Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Experimentalism, relativity and quantum mechanics at a land grant institution: West Virginia University, 1920–1960
by Wright, Eric S., M.A., West Virginia University, 2008, 237; 1458789
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis details the response of a land-grant university to the development of quantum mechanics and relativity across a forty-year period. Concurrently with this, it traces the pattern of normal research at the university to show how the development of new physical theories impacted a representative physics department. The Physics department at West Virginia University at first paid little attention to relativity then after 1924 rejected its theoretical underpinnings. Wholesale acceptance of the theory did not occur until after the replacement of the pre-World War II generation of physicists. Quantum mechanics did not make significant inroads at West Virginia University until after World War II. At this point the one practitioner was joined by a new generation of physicists that had been exposed to quantum mechanics for all of their careers. The physics department at West Virginia University serves as a classic example of a Kuhnian paradigm shift in the physical sciences.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Good, Gregory
School: West Virginia University
School Location: United States -- West Virginia
Source: MAI 47/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Education history, Science history
Publication Number: 1458789
ISBN: 9780549797821
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