WorldCat Identities

Kragh, Helge 1944-

Works: 205 works in 667 publications in 7 languages and 13,020 library holdings
Genres: History  Biography  Observations  Conference papers and proceedings  Popular works 
Roles: Author, Editor, Contributor, Other, Creator
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Helge Kragh
Matter and spirit in the universe : scientific and religious preludes to modern cosmology by Helge Kragh( )

12 editions published in 2004 in English and held by 1,556 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"This book examines the formative years of modern cosmology from the perspective of its interaction with religious thought. As the first study of its kind, it reveals how closely associated the development of cosmology has been with considerations of a philosophical and religious nature. From nineteenth-century thermodynamics to the pioneering cosmological works of Georges Lemaitre and Arthur E. Milne, religion has shaped parts of modern cosmological theory. By taking the religious component seriously, a new and richer history of cosmology emerges."--BOOK JACKET
Entropic creation : religious contexts of thermodynamics and cosmology by Helge Kragh( )

17 editions published between 2008 and 2016 in English and held by 1,519 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Entropic Creation is the first English-language book to consider the cultural and religious responses to the second law of thermodynamics, from around 1860 to 1920. According to the second law of thermodynamics, as formulated by the German physicist Rudolf Clausius, the entropy of any closed system will inevitably increase in time, meaning that the system will decay and eventually end in a dead state of equilibrium. Application of the law to the entire universe, first proposed in the 1850s, led to the prediction of a future 'heat death', where all life has ceased and all organization dissolved. In the late 1860s it was pointed out that, as a consequence of the heat death scenario, the universe can have existed only for a finite period of time. According to the 'entropic creation argument', thermodynamics warrants the conclusion that the world once begun or was created. It is these two scenarios, allegedly consequences of the science of thermodynamics, which form the core of this book. The heat death and the claim of cosmic creation were widely discussed in the period 1870 to 1920, with participants in the debate including European scientists, intellectuals and social critics, among them the physicist William Thomson and the communist thinker Friedrich Engels. One reason for the passion of the debate was that some authors used the law of entropy increase to argue for a divine creation of the world. Consequently, the second law of thermodynamics became highly controversial. In Germany in particular, materialists and positivists engaged in battle with Christian - mostly Catholic - scholars over the cosmological consequences of thermodynamics. This heated debate, which is today largely forgotten, is reconstructed and examined in detail in this book, bringing into focus key themes on the interactions between cosmology, physics, religion and ideology
Quantum generations : a history of physics in the twentieth century by Helge Kragh( Book )

18 editions published between 1999 and 2002 in English and held by 1,300 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"The first comprehensive one-volume history of twentieth-century physics, the book takes us from the discovery of x-rays in the mid-1890s to superstring theory in the 1990s. Kragh writes about pure science with the expertise of a trained physicist, while keeping the content accessible to nonspecialists and paying careful attention to practical uses of science, ranging from compact disks to bombs. As a historian, Kragh outlines the social and economic contexts that have shaped the field in the twentieth century. He writes, for example, about the impact of the two world wars, the fate of physics under Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, the role of military research, the emerging leadership of the United States, and the backlash against science that began in the 1960s. He also shows how the revolutionary discoveries of scientists ranging from Einstein, Planck, and Bohr to Stephen Hawking have been built on the great traditions of earlier centuries."--Jacket
Conceptions of cosmos : from myths to the accelerating universe : a history of cosmology by Helge Kragh( )

32 editions published between 2006 and 2013 in English and held by 1,289 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"This book is a historical account of how natural philosophers and scientists have endeavoured to understand the universe at large, first in a mythical and later in a scientific context. Starting with the creation stories of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the book covers all the major events in theoretical and observational cosmology, from Aristotle's cosmos over the Copernican revolution to the discovery of the accelerating universe in the late 1990s. It presents cosmology as a subject including scientific as well as non-scientific dimensions, and tells the story of how it developed into a true science of the heavens. Contrary to most other books in the history of cosmology, it offers an integrated account of the development with emphasis on the modern Einsteinian and post-Einsteinian period. Starting in the pre-literary era, it carries the story onwards to the early years of the 21st century."--Jacket
Cosmology and controversy : the historical development of two theories of the universe by Helge Kragh( Book )

20 editions published between 1996 and 1999 in English and held by 901 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

For over three millennia, most people could understand the universe only in terms of myth, religion, and philosophy. Between 1920 and 1970, cosmology transformed into a branch of physics. With this remarkably rapid change came a theory that would finally lend empirical support to many long-held beliefs about the origins and development of the entire universe: the theory of the big bang. In this book, Helge Kragh presents the development of scientific cosmology for the first time as a historical event, one that embroiled many famous scientists in a controversy over the very notion of an evolving universe with a beginning in time. In rich detail he examines how the big-bang theory drew inspiration from and eventually triumphed over rival views, mainly the steady-state theory and its concept of a stationary universe of infinite age. In the 1920s, Alexander Friedmann and Georges Lemaitre showed that Einstein's general relativity equations possessed solutions for a universe expanding in time. Kragh follows the story from here, showing how the big-bang theory evolved, from Edwin Hubble's observation that most galaxies are receding from us, to the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation. Sir Fred Hoyle proposed instead the steady-state theory, a model of dynamic equilibrium involving the continuous creation of matter throughout the universe. Although today it is generally accepted that the universe started some ten billion years ago in a big bang, many readers may not fully realize that this standard view owed much of its formation to the steady-state theory. By exploring the similarities and tensions between the theories, Kragh provides the reader with indispensable background for understanding much of today's commentary about our universe
The moon that wasn't : the saga of Venus' spurious satellite by Helge Kragh( )

13 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 846 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"This book details the history of one of astronomy's many spurious objects, the satellite of Venus. First spotted in 1645, the non-existing moon was "observed" more than a dozen times until the late eighteenth century. Although few astronomers believed in the existence of such an object after about 1770, it continued to attract attention for at least another century. However, it has largely disappeared from the history of astronomy, and the rich historical sources have never been exploited. The story of the enigmatic satellite in its proper historical context demonstrates that it was much more than a mere curiosity in the annals of astronomy. Frederick II of Prussia was familiar with it, and so were Bonnet, Kant and Voltaire. The painstaking attempts to either prove or disprove its existence led to the development of many new perspectives both practical and philosophical. The satellite of Venus belongs to the same category as other fictitious celestial bodies (such as the planet Vulcan), yet it had its own life and fascinating historical trajectory. By following this trajectory, the history of planetary astronomy is addressed in a novel way."--book jacket
An introduction to the historiography of science by Helge Kragh( Book )

44 editions published between 1987 and 2011 in 4 languages and held by 770 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This book introduces the methodological and philosophical problems with which modern history of science is concerned, offering a comprehensive and critical review through description and evaluation of significant historiographical viewpoints. Incorporating discussion of key problems in general historical writing, with examples drawn from a range of disciplines, this non-elementary introduction bridges the gap between general history and history of science. Following a review of the early development of the history of science, the theory of history as applied to science history is introduced, examining the basic problems which this generates, including problems of periodisation, ideological functions, and the conflict between diachronical and anachronical historiography. Finally, the book considers the critical use, and analysis, of historical sources, and the possibility of the experiemental reconstruction of history. Aimed primarily at students, the book's broad scope and integration of historical, philosophical and scientific matters will interest philosophers, sociologists and general historians, for whom there is no alternative introduction to the subject at this level
Dirac : a scientific biography by Helge Kragh( Book )

24 editions published between 1990 and 2009 in 3 languages and held by 689 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Einsteins univers : en fysikers tanker om natur og erkendelse by Helge Kragh( )

9 editions published between 2008 and 2009 in 3 languages and held by 667 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

""Jeg vil vide, hvordan Gud skabte verden. Jeg ønsker at kende hans tanker - resten er detaljer."" Sådan sagde Albert Einstein (1879-1955), og han stod ved sit ord. Mere end nogen anden var Einstein arkitekten bag det 20. århundredes nye verdensbillede, hvor begreber som tid og rum fik en radikalt anden betydning end tidligere. I Einsteins univers redegøres for den berømte fysikers placering i videnskabshistorien, og hovedtrækkene i hans vigtige bidrag til relativitetsteori, kvantefysik og kosmologi forklares. Bogen gennemgår også Einsteins filosofiske og religiøse standpunkter, ligesom den bes
The making of the chemist : the social history of chemistry in Europe, 1789-1914( Book )

11 editions published between 1998 and 2008 in English and held by 390 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Niels Bohr and the quantum atom : the Bohr model of atomic structure, 1913-1925 by Helge Kragh( Book )

15 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 388 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This comprehensive scientific history presents for the first time a detailed and comprehensive study of the Bohr atom in all its aspects; provides a unique example of theory dynamics that will interest both historians and philosophers; takes into account the reception of the theory and the often critical voices of scientists of a conservative inclination; discusses the chemical aspects of the theory as an integral part; and pays particular attention to the tests of Bohr's theory and the anomalies it faced, thereby giving a clearer picture of its decline and the crisis that led to quantum mechanics.--Adapted from publisher description
The weight of the vacuum : a scientific history of dark energy by Helge Kragh( )

10 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 377 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the discovery of cosmic acceleration due to dark energy, a discovery that is all the more perplexing as nobody knows what dark energy actually is. We put the modern concept of cosmological vacuum energy into historical context and show how it grew out of disparate roots in quantum mechanics (zero-point energy) and relativity theory (the cosmological constant, Einstein's "greatest blunder"). These two influences have remained strangely aloof and still co-exist in an uneasy alliance that is at the heart of the greatest crisis in theoretical physics, the cosmological-constant problem
Early responses to the periodic system by Masanori Kaji( Book )

10 editions published between 2014 and 2015 in English and held by 345 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The reception of the periodic system of elements has received little attention. Many historians have studied Mendeleev's discovery of the periodic system, but few have analyzed how the scientific community perceived and employed it. American historian of science Stephen G. Brush concluded that the periodic law had been generally accepted in the United States and Britain and suggested the need to extend this study to other countries. Early Responses to the Periodic System is the first collection of comparative studies on the reception, response, and appropriation of the periodic system of eleme
Higher speculations : grand theories and failed revolutions in physics and cosmology by Helge Kragh( Book )

14 editions published between 2011 and 2015 in English and held by 326 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Throughout history, people have tried to construct 'theories of everything': highly ambitious attempts to understand nature in its totality. This account presents these theories in their historical contexts, from little known hypotheses from the past to modern developments such as the theory of superstrings, the anthropic principle and ideas of many universes, and uses them to problematize the limits of scientific knowledge. Do claims to theories of everything belong to science atall? Which are the epistemic standards on which an alleged scientific theory of the universe - or the multiverse
Varying gravity : Dirac's legacy in cosmology and geophysics by Helge Kragh( )

18 editions published between 2016 and 2018 in English and German and held by 285 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"The main focus of this book is on the interconnection of two unorthodox scientific ideas, the varying-gravity hypothesis and the expanding-earth hypothesis. As such, it provides a fascinating insight into a nearly forgotten chapter in both the history of cosmology and the history of the earth sciences. The hypothesis that the force of gravity decreases over cosmic time was first proposed by Paul Dirac in 1937. In this book the author examines in detail the historical development of Dirac's hypothesis and its consequences for the structure and history of the earth, the most important of which was that the earth must have been smaller in the past."--Page 4 of cover
Masters of the universe : conversations with cosmologists of the past by Helge Kragh( Book )

10 editions published in 2015 in English and held by 240 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

" ... Based on a series of interviews that a fictional person conducted with leading astronomers between 1913 and 1965 ... Although the interviews are purely fictional, a product of the author's imagination, they could have taken place in just the way that is described. They are solidly based on historical facts and, moreover, supplemented with careful annotations and references to the literature"--Dustjacket
From transuranic to superheavy elements : a story of dispute and creation by Helge Kragh( )

6 editions published in 2018 in English and held by 152 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The story of superheavy elements - those at the very end of the periodic table - is not well known outside the community of heavy-ion physicists and nuclear chemists. But it is a most interesting story which deserves to be known also to historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science and indeed to the general public. This is what the present work aims at. It tells the story or rather parts of the story, of how physicists and chemists created elements heavier than uranium or searched for them in nature. And it does so with an emphasis on the frequent discovery and naming disputes concerning the synthesis of very heavy elements. Moreover, it calls attention to the criteria which scientists have adopted for what it means to have discovered a new element. In this branch of modern science it may be more appropriate to speak of creation instead of discovery. The work will be of interest to scientists as well as to scholars studying modern science from a meta-perspective
Phosphors and phosphorus in early Danish natural philosophy by Helge Kragh( Book )

8 editions published in 2003 in English and Multiple languages and held by 103 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Science in Denmark : a thousand-year history( Book )

5 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 80 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Dansk naturvidenskabs historie by Helge Kragh( Book )

38 editions published between 2005 and 2006 in Danish and held by 65 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Naturvidenskabens historie i Danmark beskrives samlet, fyldigt og gennemillustreret og de naturvidenskabelige områders udvikling kortlægges og knyttes sammen med den almindelige danmarkshistorie
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Audience level: 0.31 (from 0.03 for Entropic c ... to 0.96 for Dansk natu ...)

Matter and spirit in the universe : scientific and religious preludes to modern cosmology
Entropic creation : religious contexts of thermodynamics and cosmologyQuantum generations : a history of physics in the twentieth centuryConceptions of cosmos : from myths to the accelerating universe : a history of cosmologyCosmology and controversy : the historical development of two theories of the universeThe moon that wasn't : the saga of Venus' spurious satelliteAn introduction to the historiography of scienceDirac : a scientific biographyThe making of the chemist : the social history of chemistry in Europe, 1789-1914
Alternative Names
Helge Kragh dänischer Wissenschaftshistoriker

Helge Kragh Danish naturalist, physicist, chemist and historian

Helge Kragh natuurwetenschapper uit Denemarken

Kragh, H. 1944-

Kragh, H. S.

Kragh, Helge

Kragh, Helge S.

Kragh, Helge S. 1944-

Kragh, Helge Stjernholm

Kragh, Helge Stjernholm 1944-

カーオ, ヘリガ

クラーウ, ヘリェ