History of Physics 1

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Code Completion Credits Range Language
02DEF1 Z 2 2+0 Czech
Igor Jex (guarantor)
Igor Jex (guarantor)
Department of Physics

Physics and its place in the system of sciences. The relationship of man and nature. Natural sciences in ancient Orient and Greece, Greek natural philosophers, Aristotle. Physics in Helenistic period, Archimed. Arabic science, European science in Middle Ages. Renaissance - da Vinci, Giordano Bruno. Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Huygens. The birth of physics as experimental science. Newton and his work.


General knowledge of history of mankind and basic laws of physics at high school level.

Syllabus of lectures:

1. Physics and its place in the system of sciences., the relationship of man and nature. 2. The origin of man, thinking and culture. 3.The science in ancient Orient, Egypt, India and China. 4. Greek natural philosophy, atomists. 5. Aristotelian physics. 6. Physics in helenistic period, Archimed. 7. Arabian science. 8. Science in medieval Europe. 9. Copernicus and heliocentrism. 10. Physics during the Renaissance. 11. Kepler and Galilei. 12.Scientific revolution in the 17th century. 13. Newton and the origin of classicak mechanics.

Syllabus of tutorials:
Study Objective:


Obtain global view at the beginning of physical thinking and knowledge from the very origin to the New Ages Further task is to demonstrate how the logical and mathematically founded picture of nature replaced the original mythological concepts and to stress the contribution of the nations of old Orient and antic Greece. Also to show how the development of science and technology during European Middle Ages resulted into the experimentally based scientific revolution which opened the road to our technical civilization of today.


According to personal interests to broaden one's knowledge by further study of literature, be able to work with the historical sources and to prepare essays on the chosen thema from this period of physics..

Study materials:

Key references:

[1] I. Štoll: History of Physics, Praha, Prometheus 2009 (in Czech)

[2] I. Kraus: Physics from Thales to Newton, Praha, Academia 2007 (in Czech)

[3] D. Wootton: The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution,

Penguin Random House, 2015

Recommended references:

[3] Aristoteles: Physics, Praha, P. Rezek 1996

[4] Fragments from pre-Socratean Thinkers, Praha, NČSAV 1962.

[5] Greek Atomists. Svoboda, Praha 1980.

[6] Lucretius: De rerum natura, Praha, Svoboda 1971.

[7] Z. Horský: Kepler in Prague, Praha, Mladá fronta 1980.

[8] V. Malíšek: What do you know about the History of Physics, Praha, Horozonz 1996.

[9] R. Zajac, J. Šebesta: Historical Sources of Contemporary Physics, Bratislava, Alfa 1990..

Time-table for winter semester 2018/2019:
Time-table is not available yet
Time-table for summer semester 2018/2019:
Time-table is not available yet
The course is a part of the following study plans:
Data valid to 2019-04-19
For updated information see http://bilakniha.cvut.cz/en/predmet23536005.html