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SPECIAL SEMINAR


"The Needham question, or How Modern Physics was invented"


Dr. Gennady Gorelik
Boston University

ABSTRACT 

I am going to discuss a few interconnected questions.

The Needham question:

Why did modern science, with all its implications for advanced technology, take its meteoric rise only in the West at the time of Galileo, but not in Chinese civilization which in the previous centuries was much more efficient than the West in applying natural knowledge to practical needs?

An extended Needham question:

What hindered Greco-Roman and Medieval scientists from making the next major step after Archimedes, and why non-Europeans didn't contribute into modern science for centuries after Galileo? Or, in other words, what helped Europeans to originate and develop modern science?

Politically not quite correct question:

Why was fundamental science so Eurocentric for so long?

And most reasonable question:

What is the key distinction between modern physics and pre-Galilean science?

References:
How Modern Physics was invented in the 17th century
"https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/how-the-modern-physics-was-invented-in-the-17th-century-part-1-the-needham-question/"

A Galilean Answer to the Needham Question http://journals.openedition.org/philosophiascientiae/1244?lang=en">/




Tuesday, April 10, 2018
IQSE Seminar Room, 3:00 pm
(578 MPHY)


Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering
Texas A&M University

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