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Opening heading[edit]

This histoy of physics entry is much needed. But is the text taken from somewhere else? The link below is rather similar:

Well, as a starting point, it will do.

I found a cached copy of this article at


I can't find the original, but I assume it's copyrighted. I propose we wait for the person who uploaded the article to respond, and if no response appears, we delete it. (It's possible that the person who uploaded the article is responsible for the pratt.edu article too.)


It is been edited. If it changes a lot, can it be considered a different article alltogether?


Maybe, but let's not go down that route. It looks like no one has responded, so I'm going to delete it. --Larry

New text copied from the body of the Physics article -- this is hopefully a fresh article, and not plagiarised. This copy can now be expanded to make a fuller history of physics...


Am I the only one who finds it unfortunate that History of Physics has been converted (on June 24) into a rant sandwich? On top, a slice of Antiquity; on the bottom, a slice of modern science; between, a long and bellicose encomium to the glories of Islamic civilization and Islamic science: astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, and even a passing mention of physics!

I totally agree with you. Specially the strange part about the glories of Islamic civilization. The same thing is happening in the article about history of science.

I presume that no one wants to edit out these opinionated and mostly ill-substantiated irrelevancies for the same reason I don't: to do so would be impolitic and downright rude, and even intellectually questionable. After all, Islamic contributions do need to be covered here. At least, I presume they do; I couldn't prove the point from my own knowledge.

I am inclined, in protest, to contribute an entirely factual, footnoted entry on the way in which, arguably, the growth of physical science was hindered by one particular Islamic contribution. It will be a fine day, though, when someone with the requisite historical information and the gift of writing a sober presentation zaps the whole thing (as expanded, perhaps, by me) and puts in something that will actually inform us about Islamic physics.
Dandrake 23:13 10 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Having decided not to be childish about it, I have simply cut the material referenced above, leaving only the parts relevant to the history of physics. Sad to say, this is almost nothing; we still need a sane treatment of Islamic work, not to mention that of other civilizations.

By the way, is there not still too much astronomy in this history of physics?

Roger Bacon is back in, until someone demonstrates that everything he did (including pushing for more science in Europe?) was stolen from Islamic sources.
Dandrake 17:58 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)

So were you going to remove this page from wikipedia:pages needing attention, now you've fixed this? Martin

Oops. My mistake. Thank you. Done. Dandrake 22:39 17 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Maybe I need to ask this once a year: Why is this so-called history of physics actually a history of astronomy almost exclusively (with some mathematics) in its central section? This is all the sillier in that there was hardly any connection between the two in that period. Perhaps someone needs to zap all that superfluous material; doing so would, regrettably, remove most of the non-European material, but that could be an incentive for someone to provide some non-Euopean physics, which is the point, right? Dandrake 08:08, Aug 2, 2004 (UTC)

I was actually following the italicized suggestions in the article. If you want to steer its contents, then how about updating the italicized suggestions. Since Physics is the fundamental science, one can argue that the measurements of the earth's precession and the work of Aristarchus and Hipparchus are physics, and that Al-Batani was improving on the work of Hipparchus. It is hard to critique the men who worked in metallurgy, astronomy, optics, etc, as not working in physics for not knowing the physics we know now. And you could argue that the history starts with the Scientific Revolution. The rest is a kind of pre-history, with Physics being born from Astronomy. Ancheta Wis 19:11, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
OK. The structure of the article now shows that section 1 could logically go into History of Science and that section 2 scientific revolution is classical physics and beyond. I shrink from moving section 1's contents into History of Science because I understand that others are working on that article. The current article is attempting to show the unity of physics and the other sciences. Ancheta Wis 08:21, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Well, I've no objection to the recent material about modern cosmology and the like; that clearly is physics, and it's a significant addition to the article. I still have problems with the older stuff, and the text really does make me wonder, did anybody but Europeans do anything in what we now understand as being physics? I think I see your point about separating the sections at the scientific revolution, and I'll have to think about it more. Dandrake 17:50, Aug 5, 2004 (UTC)
Continuing the same theme: The new list of Chinese items consists of good and valuable things; but it's not physics. The problem, I think, is this whole series of headings about "contributions to the sciences". These quite simply belong in an article on history of science, or History of science and technology. It's quite true that any science or technology is directly connected to physics (in physicists' view, derived from it), but that's of no use in setting up encyclopedia articles. At present, a person looking for history of physics finds irrelevant stuff. What's even more objectionable: a person looking for science and technology, perhaps sepcifically for Chinese and Islamic s&t, will miss this material entirely, unless he/she/it happens to take a specific interest in physics and looks here. So why not stop gabbing and just do it? Well, I think I'll do that; but contributors are often annoyed when their stuff gets boldly moved around, so I'd rather ruffle feathers here ahead of time than with a sudden change. Dandrake 20:15, Aug 8, 2004 (UTC)
Fine with me, do you want to ask FastFission? I think he is the one who is working on HST. Ancheta Wis 11:19, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Rival theories[edit]

When the Richard Feynman article got nominated for Featured status, I was forced to add content. This led me to the natural rivalry between competing physicists. I would like to begin adding some of this content, such as Feynman and Gell-mann etc. I propose to outline this on this Talk page, wait for discussion, and then put the vetted material on the article page when it is acceptable. Ancheta Wis 11:16, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Islamic physics and possible Jagged_85 sock.[edit]

Please see here [[1]]. IP I cleaned up a bit removing claims that Tusi and his pupil discovered elliptical orbit(!), or that Avempace anticipated Newtons third law of motion. I can't access "Gracia, Jorge J. E. (2007-11-26), "Philosophy in the Middle Ages: An Introduction", A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages", which is used to claim that " Ibn Bajjah was a critic of Ptolemy and he worked on creating a new theory of velocity to replace the one theorized by Aristotle. Two future philosophers supported the theories Avempace created, known as Avempacean dynamics. These philosophers were Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic priest, and John Duns Scotus.[22] Galileo went on to adopt Avempace's formula "that the velocity of a given object is the difference of the motive power of that object and the resistance of the medium of motion". If somobody can varify it that would be great.

The section on Alhacen and Al-biruni should also be rewritten more neutrally. DMKR2005 (talk) 02:06, 21 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks! The only edits from are to this article with these edits in April 2019 although mention of "elliptical orbit" was already in the article then. Johnuniq (talk) 03:13, 21 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, Thanks. It seems claims on Alhacen and Al-biruni mostly relies on non-academic authors like Jim Al-Khalili or Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa(an educator), or pretty fringe view within historiography of science, like Rozhanskaya and Levinova. I've read a lot of history science books, but never seem anybody outside of them said that Al-biruni intoduced "scientific method" in to mechanics, let alone creating "medieval hydrodynamics"(whatever this means). I am going to add Mark Smith opinion on Alhacen, where he criticized tendency of some popular author to exaggerate modernity of Alhacen experimentation. Not sure what to do with Al-biruni. DMKR2005 (talk) 20:13, 21 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Maxwell section is a jumble[edit]

The Maxwell statistical mechanics is mixed up with his electromagnetism work. Johnjbarton (talk) 21:02, 22 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Articles on the history of physics[edit]

The "Articles on the history of physics" section overlaps Outline of the history of physics and in my experience these will diverge and both be somewhat inaccurate as articles are renamed, added, and deleted.

A better solution would transclude one section into the other, but of course that would make them identical. Is there a reason they can't be identical? Johnjbarton (talk) 17:28, 28 November 2023 (UTC)[reply]