Authors
Elay Shech
Auburn University
Abstract
Contemporary scholars are engaged in a debate over whether Charles Augustin Coulomb’s results that he presented in his 1785 and 1787 memoirs to the Paris Academy of Sciences were attained experimentally or theoretically. In this paper, we study Coulomb’s famous 1785 electric torsion balance experiment through analysis of relevant texts and, more importantly, through a replication that is more faithful to Coulomb’s original design than previous attempts. We show that, despite recent claims, it has so far proved impossible to obtain the same results reported by Coulomb in his paper of 1785, Coulomb’s published results are most likely atypical, and electric torsion balance experiments degenerate quickly when parameters are altered by small amounts. Acknowledgements: We wish to thank Jed Buchwald for generously making available the glass pieces of a torsion balance identical to that used by Alberto Martinez. Special thanks also to Paolo Palmieri for his important roles in replicating the electric torsion balance, discussing results and recording trials, as well as for the invaluable comments given on earlier drafts of this paper. A part of this paper was presented at the 2008 History of Science Society Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. We thank the participants of that meeting, especially Alberto A. Martinez, for helpful discussion and comments. Thank you also to Peter Heering for recent discussion and feedback. This research was supported by the Wesley C. Salmon fund, History and Philosophy of Science department, University of Pittsburgh.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2014
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,118
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

On the Kinematics of the Torsion of Space-Time.Friedrich W. Hehl - 1985 - Foundations of Physics 15 (4):451-471.
Radiation From an Electric Charge.Amos Harpaz & Noam Soker - 2001 - Foundations of Physics 31 (6):935-949.
Spinors and Torsion in General Relativity.Roger Penrose - 1983 - Foundations of Physics 13 (3):325-339.
Torsional Weyl-Dirac Electrodynamics.Mark Israelit - 1998 - Foundations of Physics 28 (2):205-229.
On Stable Torsion-Free Nilpotent Groups.Claus Grünenwald & Frieder Haug - 1993 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 32 (6):451-462.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-09-07

Total views
25 ( #388,532 of 2,324,551 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #682,670 of 2,324,551 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes