Article ID: CBB757234929

The Shaping of Interwar Physics by Technology: The Case of Piezoelectricity (2018)


Concentrating on the important developments of quantum physics, historians have overlooked other significant forces that shaped interwar physics, like that of technology. Based on the case of piezoelectricity, I argue that interests of users of technics (i.e. devices of methods) channeled research in physics into particular fields and questions relevant for industrial companies and governmental agencies. To recognize the effects of such social forces on physics, one needs to study the content of the scientific activity (both experimental and theoretical) of the researchers within its social and disciplinary contexts. By examining paths of individual scientists along with a study of the research in the field as a whole this paper exposes a range of reasons that led researchers to studies pertinent to technics. In particular, it shows that commercial, social, and military powers shaped interwar research through institutions aimed at fostering technology, some of them newly founded, and by a general view that academic research should help technology, a position that became more common at the time.

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Article Shaul Katzir (2018) Introduction: Physics, Technology, and Technics during the Interwar Period. Science in Context (pp. 251-261). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Katzir, Shaul
Lattis, Anthony
Martin, Joseph D.
Stone, Herbert
Sime, Ruth
Pesic, Peter
Physics in Perspective
Technology and Culture
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Spontaneous Generations
Social Epistemology
Science in Context
University of Chicago Press
Princeton University Press
Cambridge University Press
Harvard University
Science and technology, relationships
Science and society
Scientific apparatus and instruments
Einstein, Albert
Cady, Walter G.
Wells, Herbert George
Kármán, Theodor von
Spengler, Oswald
Rutherford, Ernest, 1st Baron
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century, late
19th century
20th century
21st century
United States
Great Britain
Latin America
University of Wisconsin at Madison
National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

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