HPS211H1S- thientific Revolutions II
January 29 2013: The Industrial Revolution
The Industrial revolution is how we refer to a set of changes that drastically saw the change of the social
structure of 19 century Britain and on the European continent. It re-arranged not only how society
should function, but also how scientists/physicists should be considered in this new world. New
theoretical cosmological frameworks were also at the middle of this changing culture.
Cottage industry he rise of the machines:
science demonstrating practicality, so effective it began to displace traditional professions.
Transition: Spinning Jenny – could spin multiple instead of one thread of yarn.
Created in 1764 by James Hargreaves: he replaced a long history of yarn making in the home, created
specifically to increase productivity.
What would these new technologies do to the poor? Hargreaves himself kept his device secret to increase
Price of yarn goes so low that traditional spinning only used personally.
Expression of the industrialized times: Waste bad, it is morally impermissible to destroy a machine that
could increase productivity.
The people who made money off of all of this were the rising middle class, ‘new money’, not the old
aristocratic classes. New social values, new kind of wealth. Small towns quickly transformed into new
sprawling cities; like Manchester.
Manchester didn’t receive an official city charter until it was 3x the size required. Cities don’t usually
grow that quickly!
These ‘new money’ middle class people defended the pursuit of wealth as a perfectly reasonable pursuit.
This kind of ethic still drives our capitalist free trade ethic.
Improvement of water wheels
Canals and agricultural techniques
Steam power - Steam engine.
Converted heat into mode of work, mechanical force, provided this rising middle class with an incredible
tool. Often time people would put factories next to a river for the use of a water wheel, yet no where near
as much power as a steam engine. Human or animal labour was only needed to maintain the steam engine,
really reduced the labour cost.
Thomas Newcomen: First to use a piston.
James Watt: Made several innovations to prior engines to improve their ifficiency; from 0.5% 3%.
Developed a cooling system … condenser. Actually made a lot of different innovations, Knowing the best way to apply steam was important to the state.
Steam power became a model for the working of nature. Just as the society driven by steam, so too was
the universe, their cosmological picture changed to understand the universe as nothing more than heat
transfers. This vision of reality and culture placed the physicist in a new position, they understand the
universe, therefore they should have the biggest say in how the nation should be run?
Tantamount to placing the physicist in the center of culture.
Thermodynamics was used to combat geologists and evolutionary biologists. (Used against Darwin).
Economics Science of heat, or work.
Sadi Carnot: first person to do an ‘ideal analysis’ of the steam engine. Trained at the Ecole
Polytechnique, his father took part in the schools establishment, and the centralization of education in
Technical knowledge could be used to reorder and benefit society; warfare, transportation, economics etc.
Ecole Polytechnique was at the f