Theoretical Physics from Ohm to Einstein Christa Junnickel and Russell McCommach. University of Chicago, 1986, Vol. 1 The torch of Mathematics, 1800-1870. 378 pp. Bibliography, Index. $55. Vol 2 The Now Mighty Theoretical Physics. 1870-1925. 455 pp. Plates, Bobliography, Index. $65.

At center stage in the current theater of history of science is the interaction of science with the societies that support it. The most promising and popular locus for study of this interaction is the scientific institution. In the study of these institutions historians of science have given more attention to the social forces at play than to the scientists at work. The authors of this two-volume tour through the physics institutes of Germany in the 19th and early 20th centuries declined to distort their subject in this way. They write that their plan was “to give an integrated ac count of the scientific work...

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