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By the late nineteenth century, engineers and experimental scientists generally knew how radio waves behaved, and by 1901 scientists were able to manipulate them to transmit messages across long distances. What no one could understand, however, was why radio waves followed the curvature of the Earth. Theorists puzzled over this for nearly twenty years before physicists confirmed the zig-zag theory, a solution that led to the discovery of a layer in the Earth’s upper atmosphere that bounces radio waves earthward—the ionosphere. In Probing the Sky with Radio Waves, Chen-Pang Yeang documents this monumental discovery and the advances in radio ionospheric propagation research that occurred in its aftermath. Yeang illustrates how the discovery of the ionosphere transformed atmospheric science from what had been primarily an observational endeavor into an experimental science. It also gave researchers a host of new theories, experiments, and instruments with which to better understand the atmosphere’s constitution, the origin of atmospheric electricity, and how the sun and geomagnetism shape the Earth’s atmosphere. This book will be warmly welcomed by scholars of astronomy, atmospheric science, geoscience, military and institutional history, and the history and philosophy of science and technology, as well as by radio amateurs and electrical engineers interested in historical perspectives on their craft.
The nature of war -- Machines and media -- Reading technologies -- Hostile environments and cold-war machines -- Infrastructures and ionograms -- A natural history of survivable communications -- Electromagnetic geography and the unreliable nation
Did industry and commerce affect the concepts, values and epistemic foundations of different sciences? If so, how and to what extent? This book suggests that the most significant influence of industry on science in the two case studies treated here had to do with the issue of realism. Using wave propagation as the common thread, this is the first book to simultaneously analyse the emergence of realist attitudes towards the entities of the ionosphere and of the earth's crust. However, what led physicists and engineers to adopt realist attitudes? This book suggests that a new kind of realism —a realism of social and cultural origins- is the answer: a preliminary, entity realism responding to specific commercial and engineering interests, and a realism that was neither strictly instrumental nor exclusively operational. The book has two parts: while Part I focuses on the study of the ionosphere and how the British radio industry affected ionospheric physics, Part II focuses on the study of the Earth's crust and how the American oil industry affected crustal seismology.
In the early decades of the twentieth century, engagement with science was commonly used as an emblem of modernity. This phenomenon is now attracting increasing attention in different historical specialties. Being Modern builds on this recent scholarly interest to explore engagement with science across culture from the end of the nineteenth century to approximately 1940. Addressing the breadth of cultural forms in Britain and the western world from the architecture of Le Corbusier to working class British science fiction, Being Modern paints a rich picture. Seventeen distinguished contributors from a range of fields including the cultural study of science and technology, art and architecture, English culture and literature examine the issues involved. The book will be a valuable resource for students, and a spur to scholars to further examination of culture as an interconnected web of which science is a critical part, and to supersede such tired formulations as 'Science and culture'.
Presented in a single volume, this engaging review reflects on the scholarship and the historical development of American broadcasting A Companion to the History of American Broadcasting comprehensively evaluates the vibrant history of American radio and television and reveals broadcasting’s influence on American history in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. With contributions from leading scholars on the topic, this wide-ranging anthology explores the impact of broadcasting on American culture, politics, and society from an historical perspective as well as the effect on our economic and social structures. The text’s original and accessibly-written essays offer explorations on a wealth of topics including the production of broadcast media, the evolution of various television and radio genres, the development of the broadcast ratings system, the rise of Spanish language broadcasting in the United States, broadcast activism, African Americans and broadcasting, 1950’s television, and much more. This essential resource: Presents a scholarly overview of the history of radio and television broadcasting and its influence on contemporary American history Contains original essays from leading academics in the field Examines the role of radio in the television era Discusses the evolution of regulations in radio and television Offers insight into the cultural influence of radio and television Analyzes canonical texts that helped shape the field Written for students and scholars of media studies and twentieth-century history, A Companion to the History of American Broadcasting is an essential and field-defining guide to the history and historiography of American broadcasting and its many cultural, societal, and political impacts.
This book is an attempt to reconstitute the tacit knowledge—the shared, unwritten assumptions, values, and understandings—that shapes the work of science. Jed Z. Buchwald uses as his focus the social and intellectual world of nineteenth-century German physics. Drawing on the lab notes, published papers, and unpublished manuscripts of Heinrich Hertz, Buchwald recreates Hertz's 1887 invention of a device that produced electromagnetic waves in wires. The invention itself was serendipitous and the device was quickly transformed, but Hertz's early experiments led to major innovations in electrodynamics. Buchwald explores the difficulty Hertz had in reconciling the theories of other physicists, including Hermann von Helmholtz and James Clerk Maxwell, and he considers the complex and often problematic connections between theory and experiment. In this first detailed scientific biography of Hertz and his scientific community, Buchwald demonstrates that tacit knowledge can be recovered so that we can begin to identify the unspoken rules that govern scientific practice.
'Einstein's Generation' offers a new approach to the origins of modern physics by exploring both the material culture that stimulated relativity and the reaction of Einstein's colleagues to his pioneering work.

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