Melloni’s Experiments and the Search for the Nature of Infrared Radiation
We repeated the historical infra-red radiation experiments performed by Melloni, to investigate why, at the end of his life, he came to the conclusion that radiation from light and heat rely on the same basic principle, what has been translated as the so called unitary formalism. In doing so, we profited from a Master thesis on heat radiation and Melloni’s related effort, organized by our museum. We also investigated how Melloni fits into Kuhn’s structure of scientific revolutions, and concept of paradigm shift, with Melloni’s experimental work in mind. We conclude that Melloni did not come to this opinion on the unitary principle of the phenomenon of light and heat on the basis of any philosophical considerations, but on facts and observations and similarities between both phenomena.
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