University of California, Berkeley
In 1969, Cahan received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California in Berkeley.
Baltimore, MD 21218, United States
In 1977, Cahan received a Master of Arts from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in 1980.
(An Institute for an Empire is the first scholarly study o...)
An Institute for an Empire is the first scholarly study of one of the world's foremost scientific institutions, the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt (PTR) in Imperial Germany. The Reichsanstalt stood at the forefront of institutional innovation in science and technology during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, uniting diverse practitioners and representatives of physics, technology, industry, and the state. It demonstrated how physics and industrial technology could help build a modem society and a modem nation-state. Moreover, it encouraged and helped inaugurate the era of Big Science. Professor Cahan also discusses the Reichsanstalt's leaders and scientists, including Wemer von Siemens and Hermann von Helmholtz, as well as its scientific and technological work. Among the Reichsanstalt's many accomplishments were contributions to the new quantum physics, development of physical standards and measuring instruments for science, industry, and the state, and testing work for a variety of German industries.
(Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) was a polymath of dazzl...)
Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) was a polymath of dazzling intellectual range and energy. Renowned for his co-discovery of the second law of thermodynamics and his invention of the ophthalmoscope, Helmholtz also made many other contributions to physiology, physical theory, philosophy of science and mathematics, and aesthetic thought. During the late nineteenth century, Helmholtz was revered as a scientist-sage―much like Albert Einstein in this century.
(Science and Culture makes available again Helmholtz's elo...)
Science and Culture makes available again Helmholtz's eloquent arguments on the usefulness, benefits, and, intellectual pleasures of understanding the natural world. With Cahan's Introduction to set these essays in their broader context, this collection makes an important contribution to the philosophical and intellectual history of Europe at a time when science played an increasingly significant role in social, economic, and cultural life.
(Hermann von Helmholtz was a towering figure of nineteenth...)
Hermann von Helmholtz was a towering figure of nineteenth-century scientific and intellectual life. Best known for his achievements in physiology and physics, he also contributed to other disciplines such as ophthalmology, psychology, mathematics, chemical thermodynamics, and meteorology. With Helmholtz: A Life in Science, David Cahan has written a definitive biography, one that brings to light the dynamic relationship between Helmholtz’s private life, his professional pursuits, and the larger world in which he lived.
In 1969, Cahan received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California in Berkeley. In 1977, he also received a Master of Arts from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in 1980.
David Cahan was a research assistant at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey at the beginning of his academic career. He also was a guest lecturer at numerous institutions in the United States and abroad, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Boston University, University of Uppsala, University of Utrecht, Tel Aviv University, University of Kent at Canterbury, Linacre College, Oxford, and St. John’s College, Cambridge. Nowadays Cahan is the Charles Bessey Professor of History at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.
David Cahan has published a long biography of a major nineteenth-century German scientist, Helmholtz: A Life in Science. Hermann von Helmholtz was one of the major figures in nineteenth-century German (and European) science. In this book the author seeks both to portray Helmholtz’s life and work, and to explore the broader context and larger-scale developments of nineteenth-century science and culture as these affected Helmholtz and as he in turn affected them.
David Cahan also has edited three previous books by or about Helmholtz - Letters of Hermann von Helmholtz to His Parents: The Medical Education of a German Scientist, 1837-1846; Hermann von Helmholtz and the Foundations of Nineteenth-Century Science; and Science and Culture: Popular and Philosophical Essays.
David's interests in issues of science and technology can also be seen in his first book, An Institute for an Empire: The Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt, 1871-1918, while his interests in American science can be seen in his co-authored, Science at the American Frontier: A Biography of DeWitt Bristol Brace. Cahan has also edited a volume on the historiography of nineteenth-century science - From Natural Philosophy to the Sciences: Writing the History of Nineteenth-Century Science.
(An Institute for an Empire is the first scholarly study o...)1989
(Science and Culture makes available again Helmholtz's elo...)1995
(Hermann von Helmholtz was a towering figure of nineteenth...)2018
(Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) was a polymath of dazzl...)1994
Cahan's teaching interests cover several broad areas, including the history of science from the ancient Greeks to the present; the history of Modern Europe (ca. 1700 to the present), European Intellectual history (Enlightenment to the present); and the history of American technology ("From Edison to Facebook").
Cahan is a member of the History of Science Society.