Continuity and Discontinuity in the
Physical Sciences Since the Enlightenment:

A Conference for Graduate Students and Early-Career Scholars

Thursday, July 28 – Sunday, July 31, 2011
American Institute of Physics, College Park, MD

Conference Program

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Wednesday, July 27

Varies

Arrival at hotel Hilton Garden Inn at 7810 Walker Drive, Greenbelt MD (phone 240-542-2530).

6:00pm

Informal gathering with Dr. Greg Good at hotel pub/restaurant "The American Grill."

Thursday, July 28

7:45 – 8:45am

Breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn / shuttle service to AIP

8:45 – 9:00am

Registration

9:00 – 9:10am

Official welcome

SESSION 1: KEYNOTE 1
Chair: Amy Fisher, Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics

9:10 – 10:25am

Jaume Navarro, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte and University of Cambridge
William Whewell in Action: Continuity and Discontinuity in the British Physical Sciences

10:25 – 10:40am

Coffee and tea break

SESSION 2: INSTRUMENTATION
Chair: Joseph D. Martin, University of Minnesota

10:40 – 11:10am

Sebastian Korff, University of Flensburg
Walter Mueller's Role in the Development of the Geiger-Mueller Counter

11:10 – 11:40am

Adriana Minor García, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Scientific Instruments in Transit: The Acquisition of a Van de Graaff for Mexico during the Postwar

11:40 – 12:10pm

Mari Yamaguchi, University of Tokyo
From a Tool to an Icon: The Ball Model and the Field Ion Micrograph

12:10 – 12:35pm

Discussion (Commentator: Dieter Hoffmann, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte)

12:35 – 1:20pm

Lunch

SESSION 3: INTERPRETING MEASUREMENTS
Chair: Fábio Freitas, Universidade Federal da Bahia

1:20 – 1:50pm

Roberto Lalli, Università degli Studi di Milano and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Relation Between the Reception of Relativity and Ether-drift Experiments in the '20s

1:50 – 2:20pm

Frederik Moreira dos Santos, Universidade Federal da Bahia
A Forgotten Debate: E. P. Wigner and H. Margenau versus
H. Putnam on Quantum Mechanics Measurement Problem

2:20 – 2:35pm

Coffee and tea break

2:35 – 3:05pm

Thiago Hartz, Universidade Federal da Bahia
A Controversy about the Quantization of Gravity and the Quantum Measurement Process (1962–1965)

3:05 – 3:35pm

Lisa Crystal, Harvard University
Atomic Times: Clockmaking in the Postwar Era

3:35 – 4:00pm

Discussion (Commentator: Richard Staley, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

4:00 – 5:00pm

Tour of the Niels Bohr Library & Archives and Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

5:00 – 6:30pm

BBQ / Welcome reception

Friday, July 29

8:30am – 9:30am

Breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn / shuttle service to AIP

SESSION 4: DEFINING DISCIPLINES
Chair: Pierre Teissier, Centre François Viète, Université de Nantes

9:30 – 10:00am

Climério Silva Neto, Universidade Federal da Bahia
Introducing Discontinuity in Optics: Consolidating Quantum Optics through Textbooks

10:00 – 10:30am

Adrien Vila Valls, Université de Lyon
Louis de Broglie and the Reception of Quantum Mechanics in France

10:30 – 10:45am

Coffee and tea break

10:45 – 11:15am

Josep Simon, Institut de Recherches Philosophiques, Université Paris Ouest
Rupture and Nurture: Textbook Science and the 'Invention' of Physics

11:15 – 11:45am

Imogen Clarke, University of Manchester
A 'Conservative Attitude'? Continuity, Discontinuity and the Contested Rise of 'Modern Physics'

11:45 – 12:10pm

Discussion (Commentator: Alexei Kojevnikov, University of British Columbia)

12:15 – 1:00pm

Lunch

SESSION 5: STATISTICAL MECHANICS
Chair: Alex Wellerstein, Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics

1:00 – 1:30pm

David R. Crawford, Duke University / University of Pittsburgh
Boltzmann and Fisher: the Role of Statistical Mechanical Theory
in the Development of Mathematical Population Genetics

1:30 – 2:00pm

Hajime Inaba, Kyoto University
Statistical Mechanics and its Scope in the 19th century

2:00 – 2:30pm

Massimiliano Badino, Max Planck Institute für Wissenschaftsgeschichte /
Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society
How Theories Begin: Max Planck and the Genesis of Quantum Theory

2:30 – 2:55pm

Discussion (Commentator: Michel Janssen, University of Minnesota)

2:55 – 3:10pm

Coffee and tea break

SESSION 6: EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCES
Chair: Ann E. Robinson, University of Massachusetts Amherst

3:10 – 3:40pm

Anna Carlsson-Hyslop, University of Manchester
Continuity and Discontinuity in British Storm Surge Science, 1919–1959

3:40 – 4:10pm

Thorleif A. Kristiansen, University of Oslo
Disseminating Knowledge from the Center to the Periphery:
Lars Vegard and the Development of Norwegian Auroral Research

4:10 – 4:40pm

Roger Turner, Rochester Institute of Technology
Infrastructural Science: A New Perspective on Practice
and the Development of Theory in the Physical Sciences

4:40 – 5:10pm

Discussion (Commentator: Roger Launius, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution)

5:30 – 6:45pm

Reception for conference attendees and History Center public

6:45pm –

Science Heritage Public Lecture
Chair: Greg Good, Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics

How the Cold War Changed the Smithsonian's Astrophysical Observatory
By David H. DeVorkin
Senior Curator of History of Astronomy and the Space Sciences
National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Saturday, July 30

8:00 – 9:00am

Breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn / shuttle service to AIP

SESSION 7: CONCEPTUALIZING MATTER AND ENERGY
Chair: Christian Joas, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte

9:00 – 9:30am

Axel Petit, Centre François Viète, Université de Nantes
The Coming of Ions in the Nineteenth Century: Discrete or Continuous Charges

9:30 – 10:00am

Marta Jordi Taltavull, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte
On the Border Between Light and Matter: Continuity and
Discontinuity in the Development of Optical Dispersion

10:00 – 10:30am

Indianara Lima Silva, Universidade Federal da Bahia and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Vicissitudes of the Concept of Photon in the Twentieth Century

10:30 – 10:45am

Coffee and tea break

10:45 – 11:15am

Thomas Pashby, University of Pittsburgh
Predicting the Positron: Theory, Interactions and Arguments

11:15 – 11:45am

Alexander Blum, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Vacuum Polarization – A Case Study of an Infinite Quantity in Early Quantum Field Theory

11:45 – 12:10pm

Discussion (Commentator: Christoph Lehner, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte)

12:10 – 1:00pm

Lunch

SESSION 8: KEYNOTE 2
Chair: Amy Fisher, Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics

1:00 – 2:15pm

Michel Janssen, Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Minnesota
Arcs and Scaffoldings in the Construction of Relativity and Quantum Theory

2:15 – 2:30pm

Coffee and tea break

SESSION 9: APPLYING TECHNIQUE IN THEORY AND EXPERIMENT
Chair: Joseph D. Martin, University of Minnesota

2:30 – 3:00pm

Charles Midwinter, University of Minnesota
Continuity in Technique: Perturbation Theory in the Old Quantum Theory and Matrix Mechanics

3:00 – 3:30pm

Martin Jaehnert, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte
From Continuity to Discontinuity: The Correspondence Principle and the Transformation of Mechanics

3:30 – 4:00pm

Vivien Hamilton, Harvey Mudd College
"Incongruent Bedfellows": Physics and Medicine in Early 20th Century X-ray Therapy

4:00 – 4:30pm

Silke Fengler, University of Vienna
"…how the right technique emerged at the right time" –
A History of the Photographical Method During the Cold War

4:30 – 4:55pm

Discussion (Commentator: Joan Bromberg, Johns Hopkins University)

5:00pm –

Dinner (sign-up sheets provided) or baseball game (Nationals vs. Mets)

Sunday, July 31

8:00 – 9:00am

Breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel

SESSION 10: ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
Chair: Greg Good, Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics

9:00 – 11:00am

Whither the History of the Physical Sciences? (All conference participants welcome)
Greg Good, Amy Fisher, Alex Wellerstein (AIP); Christian Joas (MPIWG); Joseph D. Martin (U. Minnesota)

11:00am

Conference adjourns. Have a safe journey home!