The Beginnings of Piezoelectricity, the first history of the subject, exhaustively examines how diverse influences led to the discovery of the phenomenon in 1880, and how they shaped subsequent research until the consolidation of an empirical and theoretical knowledge of the field circa 1895. Shaul Katzir's historical account shows that this 'mundane' science was an intriguing intellectual and practical enterprise, which involved originality, surprises and controversies.
1: The discovery of the piezoelectric effect.
2: The Road to the Descriptive Theory
3: Theories and models about the causes of the piezoelectric phenomena.
4: Theoretical elaboration of Voigt's theory.
5: Empirical work in the 1890s
Appendix. 1. Earlier appearances of electricity by pressure.
Appendix 2. Mathematical Works on Voigt's General Theory
Appendix 3. Voigt's Concepts of Electric Charge
Appendix 4. Tables
From the reviews:
"The subject is the study of piezoelectricity-the production of electric charge by mechanical pressure and its converse effect on certain crystals-from 1880 to 1900. ... In addition to illustrating the pretheoretical/theoretical division, Katzir makes it clear that the beginning of piezoelectricity can serve as a window on certain broad themes of nineteenth-century physics at the level of practice. ... it does make readers wonder what broad lesson can be learned from it." (Chen-Pang Yeang, ISIS, Vol. 102 (1), March, 2011)
"Even though Shaul Katzir's The Beginnings of Piezoelectricity: A Study in Mundane Physics is published as part of the Boston studies in the Philosophy of Science series, it will also interest applied scientists and engineers working on modern aspects of piezoelectricity and electromechanical transduction in materials. ... is a useful and thought-provoking study of an often-neglected but exciting seminal field of material physics." (Reimund Gerhard, Physics Today, December 2007)
Über den Autor
Shaul Katzir is a historian of science. He teaches history of science [and general history] at Bar Ilan, Ben Gurion, and Tel Aviv universities, at the Hebrew university of Jerusalem and at the Academic College of Tel Aviv Jaffa.
The first history of the subject
Provides a detailed account of the genesis of a new technology
Explores the nature of scientific development, and the interplay of various approaches and philosophies
Provides an unusual perspective on late nineteenth century physics