Electricity does not obey disciplinary boundaries, yet its history is dominated by stories
of heroic physicists and engineers. These histories do not reflect its dynamic nature. My
dissertation analyzes how the concept ‘electricity’ evolved from a material fluid to a
force as scientists’ chemical concepts changed. By analyzing the history of electricity
from a chemical perspective, my dissertation demonstrates that the study of electrical
phenomena played an important role in the emerging field of chemistry. It focuses on the
period between 1751, when Benjamin Franklin published Experiments and Observations
on Electricity, and 1807, when Humphry Davy published On Some Chemical Agencies of
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. October 2010. Major: History of Science and Technology. Advisor: Alan E. Shapiro. 1 computer file (PDF); xvi-307 pages, appendices I-IV.
Fisher, Amy Alice.
An arc across fields of study: electricity in Physics and Chemistry (1751-1807).
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