Science in History: Physics and Psychics: The Occult and the Sciences in Modern Britain (Hardback)
  • Science in History: Physics and Psychics: The Occult and the Sciences in Modern Britain (Hardback)
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Science in History: Physics and Psychics: The Occult and the Sciences in Modern Britain (Hardback)

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£90.00
Hardback 398 Pages / Published: 31/10/2019
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This is the first systematic exploration of the intriguing connections between Victorian physical sciences and the study of the controversial phenomena broadly classified as psychic, occult and paranormal. These phenomena included animal magnetism, spirit-rapping, telekinesis and telepathy. Richard Noakes shows that psychic phenomena interested far more Victorian scientists than we have previously assumed, challenging the view of these scientists as individuals clinging rigidly to a materialistic worldview. Physicists, chemists and other physical scientists studied psychic phenomena for a host of scientific, philosophical, religious and emotional reasons, and many saw such investigations as exciting new extensions to their theoretical and experimental researches. While these attempted extensions were largely unsuccessful, they laid the foundations of modern-day explorations of the connections between physics and psychic phenomena. This revelatory study challenges our view of the history of physics, and deepens our understanding of the relationships between science and the occult, and science and religion.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107188549
Number of pages: 398


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Physics and Psychics is a much-anticipated contribution to scholarship by the preeminent historian of science studying the interaction of science and occultism in this period. Noakes's masterful book, focused on the years 1870-1930, will be essential for scholars of modernism in art, literature, and culture more generally.' Linda Dalrymple Henderson, University of Texas, Austin
'Richard Noakes knows more than anyone else in the world about the complex ways physics and psychical research interacted in the decades around 1900, and in this incisive book he shows us just how permeable the boundary between science and the seemingly supernatural was in those days - and perhaps still is.' Bruce J. Hunt, University of Texas, Austin
'Richard Noakes's ground-breaking book casts important new light on the place of physics in Victorian spiritualism, and the place of spiritualism in Victorian physics. This detailed and compelling study shows just how important the psychic world was in the development of the physical sciences at the end of the nineteenth century.' Iwan Rhys Morus, Aberystwyth University
`Physics and Psychics is a much-anticipated contribution to scholarship by the preeminent historian of science studying the interaction of science and occultism in this period. Noakes's masterful book, focused on the years 1870-1930, will be essential for scholars of modernism in art, literature, and culture more generally.' Linda Dalrymple Henderson, University of Texas, Austin
`Richard Noakes knows more than anyone else in the world about the complex ways physics and psychical research interacted in the decades around 1900, and in this incisive book he shows us just how permeable the boundary between science and the seemingly supernatural was in those days - and perhaps still is.' Bruce J. Hunt, University of Texas, Austin
`Richard Noakes's ground-breaking book casts important new light on the place of physics in Victorian spiritualism, and the place of spiritualism in Victorian physics. This detailed and compelling study shows just how important the psychic world was in the development of the physical sciences at the end of the nineteenth century.' Iwan Rhys Morus, Aberystwyth University

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