History of Science Publications


1997 Davis, E.A and Falconer, I.J, J J Thomson and the Discovery of the Electron , London: Taylor and Francis, xxvii+243 pp

Papers, chapters and articles:
(all sole author unless otherwise stated)
for copies of papers, please contact me

2018 ‘Phases of Physics in J.D. Forbes’ Dissertation Sixth for the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1856)’, to appear in History of Science special issue on ‘Phases of Physics’

2017 ‘No actual measurement … was required: Maxwell and Cavendish’s null method for the inverse square law of electrostatics’  Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2017.05.001

2017 ‘Editing Cavendish: Maxwell and the Electrical Researches of Henry Cavendish‘, Proceedings of the First International Conference on the History of Physics—Trinity College Cambridge, 4–5 September 2014: With the main focus: “Electromagnetism – the Road to Power”. Cooper, M. J., Davis, E. A., Schuster, P. M. & Weaire, D. L. (eds.). Pöllauberg, Austria: Living Edition/STARNA

2014  ‘Building the Cavendish and time at Cambridge’ in Raymond Flood, Mark McCartney and Andrew Whitaker (eds), James Clerk Maxwell: Perspectives on his Life and Work (Oxford University Press, 2014)

2010 (with F.Hasselmann, A. Csaplovics, & E. Hersperger) “Technological driving forces of LUCC: conceptualization, quantification, and the example of urban power supply networks”, Land Use Policy, vol 27 (2), pp628-637 doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2009.08.016

2006 ‘A point in common: the electron in chemistry and physics’, Atti del XI Convegno Nazionale di Storia e Fondamenti della Chimica, Rendiconti della Academia Nazionale delle Scienze detta dei XL, series 5, vol 24 (2, 2), pp445-460

2004 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: 9 new biographies, 23 major revisions. New biographies of: Allen, (Herbert) Stanley (1873–1954), Barkla, Charles Glover (1877–1944), Campbell, Norman Robert (1880–1949), Chadwick, Sir James (1891–1974), Larmor, Sir Joseph (1857–1942), Mott, Sir Nevill Francis (1905–1996), Raman, Sir (Chandrasekhara) Venkata (1888–1970), Thomson, Sir Joseph John (1856–1940), Rotheram, John (c.1750–1804); major revisions of, Barker, Thomas (1838–1907), Brown, Ernest William (1866–1938), Dampier [formerly Whetham], Sir William Cecil Dampier (1867–1952), Griffiths, Ernest Howard (1851–1932), Griffiths, Ezer (1888–1962), Hardy, Sir William Bate (1864–1934), Hennessy, Henry (1826–1901), James, Reginald William (1891–1964), Johnson, Sir Nelson King (1892–1954), Joly, John (1857–1933), Macdonald, Hector Munro (1865–1935), Merton, Sir Thomas Ralph (1888–1969), Richardson, Sir Owen Willans (1879–1959), Rosenhain, Walter (1875–1934), Saha, Meghnad (1893–1956), Sampson, Ralph Allen (1866–1939), Stoner, Edmund Clifton (1899–1968), Strutt, Robert John, fourth Baron Rayleigh (1875–1947), Tolansky, Samuel (1907–1973), Tyndall, Arthur Mannering (1881–1961), Walker, Sir Gilbert Thomas (1868–1958), Whiddington, Richard (1885–1970), Wilson, William (1875–1965)

2004 ‘Charles Augustin Coulomb and the fundamental law of electrostatics’, Metrologia, 41, 107-114 doi:10.1088/0026-1394/41/5/S01

2004 ‘Thomson, J J’, ‘Larmor, J’, ‘Schuster, A’, ‘Callendar, H L’, ‘Hicks, W M’, ‘Chrystal, G’ in D B Wilson (ed) Thoemmes Dictionary of Nineteenth Century British Scientists

2003 ‘Thomson, J J’, ‘Electron’, and ‘Mass Spectrograph’, in J L Heilbron (ed) Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science

2002 ‘Thomson, J J’, and ‘Electron, Discovery of’, in J. Rigden (ed) Macmillan Encyclopedia of Particle Physics

2001 ‘Corpuscles to Electrons‘ in J Buchwald and A Warwick (eds) Histories of the Electron, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, pp77-100

2000 ‘Thomson, J J’ in A Hessenbruch (ed) Reader’s Guide to the History of Science, London: Fitzroy Dearborn

1999 ‘A Purely Local Experiment – Poynting and the Mean Density of the Earth’, Measurement Science and Technology, 10, 525-30 http://iopscience.iop.org/0957-0233/10/6/318

1999 ‘Henry Cavendish: the Man and the Measurement’ Measurement Science and Technology, 10, 470-477 http://iopscience.iop.org/0957-0233/10/6/310

1997 ‘J J Thomson and the Discovery of the Electron’ Physics Education, 32, 226-231 http://iopscience.iop.org/0031-9120/32/4/015

1989 ‘J J Thomson and ‘Cavendish’ Physics’, in Frank A J L James (ed) The Development of the Laboratory, London: Macmillan, pp104-117

1988 ‘J J Thomson’s work on positive rays, 1906-1914’, Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, 18, 265-310 http://www.jstor.org/stable/27757604

1987 ‘Corpuscles, Electrons and Cathode Rays: J J Thomson and the ‘Discovery of the Electron”, British Journal for the History of Science, 20, 241-286 DOI: 10.1017/S0007087400023955

Open University module units

2016 ‘Scottish Local History’, unit for A825: MA in History, Milton Keynes: The Open University

2008 Falconer, Isobel with James, Frank A.J.L. ‘Fame and Faraday’, in E. Moohan (ed) AA100: The Arts Past and Present, Book 1: Reputations, Milton Keynes: The Open University, pp85-114

Book Reviews

2018 Book Review: “Exploratory Experiments: Ampère, Faraday and the Origins of Electrodynamics,” British Journal for the History of Science 51 (2) 238-329

2017 Book Review: ‘‘John W. Arthur, Brilliant Lives: the Clerk Maxwells and the Scottish Enlightenment,’ The Innes Review, 68 (2) 197-199 https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/pdfplus/10.3366/inr.2017.0154

2014 Book Review: ‘From Father to Son: The Paradoxical Continuity between Corpuscles and Electron Waves’, Metascience, vol 23, pp93-96 <doi:10.1007/s11016-013-9854-7>

Other forms of output
2013 BBC Radio 4 interview for Seven Ages of Science: The Age of the Lab

2010 A Remarkable Hill: account of the Schiehallion experiment to weigh the earth in 1774, in Strider, the magazine of the Long Distance Walkers Association

2008 DVD ‘Fame and Faraday’ to accompany book chapter for Open University Arts Foundation course

1997 Radio 5 Live interview ‘The discovery of the electron’

1988 Science kits on Polarisation, and Static Electricity for The Exploratory, Bristol

1980 Royal Society Conversazionne exhibitions commemorating James Clerk Maxwell, Royal Society, London

1980 Life and work of James Clerk Maxwell British Council pamphlet

1980 Apparatus from the Cavendish Museum: pamphlet, Cambridge: Cavendish Laboratory

1980 The Cavendish Laboratory: an outline guide to the museum pamphlet, Cambridge: Cavendish Laboratory

1979 Temporary exhibition to commemorate the centenary of the death of James Clerk Maxwell, Cavendish Laboratory

1978-1980 Permanent exhibition of the history of the Cavendish Laboratory (1871–1970s), Cavendish Laboratory

Selected talks and seminars

2018 ‘Maxwell, Kelvin, the inverse square law, and epistemic injustice‘, UK Integrated HPS workshop, UCL, June 2018

2017 (with Loren Johnson) ‘Numerate Ladies: LLA and MA mathematicians at St Andrews, 1896-1910’, Strathmartine Centre, St Andrews, March 2017.

2016 Maxwell and the inverse square law of electrostatics, BSHM Christmas meeting, Birmingham, Dec 2016 (invited)

2015  ‘J.D. Forbes and the development of curve plotting’, MAA Mathfest, Washington DC, August 4-8 2015, as part of the joint BSHM/CSHPM history of mathematics strand (funded by BSHM)

2015  ‘No actual measurement was required: Cavendish, Maxwell and the inverse square law of electrostatic attraction’ Making of Measurement Conference, Cambridge, July 23-24 2015

2014   ‘Editing Cavendish: Maxwell and the Electrical Researches of Henry Cavendish’  International Conference on History of Physics, Cambridge, Sept 2014 (invited)

2014   ‘J.D. Forbes, curve plotting and visual culture’  British Society for the History of Science, Annual Conference, St Andrews, July 2014

2014   ‘Bringing together the scattered forces of science – the principal work of a laboratory’  CafeScientifique, Leamington Spa, March 2014 (invited)

2014   ‘Making experimental physics bite: James Clerk Maxwell and the building of the Cavendish Laboratory’, Cavendish Physical Society, Cambridge, 29 Jan 2014 (invited)

Past topics include: Interactions between physics and chemistry in 19th and 20th centuries (Turin); J J Thomson and “Cavendish” physics (Royal Institution & Cambridge); Thomson and Rutherford’s collaboration on x-ray ionisation (Toronto); J H Poynting and Unitarianism (Oxford); Henry Cavendish, the man and the measurement (London); The Cavendish and the role of the technician (Cambridge).

Numerous talks to celebrate the centenary of the discovery of the electron (1997) (all invited) including: Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Liege, Belgium; Gottingen, Germany; British Association; Royal Society, London.


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