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  • Masters and students in Italian Physics between the 19th and 20th centuries: the Felici-Bartoli-Stracciati-Corbino case
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2020-08-05
    Giovanni Battimelli, Adele La Rana, Paolo Rossi

    In the second half of the 19th century, a special practice of research and training in physics took shape in Pisa, characterized by a particular attention to theoretical studies and to combining experimental activity with a profound mastery of mathematical tools. This peculiar approach, started by Carlo Matteucci and Ottaviano Mossotti, continued and spread by Riccardo Felici, Enrico Betti, Adolfo

  • The concept of velocity in the history of Brownian motion
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2020-07-09
    Arthur Genthon

    Interest in Brownian motion was shared by different communities: this phenomenon was first observed by the botanist Robert Brown in 1827, then theorised by physicists in the 1900s, and eventually modelled by mathematicians from the 1920s, while still evolving as a physical theory. Consequently, Brownian motion now refers to the natural phenomenon but also to the theories accounting for it. There is

  • Charles Galton Darwin’s 1922 quantum theory of optical dispersion
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2020-05-29
    Benjamin Johnson

    The quantum theory of dispersion was an important conceptual advancement which led out of the crisis of the old quantum theory in the early 1920s and aided in the formulation of matrix mechanics in 1925. The theory of Charles Galton Darwin, often cited only for its reliance on the statistical conservation of energy, was a wave-based attempt to explain dispersion phenomena at a time between the theories

  • Erratum to: E. Cartan’s attempt at bridge-building between Einstein and the Cosserats - or how translational curvature became to be known as torsion
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2020-05-05
    Erhard Scholz

    ω symbol was erroneously capitalized in several equations and in the text of the article. The Publisher’s erratum provides the correct article. The Publisher apologizes for the inconvenience.

  • Stellar equilibrium vs. gravitational collapse
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2020-02-11
    Carla Rodrigues Almeida

    The idea of gravitational collapse can be traced back to the first solution of Einstein’s equations, but in these early stages, compelling evidence to support this idea was lacking. Furthermore, there were many theoretical gaps underlying the conviction that a star could not contract beyond its critical radius. The philosophical views of the early 20th century, especially those of Sir Arthur S. Eddington

  • Memories of my early career in relativity physics
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-11-15
    Andrzej Trautman, Donald Salisbury

    This interview is focused on university studies and early career in relativity physics including thesis work under Leopold Infeld dealing with gravitational waves. Trautman’s recollections include the collaboration with Ivor Robinson and relationships with relevant personalities like Felix Pirani, Jerzy Plebanski, Roger Penrose and Peter Bergmann.

  • Luis Santaló and classical field theory
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-10-25
    Mariano Galvagno, Gaston Giribet

    Considered one of the founding fathers of integral geometry, Luis Santaló has contributed to various areas of mathematics. His work has applications in number theory, in the theory of differential equations, in stochastic geometry, in functional analysis, and also in theoretical physics. Between the 1950’s and the 1970’s, he wrote a series of papers on general relativity and on the attempts at generalizing

  • The magic of Feynman’s QED: from field-less electrodynamics to the Feynman diagrams
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-10-15
    Olivier Darrigol

    For some time, even after the Feynman diagrams and rules were publicly known, the foundations of Feynman’s quantum electrodynamics remained mostly private. Its stupendous efficiency then appeared like magic to most of his competitors. The purpose of this essay is to reveal the hidden contrivances of this magic, in a journey from field-less electrodynamics to the Feynman diagrams.

  • History of accelerator neutrino beams
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-10-02
    Ubaldo Dore, Pier Loverre, Lucio Ludovici

    Neutrino beams obtained from proton accelerators were first operated in 1962. Since then, neutrino beams have been intensively used in particle physics and evolved in many different ways. We describe the characteristics of various neutrino beams, relating them to the historical development of the physics studies and discoveries. We also discuss some of the ideas still under consideration for future

  • A note on Lorentz transformations and simultaneity in classical physics and special relativity
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-09-25
    Angelo Pagano, Emanuele V. Pagano

    Since early models of wave propagation in both stationary and moving media during the nineteenth century, the Lorentz transformation (LT) has played a key role in describing characteristic wave phenomena, e.g., the Doppler shift effect. In these models LT connects two different events generated by wave propagations, as observed in two reference systems and the synchronism is absolute. In relativistic

  • Gravitation and general relativity at King’s College London
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-09-02
    D. C. Robinson

    This essay concerns the study of gravitation and general relativity at King’s College London (KCL). It covers developments since the nineteenth century but its main focus is on the quarter of a century beginning in 1955. At King’s research in the twenty-five years from 1955 was dominated initially by the study of gravitational waves and then by the investigation of the classical and quantum aspects

  • Searching for a response: the intriguing mystery of Feynman’s theoretical reference amplifier
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-08-06
    Vincenzo d’Alessandro, Santolo Daliento, Marco Di Mauro, Salvatore Esposito, Adele Naddeo

    We analyze Feynman’s work on the response of an amplifier performed at Los Alamos and described in a technical report of 1946, as well as lectured on at the Cornell University in 1946–47 during his course on Mathematical Methods. The motivation for such a work was Feynman’s involvement in the Manhattan Project, for which the necessity emerged of feeding the output pulses of counters into amplifiers

  • Einstein’s working sheets and his search for a unified field theory
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-08-02
    Tilman Sauer

    The Einstein Archives contain a considerable collection of calculations in the form of working sheets and scratch paper, documenting Einstein’s scientific preoccupations during the last three decades of his life until his death in 1955. This paper provides a brief description of these documents and some indications of what can be expected from a more thorough investigation of these notes.

  • On Ludvig Lorenz and his 1890 treatise on light scattering by spheres
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-07-30
    Jeppe Revall Frisvad, Helge Kragh

    This paper offers background and perspective on a little-known memoir by Ludvig Lorenz on light scattering by spheres, which was published in Danish in 1890. It is a companion to an English translation of the memoir appearing separately. Apart from introducing Lorenz and some of his contributions to optics and electrodynamics, the paper focuses on the emergence, content and reception of the 1890 memoir

  • From Varenna (1970) to Como (1995): Kurt Binder’s long walk in the land of criticality
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-07-09
    Michel Mareschal

    This paper aims at contributing to the history of early computational statistical mechanics. The topic concerns the physics near a critical point and how long it took for Monte Carlo (MC) simulations to be seriously considered by the community as a valid and important tool to analyze critical phenomena. We will focus on one of the leading scientific figures behind this effort: Kurt Binder, whose scientific

  • LAA: a project using dedicated funding to develop technology for high-energy physics experiments
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-04-09
    Thomas Taylor, Horst Wenninger, Antonino Zichichi

    In the mid-1980s, the cost of investment in infrastructure for particle accelerators and colliders at the highest energy had risen to such level that the host laboratory (CERN) could no longer afford the cost of development of new detector technology required for the experiments. Large particle colliders were identified by the tools of the future for high-energy physics research, and a long-term view

  • E. Cartan’s attempt at bridge-building between Einstein and the Cosserats – or how translational curvature became to be known as torsion
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-02-19
    Erhard Scholz

    Élie Cartan’s “généralisation de la notion de courbure” (1922) arose from a creative evaluation of the geometrical structures underlying both, Einstein’s theory of gravity and the Cosserat brothers generalized theory of elasticity. In both theories groups operating in the infinitesimal played a crucial role. To judge from his publications in 1922–24, Cartan developed his concept of generalized spaces

  • The traveling-wave tube in the history of telecommunication
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2019-01-16
    Damien F. G. Minenna, Frédéric André, Yves Elskens, Jean-François Auboin, Fabrice Doveil, Jérôme Puech, Élise Duverdier

    The traveling-wave tube is a critical subsystem for satellite data transmission. Its role in the history of wireless communications and in the space conquest is significant, but largely ignored, even though the device remains widely used nowadays. This paper presents, albeit non-exhaustively, circumstances and contexts that led to its invention, and its part in the worldwide (in particular in Europe)

  • Strong turbulence, self-organization and plasma confinement
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2018-10-26
    Akira Hasegawa, Kunioki Mima

    This paper elucidates the close connections between hydrodynamic models of two-dimensional fluids and reduced models of plasma dynamics in the presence of a strong magnetic field. The key element is the similarity of the Coriolis force to the Lorentz force. The reduced plasma model, the Hasegawa–Mima equation, is equivalent to the two-dimensional ion vortex equation. The paper discusses the history

  • An interview with Roald Sagdeev: his story of plasma physics in Russia, 1956–1988
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2018-10-23
    Roald Z. Sagdeev, Patrick H. Diamond

    This oral history interview presents Roald Z. Sagdeev’s story of plasma physics in Russia. It chronicles the Russian school’s achievements in basic, laboratory, fusion and space plasma physics. The interview begins with memories of Sagdeev’s graduate student days in Moscow and then describes his work at the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy (1956–1961), the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics in

  • The origin of computational statistical mechanics in France
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2018-10-17
    D. Levesque, J. P. Hansen

    The two main methodologies of computational Statistical Mechanics, namely the stochastic Monte Carlo and the deterministic Molecular Dynamic methods, were developed in the USA in the mid 1950’s. In the present paper we show how these “computer experiments” migrated to Europe in the 60s, and first bloomed at the Orsay Science Faculty, before spreading throughout Europe. Collaborations between the Orsay

  • The Joint European Torus (JET)
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2017-02-27
    Paul-Henri Rebut

    This paper addresses the history of JET, the Tokamak that reached the highest performances and the experiment that so far came closest to the eventual goal of a fusion reactor. The reader must be warned, however, that this document is not a comprehensive study of controlled thermonuclear fusion or even of JET. The next step on this road, the ITER project, is an experimental reactor. Actually, several

  • The history of research into improved confinement regimes
    Eur. Phys. J. H (IF 1.483) Pub Date : 2017-01-05
    F. Wagner

    Increasing the pressure by additional heating of magnetically confined plasmas had the consequence that turbulent processes became more violent and plasma confinement degraded. Since this experience from the early 1980ies, fusion research was dominated by the search for confinement regimes with improved properties. It was a gratifying experience that toroidally confined plasmas are able to self-organise

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