Textbooks and the Rise of Modern Astrophysics

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Session 2 -- History in Astronomy Education I
Oral presentation, Sunday, 8, 1995, 2:00pm

[2.04] Textbooks and the Rise of Modern Astrophysics

David DeVorkin (NASM)

One way to appreciate the problems associated with the emergence of a new discipline or specialty is to look at how the tools and techniques of the new line of research were transmitted from generation to generation. The emergence of theoretical astrophysics in the 1920s and 1930s provides a useful case study where one of the problems was how to create textbooks astronomers could read that also provided an adequate introduction to modern physical theory, especially quantum theory. Case studies of specific textbook projects, published and unpublished during the 1920s and 1930s, will highlight the obstacles textbook writers faced.

Sunday program listing