Metamorphism and thermodynamics: the formative years
Published:January 01, 2002
Bernhard Fritscher, 2002. "Metamorphism and thermodynamics: the formative years", The Earth Inside and Out: Some Major Contributions to Geology in the Twentieth Century, David R. Oldroyd
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Between 1890 and the 1920s petrologists and mineralogists began to apply concepts of theoretical chemistry – in particular, the concept of chemical equilibrium – to the study of metamorphic rocks. The majority of the petrological community, however, hesitated to apply the new method on a large scale to metamorphism. Focusing on the works of Becke, Goldschmidt and Eskola, some early approaches to a linkage of metamorphic petrology and theoretical chemistry are reviewed. The controversial discussion, particularly of Goldschmidt's classical study of the Christiania area, led Miyashiro to distinguish two paradigms of early twentieth-century metamorphic petrology. With regard to the contemporary discussion, as well as to Miyashiro's interpretation, this paper is concluded by an epilogue on 'image and logic', which is intended to relate the paradigms of early modern metamorphism to different cultures, and 'national styles' of Earth sciences in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
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The Earth Inside and Out: Some Major Contributions to Geology in the Twentieth Century
This volume is a collection of papers on the history of twentieth century geology, of which eight were presented at a Symposium organized by the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO) for the International Geological Congress at Rio de Janeiro in 2000.
The book offers a conspectus of selected developments of twentieth century geology. It has grown from largely a field discipline, chiefly concerned with rocks at the Earth's surface, to one that extends to the planet's interior, and to space beyond. New ideas, instruments, and techniques have extended the scope of earth science to the macro and the micro. Theories abound. One paper raises some of the social and political problems faced by modern geology.
The volume is intended as a prolegomenon to some future synthetic understanding of twentieth century earth sciences. It should appeal to a wide range of geoscientists and historians of science.