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Mass-spectrometry: The development of a scientific community.

Panton, David Renault. (1981) Mass-spectrometry: The development of a scientific community. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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The aim of this thesis is to form a realistic theory of the process of scientific innovation, based on an account of the history of the development of mass-spectrometry from 1911, when Sir J.J. Thomson first invented the technique, to the 1950's, when the technique first became commercially available. Four stages of development are considered : DISCOVERY - this section is concerned with prevailing 19th century attitudes, concepts and theories in science; a description of the contemporary scientific community, contrasting the late Victorian scientific world with that of modern research; Sir J. J,Thomson, his work at the Cavendish, and the events leading up to the invention of the first Parabola instrument; F. W. Aston, the Mass-Spectrograph and controversies and problems of isotopes. DIFFUSION - this stage examines the dissemination of the technique to America and Germany; technological innovations and sophistication of mass-spectrometric technique; the controversies over Deuterium and Tritium. CONCENTRATION - this section looks at the changes in science brought about by World War II and the Manhattan Project; the role of mass-spectrometry in Uranium separation, and the gradual spread of the technique into other fields. EXPLOITATION - considers post-war technological advances, the spread of mass-spectrometry into other areas of science, and commercial manufacturing and marketing. This account is then examined using several methodological tools to render it suitable for sociological analysis. A new bibliography of mass-spectrometry has been compiled; bibliographic and citation analysis has been carried out;twelve pioneer scientists in the field have been interviewed, and the current generation of mass-spectrometrists have been surveyed by questionnaire. The development of the community of mass-spectrometrists as evidenced by a variety of indices is compared and contrasted to other sociological investigations, thus this thesis contains a review of current sociological thought, in particular concerning the expansion of science, and the relationship between technology and science. From this elucidation of the development of a central problem in science, in particular an examination of the flow of information and ideas, it is then possible to assess the degree of 'fit' of this case study to a synthesis of sociological theory.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Panton, David Renault.
Date : 1981
Contributors :
Additional Information : Thesis (M.Phil.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1981.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 22 Jun 2018 14:25
Last Modified : 06 Nov 2018 16:53

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