We intend to broaden our understanding of the historical developement of subatomic physics. This developement has brought changes in the disciplinary structure of physics (from radioactivity to nuclear physics and high-energy physics), the introduction of new experimental methods (cosmic-ray detectors and accelerators), and the evolution of quantum field theory into the physics of particles (leptons and quarks) and fields (electro weak and chromodynamics). The project focusses on a number of aspects of this developement that have not been paid enough atention in the historical literature. These include: the discovery of subatomic particles and the introduction of the relevant quantum fields; the coordination among different schools or traditions, each bringing to subatomic physics theoretical and instrumental practices of its own; and the increasing interplay between science, technology and industry which has become a trademark of 20th century physics. The study of these questions seems particulary appropiate at this point, when we celebrate the centenary of the discovery of the electron and the dawn of subatomic physics. Moreover, in the context of a join project with prominent European history of science centres, we intend to relate our work to on-going attempts to chart the integration of the scinetific centre and its various peripheries in Europe.
|Effective start/end date||1/10/97 → 1/10/00|