Relocating the History of Science: Essays in Honor of Kostas Gavroglu

Springer Verlag (2015)
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Abstract

In 1877 Louis Paul Cailletet in France and Raoul Pictet in Switzerland liquefied oxygen in the form of a mist. The liquefaction of the first of the so-called permanent gases heralded the birth of low-temperature research and is often described in the literature as having started a ‘race’ for attaining progressively lower temperatures. In fact, between 1877 and 1908, when helium, the last of the permanent gases, was liquefied, there were many priority disputes—something quite characteristic of the emergence of a new research field. This paper examines Cailletet’s path to the liquefaction of oxygen, as well as a debate between him and the Polish physicist Zygmunt Wróblewski over the latter’s contribution to the liquefaction of gases

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Author Profiles

Nancy Nersessian
Georgia Institute of Technology
Theodore Arabatzis
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

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