Unique, controversial, and frequently cited, this survey offers highly detailed accounts concerning the development of ideas and theories about the nature of electricity and space (aether). Readily accessible to general readers as well as high school students, teachers, and undergraduates, it includes much information unavailable elsewhere.
This single-volume edition comprises both The Classical Theories and The Modern Theories, which were originally published separately. The first volume covers the theories of classical physics from the age of the Greek philosophers to the late 19th century. The second volume chronicles discoveries that led to the advances of modern physics, focusing on special relativity, quantum theories, general relativity, matrix mechanics, and wave mechanics. Noted historian of science I. Bernard Cohen, who reviewed these books for Scientific American, observed, "I know of no other history of electricity which is as sound as Whittaker's. All those who have found stimulation from his works will read this informative and accurate history with interest and profit."