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Ett slags modernism i vetenskapen: Teoretisk fysik i Sverige under 1920-talet
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
1999 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation considers the development of theoretical physics in Sweden in the 1920s. During this decade, the emphasis of the research in the theoretical physics departments of the Swedish universities changed from hydrodynamics to theoretical atomic physics. Research in hydrodynamics continued, but henceforth it was mainly conducted at the Technical College in Stockholm which, during this time, was fully occupied with developing its own research programme. This development took place through discussion, debate and strategic judgement.

This development is investigated in terms of theoretical and experimental physics cultures, as well as through the study of 'theoretical technologies' and theoretical techniques. By applying these concepts it is easier to understand the developments and to formulate pertinent questions. Hydrodynamics constituted a theoretical technology where the education, the theoretical tools and the traditions for posing and dealing with problemsprovided the framework for the theoretical work.

Four case studies have been made, each of the first three are centred on one main character, whilst the fourth study includes them all. C. W. Oseen is investigated first. His research was devoted almost exclusively to hydrodynamics, although he was well inclined towards, though critical of, the new physics. From the central position he occupied within Swedish physics, he was also to judge the new physics, partly as an expert atprofessorial appointments and partly through the evaluation work within the Nobel physics committee. Oskar Klein and Ivar Waller both belong to the first generation of Swedish theoretical physicists to concentrate their work on the new theoretical physics, but they followed different directions. In the last case study there are examples of how a decision was finally made in favour of the new physics, in connection with the appointment of a professor in Stockholm, and in connection with the Nobel Prize evaluations. In this way the focus of theoretical physics came to be changed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1999. , 244 p.
Skrifter, ISSN 0280-7238 ; 22
Keyword [en]
History of science and ideas, History of science, history of physics, quantum physics, theoretical physics, theoretical technologies, Carl Wilhelm Oseen, Oskar Klein, Ivar Waller, 20th-century
Keyword [sv]
Idé- och lärdomshistoria
National Category
History of Ideas
Research subject
History Of Sciences and Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-782ISBN: 99-3036055-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-782DiVA: diva2:170093
Public defence
1999-11-19, Föreläsningsalen, Gustavianum, Uppsala universitet, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 1999-10-29 Created: 1999-10-29Bibliographically approved

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