AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: History of Physics in Other (non-European) Cultures
  Paper Type: Invited
  Title: Physics in Brazil: An Overview of Its History*
  Meeting: 2015 Summer Meeting: College Park, Maryland
  Location: N/A
  Time: 9:00AM
  Author: Olival Freire, Universidade Federal da Bahia
557191017099, freirejr@ufba.br
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The first modern astronomical observations in Brazil were performed by Stansel in Salvador and by Marcgrave in the Dutch Recife. Stansel’s observations were used by Newton. Following the escape of Portuguese royal family to Brazil, early 19th century, engineer courses were opened offering training in mathematics and physics. The Observatorio Imperial was founded in Rio de Janeiro. The watershed, however, happened in the 1930s in São Paulo. Wataghin and Occhialini trained researchers for making innovative research in cosmic rays, including Lattes. After WWII new institutions were created and students went abroad to PhD studies. Bohm and Feynman spent time and Beck moved to Brazil. The 1964 military dictatorship interfered with physics in contradictory manners. Leaders, such as Lopes, Schönberg and Tiomno were persecuted. There was an increase in funds for science, the universities were reformed, and graduates studies created. Current Brazilian physics was shaped from the 1930s to the 1970s.
  Footnotes: *Work supported by CNPq-CAPES
  Presentation: Freire AAPT 2015 Meeting AB02.pdf

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