Kostas Gavroglu and Ana Simões: Neither physics nor chemistry. A history of quantum chemistry: The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA & London, 2012, 351 pp. [ISBN-10: 0262016184; ISBN-13: 9780262016186]

Foundations of Chemistry 18 (1):81-84 (2014)
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Abstract

In line with their previous studies dedicated to quantum chemistry (Gavroglu and Simões 1994, 2000; Simões and Gavroglu 1997, 2001), the last joint publication by Kostas Gavroglu and Ana Simões provides the readers not only with a fine-grained, rigorous, and highly valuable book on the history of science but also with stimulating epistemological insights about the way ‘in-between’ disciplines, to use the authors’ turn of phrase, emerge from the convergence of diverging ‘styles’ of research and heterogeneous practices. To make their point, the authors divide their work into four main chapters before drawing epistemological and historiographical conclusions in the fifth and last part of their work. The first chapter entitled ‘Quantum Chemistry qua Physics: The Promises and Deadlocks of Using First Principles’ focuses mainly on German researchers’ contributions in the development of quantum chemistry. In this respect, it highlights four pioneering moments: (1) Walter Heitler and Fritz Lo

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