Hace tiempo que quería escribir sobre el camino de la unificación de fuerzas en la historia de la física. En estos días estoy leyendo el muy buen libro "A First Course in String Theory", de Barton Zwiebach:
For a while, electricity and magnetism had appeared to be unrelated physical phenomena. Electricity was studied first. The remarkable experiments of Henry Cavendish were performed in the period from 1771 to 1773. They were followed by the investigations of Charles Augustin de Coulomb, which were completed in 1785. These works provided a theory of static electricity, or electrostatics. Subsequent research into magnetism, however, began to reveal connections with electricity. In 1819 Hans Christian Oersted discovered that the electric current on a wire can deflect the needle of a compass placed nearby. Shortly thereafter, Jean-Baptiste Biot and Felix Savart (1820) and André-Marie Ampére (1820–1825) established the rules by which electric currents produce magnetic fields. A crucial step was taken by Michael Faraday (1831), who showed that changing magnetic fields generate electric fields. Equations that described all of these results became available, but they were, in fact, inconsistent. It was James Clerk Maxwell (1865) who constructed a consistent set of equations by adding a new term to one of the equations. Not only did this term remove the inconsistencies, but it also resulted in the prediction of electromagnetic waves. For this great insight, the equations of electromagnetism (or electrodynamics) are now called "Maxwell"s equations." These equations unify electricity and magnetism into a consistent whole. This elegant and aesthetically pleasing unification was not optional. Separate theories of electricity and magnetism would be inconsistent.
Yo pondría antes a Newton, que unificó los movimientos cotidianos con los movimientos celestes, que eran mundos separados para Aristóteles. En el próximo post sigo compartiendo el texto de Zwiebach. Como libro, está recomendado para quien, teniendo alguna base matemática, quiera conocer e introducirse en el mundo de la teoría de cuerdas.
Angel "Java" Lopez