Skip navigation

J.D. Bernal

Titles by This Author

A History of Physics before the Quantum

The late J. D. Bernal's lectures given to first-year students in physics at Birkbeck College, University of London, are presented here in their entirety, tracing the history of physics up to the end of the classical era at the end of 19th century, just before the discoveries of the subatom and relatively were made. In view of the prestige and profundity of the newer discoveries, Bernal felt that the classical era was being largely forgotten. In this book, he attributes a greater relevance to the work of men from the distant past than is usually given. For instance, the idea of "atom" not only retains the language of the Greek, Democritus, who first postulated it, but there is also an absolutely unbroken connection between the atom of the Greek and that of the modern physicist. Bernal felt that the historical method would be a suitable introduction to the fundamental concepts of physics, and it is hoped that the readers of the book will be able to see something of the interplay between the theoretical and practical aspects of the subject.

The Scientific and Industrial Revolution

J. D. Bernal's monumental work Science in History is the first full-scale attempt to analyze the relationship between science and society throughout history, from the perfection of the first flint hand ax to the construction of the hydrogen bomb. This remarkable study illustrates the impetus given to and the limitations placed upon discovery and invention by pastoral, agricultural, feudal, capitalist, and socialist systems, and conversely the ways in which science has altered economic, social, and political beliefs and practices.

This second volume focuses on the period of development and the establishment of modern science. It begins with work of the Renaissance and continues with a discussion of the stimulus given to scientific develpment by emerging seventeenth-century capitalism. A final section takes up the industrial revolution and the manner in which science and technology transformed the whole nature of human society.

The Natural Sciences in Our Time

J. D. Bernal's monumental work Science in History is the first full-scale attempt to analyze the relationship between science and society throughout history, from the perfection of the first flint hand ax to the construction of the hydrogen bomb. This remarkable study illustrates the impetus given to and the limitations placed upon discovery and invention by pastoral, agricultural, feudal, capitalist, and socialist systems, and conversely the ways in which science has altered economic, social, and political beliefs and practices.

Volume 3 is devoted entirely to the twentieth century and the remarkable growth of scientific thought which has occurred in modern times—from the new sciences of nuclear physics and electronics to discoveries and advances in biology and related fields.

The Social Sciences: Conclusion

J. D. Bernal's monumental work Science in History is the first full-scale attempt to analyze the relationship between science and society throughout history, from the perfection of the first flint hand ax to the construction of the hydrogen bomb. This remarkable study illustrates the impetus given to and the limitations placed upon discovery and invention by pastoral, agricultural, feudal, capitalist, and socialist systems, and conversely the ways in which science has altered economic, social, and political beliefs and practices.

In this final volume, Professor Bernal enters the disputed field of the social sciences and provides an avowedly Marxist outline of their history and of the social and political tendencies of our times. Drawing on conclusions from history, he discusses in a final chapter the future role of science in society.