H-PhysicalSciences provides a communication channel and resource nexus for historians of the physical sciences. Its topical scope covers the physical sciences broadly understood, including but not limited to: physics; chemistry; earth, space, and atmospheric science; astronomy; and materials science. By linking these fields, H-PhysicalSciences encourages active dialogue between scholars studying a diverse range of topics with the goal of galvanizing the community in a way that promotes integration with the larger discipline of history of science.

Recent Content

Seeking Podcast Hosts

New Books in Physics (http://newbooksinphysics.com), New Books in Chemistry (http://newbooksinchemistry.com), and New Books in Astronomy (http://newbooksinastronomy.com) are currently seeking hosts interested in conducting interviews with authors of new books on physics, chemistry, and astronomy, respectively. Hosting New Books channels is a good way to bring the work of physical science scholars to the attention of large audiences.

Speakers wanted: AIP Public Lecture Series


The Center for the HIstory of Physics, American Institute of Physics seeks speakers for its 2015-2016 public lecture series. The series as a whole will pay particular attention to the centennary of the General Theory of Relativity (GTR). Talks will be held at AIP headquarters in College Park, MD, and the exact dates are TBD.  If you, or someone you know, would be interested in delivering a public lecture in this series, especially having to do with the history of GTR please contact Greg Good (ggood@aip.org).

Planetary Ordering in 1520

In her book, Influences: Art, Optics, and Astrology in the Italian Renaissance, Mary Quinlan–McGrath uses as one of her examples the Astrological Vault of the Sala dei Pontefici. The original version was commissioned by Leo X and apparently designed by Raphael just prior to his death in 1520. With the Sun located centrally for astrological reasons, the ordering of the remaining celestial bodies is Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. Does anyone know of evidence as to how the sequence for Mercury and Venus was established in this case?