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Ancient Egyptian Science, A Source Book. Volume Three: by Marshall Clagett

By Marshall Clagett

This quantity keeps Marshall Clagett's experiences of a number of the features of the technology of old Egypt. the quantity provides a discourse at the nature and accomplishments of Egyptian arithmetic and in addition informs the reader as to how our wisdom of Egyptian arithmetic has grown because the booklet of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus towards the tip of the nineteenth century. the writer costs and discusses interpretations of such authors as Eisenlohr, Griffith, Hultsch, Peet, Struce, Neugebauer, Chace, Glanville, van der Waerden, Bruins, Gillings, and others. He additionally additionally considers stories of newer authors comparable to Couchoud, Caveing, and Guillemot.

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Example text

Thus, in order to understand Millikan’s experiments the historian must exhume a long-forgotten quest that once confounded physicists all over the world: the design of an experiment that would determine the relative strengths of the ‘ether’ and particulate theories of electricity. First, though, we must be prepared to disregard our present knowledge and treat the ether theory as seriously as Millikan himself did. If we do not, then we will be drawn into thinking that Millikan obtained support for the particulate theory of matter because of its obvious superiority.

Nonetheless, frank admissions of selectivity are rare. The vast majority of scientists instinctively prefer to uphold the image of themselves conscientiously following wherever the data lead them. At least with his first paper, Millikan was a striking exception. With little prior experience of publication, he was very much the innocent abroad. His article included numerous scores from his dataset that he considered to have come from unsatisfactory experimental runs. Where his peers would have either jettisoned the results or included them without caveat, Millikan marked each run with one, two, or three stars depending on how well he thought the experiment had gone.

Not least because Emperor Louis Napoleon had secured the throne with the help of the Catholic Church, attacks on scriptural accounts of Genesis were guaranteed simultaneously to raise political as well as religious storms. As Richard Owen, Britain’s finest contemporary physiologist, pointedly remarked, Pasteur’s experiments ‘had the advantage of subserving the prepossessions of the “party of order” and the needs of theology’. Well aware of all this, Pouchet made every conceivable effort to deny the atheistic implications of spontaneous generation.

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