s, but not beyond. This portrait may be easily regarded as the swan song of an epistemic object that was soon to fade away as shown by Paul Dirac's unsuccessful attempt to resuscitate some kind of aether in 1951, with which this book finishes....More
Review A. J. Kox (2020) Review of "Ether and Modernity: The Recalcitrance of an Epistemic Object in the Early Twentieth Century". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 898-899).
Review Joseph D. Martin (2019) Review of "Ether and Modernity: The Recalcitrance of an Epistemic Object in the Early Twentieth Century". Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science (p. 100693).
Review Theodore Arabatzis (2020) Review of "Ether and Modernity: The Recalcitrance of an Epistemic Object in the Early Twentieth Century". Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (pp. 573-575).
Review Geoffrey Cantor (2019) Review of "Ether and Modernity: The Recalcitrance of an Epistemic Object in the Early Twentieth Century". British Journal for the History of Science (pp. 173-174).
The Reception of Miller's Ether-Drift Experiments in the USA: The History of a Controversy in Relativity Revolution (/isis/citation/CBB001220864/)
Adam Tamas Tuboly;
Knowledge Missemination: L. Susan Stebbing, C.E.M. Joad, and Philipp Frank on the Philosophy of the Physicists (/isis/citation/CBB985127853/)
Mysticism and Marxism: A. S. Eddington, Chapman Cohen, and Political Engagement through Science Popularization (/isis/citation/CBB000932231/)
Civilization and the Culture of Science: Science and the Shaping of Modernity, 1795-1935 (/isis/citation/CBB316506913/)
Einstein's War: How Relativity Conquered Nationalism and Shook the World (/isis/citation/CBB538235042/)
Progress and pathology: Medicine and culture in the nineteenth century (/isis/citation/CBB449680297/)
“An Expedition to Heal the Wounds of War”: The 1919 Eclipse and Eddington as Quaker Adventurer (/isis/citation/CBB000340621/)
Hearing Sound as Music: Psychophysical Studies of Sound Sensation and the Music Culture of Germany, 1860--1910 (/isis/citation/CBB001561163/)
National Styles? Jacques Loeb's Analysis of German and American Science Around 1900 in his Correspondence with Ernst Mach (/isis/citation/CBB000651414/)
Kosmos, Koralle und Kultur-Milieu. Zur Bedeutung der populären Wissenschaftsvermittlung im späten Kaiserreich und in der Weimarer Republik (/isis/citation/CBB000930037/)
Loving Faster Than Light: Romance and Readers in Einstein's Universe (/isis/citation/CBB001250414/)
“The monster”? The British Popular Press and Nuclear Culture, 1945--early 1960s (/isis/citation/CBB001251862/)
Forman at Forty: New Perspectives on “Weimar Culture and Quantum Mechanics” (/isis/citation/CBB001500260/)
Geppert, Alexander C. T.;
Introduction Rethinking the Space Age: Astroculture and Technoscience (/isis/citation/CBB001211873/)
Dongen, Jeroen van;
Reactionaries and Einstein's Fame: “German Scientists for the Preservation of Pure Science,” Relativity, and the Bad Nauheim Meeting (/isis/citation/CBB000780203/)
Gitre, Edward J. K.;
The Great Escape: World War II, Neo-Freudianism, and the Origins of U.S. Psychocultural Analysis (/isis/citation/CBB001250191/)
Popular Science and Modernist Poetry (/isis/citation/CBB377971334/)
The Public Image(s) of Science and Technology in the Greek Daily Press, 1908--1910 (/isis/citation/CBB000932327/)
Murmann, J. P.;
Comparing evolutionary dynamics across different national settings: The case of the synthetic dye industry, 1857--1914 (/isis/citation/CBB001180944/)
Schooling the Quantum Generations: Textbooks and Quantum Cultures from the 1910s to the 1930s (/isis/citation/CBB096225815/)
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