Klaus Hentschel

Klaus Hentschel
Universität Stuttgart · Institute of History

Prof. Dr. rer.nat. habil.
upcoming papers on relativity theory, on redshift, on the history of materials science & on cognitive history of science

About

598
Publications
136,652
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Introduction
Klaus Hentschel is a historian of science specializing in the physical sciences from the 17th to the 20th c. He published 10 books, 17 anthologies & editions, >160 papers. His last big projects were a comparative history of visual cultures in science, technology & medicine (2014 Oxford Univ.Press), an anthology on the life & work of C.F.v. Weizsäcker (2014), a collaborative project on the history & practice of materials science (2016), and a history of the concept of light quanta (2018)
Additional affiliations
October 2005 - present
Universität Stuttgart
Position
  • Full professor & director of the section for History of Science & Technology (GNT), Universität Stuttgart
April 2005 - present
Universität Stuttgart
Position
  • full professor with directing functions (W3 mit Leitungsfunktion)
October 2003 - September 2004
University of Hamburg
Position
  • Ernst Cassirer Guest professorship, Univ. Hamburg

Publications

Publications (598)
Article
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The manipulation of materials, and to some extent also their systematic classification, form an integral part of the skills and culture of all societies. Yet it took long for proper sciences (e.g., metallurgy, glass technology, polymer chemistry or solid-state physics) to develop out of many processing procedures, tapping the accumulated knowledge...
Article
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This paper discusses a series of case studies on observations, experiments, and the theoretical interpretation between 1890 and 1960 of a shift of dark Fraunhofer lines in the solar spectrum. I argue for the use of flow charts to analyze interconnections and to identify sequences of research strategies. Also I advocate using a newly-developed tool...
Book
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In meiner Arbeit werde ich den Facettenreichtum der Ausdeutungen, die beide RT erfuhren, zunächst zu referieren und durch repräsentative Zitate aus der Literatur der Zeit zu belegen haben. Der Umfang dieser Arbeit geht wesentlich auf das Konto dieser ausgewählten Belege - davon verspreche ich mir, daß nicht nur bislang unveröffentlichte Dokumente,...
Book
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First effort at a historiographic synthesis of decades worth of micro-studies on visual science cultures; Comparative approach - discerns recurrent patterns of emergence, development, change and transfer; In-depth discussion of selected examples provides deep insight into scientific, technical and medical practices from the early-modern period to t...
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This is a historical account of Gabriel Lippmann's technque of interferential color photography and its application in spectroscopy, also comparing the quality of Lippmann's photographs of spectra with those of Neuhauss, Ives, Ramon y Cajal, Lumière and others. See https://www.aup.nl/en/book/9789048554010/gabriel-lippmann-s-colour-photography
Article
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This is a brief death-notice about the historian of physics Karl von Meyenn (1937-2022) who was active in Chile, Stuttgart, Barcelona, Zurich, (ETH) and Geneva (CERN)
Chapter
This chapter contextualizes and compares different interpretations of Einstein’s concept of light quanta. Einstein’s “heuristic point of view” was attacked from all sides, including many of Einstein’s mentors since it violated basic assumptions of classical electrodynamics. The interpretation of light quanta slowly started to change after Robert Mi...
Chapter
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this contribution to a public exhibition about the Life and Work of Johannes Kepler, organized by the Keplergesellschaft in Weil der Stadt, the University of Stuttgart and other contributors, in order to celebrate his 450th birthday, summarizes Kepler's central goals and motives in his work, i.e., an idiosyncratic combination of a neoplatonic searc...
Article
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Der langjährige Direktor des 1. Instituts für theoretische Physik der Universität Hamburg legt hier eine Art wissenschaftlicher Biographie Jensens mit Schwerpunkt auf die Zeit bis 1948 vor. Während die bislang vorliegenden Texte über Jensen sich auf dessen Nachkriegszeit in Heidelberg (ab 1948) konzentrierten , legt Scharnberg den Fokus auf die Ham...
Article
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A remarkable part of the ceiling mural in corridor G to the burial chamber of Tomb KV 9 for Pharaohs Ramesses V and VI is interpreted as depicting a solar eclipse in 1143 BCE, which reached 80% totality in the Theben region and full totality further south in the Syene (Assuan) region of Ancient Egypt. This mural agrees perfectly with the book Amdua...
Article
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A brief summary written by Michael Vogel about a recent archival finding and research article by Klaus Hentschel 2020 [also available in research gate and online] on an unknown nuclear technologist and physicist Hugo Watzlawek who was actively researching applications of nuclear energy during the national socialist period and who believed that cont...
Chapter
This paper summarizes Angelo Secchi’s important contributions to spectroscopy and solar physics. After discussing his work in stellar spectroscopy and classification and the instrumentation he used to examine the spectra of stars, solar prominences, the solar chromosphere, and the corona, this paper also presents Secchi as a protagonist of a highly...
Chapter
Nowadays the instrument maker Moritz Meyerstein (1808–1882) is a familiar name only among Gauß experts and curators of scientific-instrument collections. This chapter briefly summarizes my approach toward writing a documentary biography of this figure—the three-hundred-page book appeared as Volume 52 of the series Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wiss...
Article
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Zusammenfassung Bei der Durchsicht des Nachlasses von Rudolf Tomaschek (1895–1966) fand ich ein 30 Seiten umfassendes Typoskript seines damaligen Assistenten Hugo Watzlawek (1912–1995) aus dem Jahr 1944 mit dem Titel „Interatomare Energie“. Heute würde man eher von „inneratomarer Energie“, oder von „Kernenergie“ sprechen, da der Inhalt des Typoskri...
Chapter
This is a biographical article about the physicist, philosopher and peace researcher Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker (1912-2007), including information about his family, his publications and research profile, and literature about him
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This chapter, a contribution to an Internation Conference in Vienna on Ernst Mach, summarizes the extent and variety of the scientific correspondence of Ernst Mach (1838-1916), an Internationally reknown physicist, physiologist, philosopher and pioneer of history and philosophy of science.
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To compile a comprehensive edition of the correspondence of the world-famous physicist, physiologist, philosopher, and pioneer historian of science, Ernst Mach (1838–1916) is an urgent desideratum. An estimated 5000 letters to and from Mach are kept in public and private archives worldwide. The largest part of this correspondence (most of the lette...
Article
This is a critical book review by Klaus Hentschel of a book by Yoshitaka Yamamoto: The Pull of History Human Understanding of Magnetism Through the Ages, Singapore: World Scientific, 2018
Article
This is a book review by Klaus Hentschel of a book ed. by Ernst Seidl, Frank Loose & Edgar Bierende: Mathematik mit Modellen. Alexander von Brill und die Tübinger Modellsammlung, Tübingen: MUT 2018
Article
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this is a book review by Klaus Hentschel of Joseph D. Martin: Solid State Insurrection: How the Science of Substance Made American Physics Matter (University of Pittsburgh Pres, 2018) which appeared in the British Journal for the History of Science. Vol. 52 Issue 2 (June 2019), pp. 379-381.
Article
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In this paper I discuss the current state of history of science in Germany, a combination of strong interest in the field from various neighboring fields (including cultural history, media history, history of art, visual studies) and increasing fragmentation. Strong institutions such as the Max Planck Institute for History of Science rather increas...
Article
A translator and her science consultant, who have worked together on many books, consider the problems of translating primary and secondary texts in science. Various problems encountered in translating an ongoing documentary edition in the history of science are discussed using the collected works of Albert Einstein as a test case. For instance, ea...
Article
Loss of the Inner Core: Expectations and Fears for the Future of the History of Science. In this paper, I discuss the current state of history of science in Germany, a combination of strong interest in the field from various neighboring fields (including cultural history, media history, history of art, visual studies) and increasing fragmentation....
Article
Full-text available
Netzwerke von Experimentatoren, Astronomen und Instrumentenmachern. Zwei neue Briefeditionen, Sudhoffs Archiv 102 (2018): 120-123 (= Essay review of (Wolfgang Dick, Jürgen Hamel & Rolf Riekher (eds.) Der Brief­wechsel Joseph von Fraunhofers, Leipzig, Akad. Verlagsanstalt 2017 sowie Friedhelm Schwemin (ed.) Der Briefwechsel von zwischen Friedrich Wi...
Article
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Standing together in troubled times. Unpublished letters by Pauli, Einstein, Franck and others, Sudhoffs Archiv 102 (2018): 125-127 (= book review of Mikhail Shifman, Singapore 2016)
Chapter
Planck’s and Einstein’s steps toward quantization are discussed, including a historical comparison of these two very different thinkers, their motives and heuristics. Sect. 2.2 studies Albert Einstein’s arguments up to the 1905 paper and how the many important publications from this annus mirabilis and shortly afterwards until 1909 are interconnect...
Chapter
Proceeding from the introductory propositions about semantic accretion and folds or ‘convolutions’ of meaning, we now treat the conceptual history of light quanta or photons. The twelve semantic layers forming the notion are presented: (1) the particle model of light, starting with Newton into the nineteenth century; (2) light propagation having a...
Chapter
If Einstein himself could not fully cope with his concept of light quanta, it is no wonder that his contemporaries would not enthusiastically rally behind it from the start either. The early reception of the concept of light quanta starts with initial skepticism by almost the entire scientific community (including many of Einstein’s strongest suppo...
Chapter
What is today’s mental model of the photon? Naively materialistic projectile or corpuscular interpretations of light were defended not only by Isaac Newton and his many nineteenth-century acolytes but by important experimental physicists from the following century, such as Johannes Stark or Arthur Holly Compton. Thomas Young, Augustin Fresnel and m...
Chapter
The notion of the ‘light quantum’ is interpreted as a conceptual fusion in the sense of Gilles Fauconnier’s and Mark Turner’s ‘conceptual blending’ (2002). The notion of a black hole can be interpreted as a superpositioning of the everyday notion of a hole in the ground (into which objects, such as golf balls, can fall and disappear) onto the mathe...
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How are these developments reflected in textbooks and scientific instruction? Charts and examples show how eight significant episodes in the history of the introduction of the light quantum are barely adequately or insufficiently treated in over 100 analyzed science textbooks and almost 40 practical instruction manuals. Coming generations of scient...
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Photon experiments in quantum mechanics (since 1945) are discussed. Sect. 8.1 begins with photon clumping since Hanbury Brown and Twiss 1955–57. Sects. 8.2–8.3 report about beam-splitter experiments on single photons, and single-photon interference by Taylor 1909 up to Grangier et al. (1986). Sects. 8.4–8.5 cover Alain Aspect’s experiments on EPR p...
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The mental models by early actors are presented. Sect 4.1 discusses Isaac Newton’s “globuli of light” along with amendments by some of his important adherents; the next two sections cover Einstein’s mental model of light quanta around 1909 as singularities in the radiation field, along with his doubts about it 1910–15. Sects. 4.4–4.6 review the men...
Book
This book focuses on the gradual formation of the concept of ‘light quanta’ or ‘photons’, as they have usually been called in English since 1926. The great number of synonyms that have been used by physicists to denote this concept indicates that there are many different mental models of what ‘light quanta’ are: simply finite, ‘quantized packages o...
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This contribution to an anthology of papers on the practive of digital humanities summarizes the approach, goals and results of the stuttgart-based "Database of Scientific Illustrators 1450-1950" which collects data, techniques, samples and secondary literature on nearly 12.0000 illustrators active between 1450 and 1950 in more than 100 countries w...
Book
Full-text available
The book celebrates the 50th anniversary of the section for history of science & technology at the University of Stuttgart with various contributions on the history of the relatively young field of history of science & technology. It includes a survey of all chairs in Germany, and a documentation of all academic theses and publications, of represen...
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Kapitel 6 behandelt den Reflex dieser Entwicklungen in Lehrbüchern und im naturwissenschaftlichen Unterricht. Anhand von Tabellen und Beispielen wird gezeigt, wie acht für die Geschichte der Einführung von Lichtquanten bedeutungsvolle historische Episoden in etwas über 100 untersuchten naturwissenschaftlichen Lehrbüchern sowie fast 40 Praktikumsanl...
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Kapitel 5 schildert die frühe Rezeption des Konzepts von Lichtquanten, beginnend bei anfänglich großer Skepsis fast der gesamten scientific community (inklusive derer, die wie Max Planck und sein Schüler Max von Laue ansonsten zu den größten Förderern Einsteins gehörten). In Abschn. 5.2 wird der Compton-Effekt 1922/23 als Wegscheide interpretiert,...
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Kapitel 7 reinterpretiert das Konzept ‚Lichtquanten‘ als eine begriffliche Überlagerung im Sinne des kognitiven Modells von ‚conceptual blending‘ von Gilles Fauconnier und Mark Turner (2002). Analog dazu, wie das Konzept eines schwarzen Loches interpretiert werden kann als die Überlagerung der Alltagsvorstellung eines dunklen Loches, in das Objekte...
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Kapitel 4 diskutiert mentale Modelle früher Akteure; in 4.1 zunächst Sir Isaac Newtons Vorstellungen zu „globuli of light“ sowie ergänzende Überlegungen einiger seiner wichtigsten Anhänger, in den beiden folgenden Abschnitten dann Einsteins mentales Modell von Lichtquanten um 1909 als eine Singularität des Strahlungsfeldes, sowie Einsteins eigene Z...
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Kapitel 9 fragt:Wie muss unser heutiges mentales Modell von Photonen aussehen? Naiv-materialistische Projektil- oder Teilcheninterpretationen des Lichts verteidigten nicht nur Isaac Newton und seine zahlreichen Anhänger vom 17.–19. Jahrhundert, sondern im 20. Jahrhundert noch so bedeutende Experimentatoren wie Johannes Stark oder Arthur Holly Compt...
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Ausgehend von meinen Thesen über semantische Anreicherung (Akkretion) bzw. Bedeutungs-Faltung (,convolution‘) wird jetzt die Geschichte des Konzepts der Lichtquanten in zwölf Bedeutungsschichten behandelt, die ihre Wurzeln z.T. bereits in den älteren Newtonianischen Teilchentheorien des Lichts haben, z.T. in der sogenannten älteren Quantentheorie d...
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Im 10. Kapitel folgen eine kurze deutsche Zusammenfassung sowie ein englischer Abstract, die Bibliographie aller zitierten oder im Text erwähnten Primär- und Sekundärtexte sowie eine einseitige Auflistung einiger besonders nützlicher Websites zum Thema Lichtquanten Photonen Photoeffekt usw. Man beachte, daß in diesem Buch anders als in Springer-Leh...
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Kapitel 2 bietet als inhaltlichen Einstieg ins Thema eine ausführliche Erörterung von Plancks sowie Einsteins Schritten hin zur Quantisierung, auch im historisch-kontrastiven Vergleich der beiden Denker und ihrer jeweiligen Motive und Heuristiken. Abschnitt 2.2 diskutiert Einsteins Gedankenführung bis zum Aufsatz von 1905 und den Zusammenhang der v...
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Kapitel 8 diskutiert neuere Experimente zur Quantenmechanik des Photons (seit 1945). Dabei beginnt Abschn. 8.1 mit Photonenklumpen, wie sie seit den von Hanbury Brown und Twiss (HBT) 1955–57 ausgeführten Experimenten untersucht werden. Abschn. 8.2–3 setzen fort mit einem Bericht über Experimente an einzelnen Photonen vor dem halbdurchlässigen Spieg...
Book
Dieses Buch beschäftigt sich mit der Entstehungsgeschichte des komplexen Konzeptes des Photons aus wissenschaftshistorischer, kognitionspsychologischer und naturwissenschaftlicher Sicht. Dabei werden unter anderem sechs verschiedene mentale Modelle des Lichtquantums bzw. Photons diskutiert und der Bogen vom Teilchenmodell Newtons, dem Singularitäts...
Data
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Article
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Review by Klaus Hentschel in Sudhoffs Archiv 100,1 (2016): 144-145 Review of Erich Robens, Shanath Amarasiri A. Jayaweera & Susanne Kiefer: Balances. Instruments, Manufacturers, History, Berlin & Heideberg: Springer 2014.
Data
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In the early modern period, clearer “crystallo” glass became available in central Europe. Della Porta (1593), Peacham (1612), Descartes (1637) and Marci (1648) were among the first to describe experiments with a “three square cristal prisme.” They assumed that color is an artificial change of natural (white) light, induced by transition through med...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Archived project
this is a project which I followed from 1990 to 2002 and which includes my habilitation thesis of 1995 and my book "Mapping the Spectrum" (OUP 2002). The theme then led me to my follow-up comparative project on "visual cultures of science and technology" - spectroscopy is one such visual culture.
Project
The stuttgart-based "Database of Scientific Illustrators 1450-1950" collects data, techniques, samples, and secondary literature on currently (= Oct 2020) on more than 12,600 illustrators active between 1450 and 1950 in more than 100 countries worldwide, with particular emphasis on anatomy, dermatology, botany, zoology, mineralogy, astronomy, and general natural history. These data are presented in 23 different search fields which are freely searchable online at https://dsi.hi.uni-stuttgart.de/index.php