After World War II, many former military engineers found employment at the Japanese National Railways, especially the Railway Technical Research Institute, and made significant contributions to the postwar development of railway technology. In particular, a contribution by a group of former Navy engineers led by Tadashi Matsudaira to the solution of vibration problems of rolling stocks has been dealt with repeatedly in historical narratives. According to those conventional narratives, Matsudaira and others successfully applied advanced theoretical expertise that he had acquired through wartime aeronautical research to the vibration problems, which had troubled empiricist railway engineers. This article reexamines how former aeronautical engineers and conventional railway engineers tackled the vibration problems. It argues that what actually characterized the research style of conventional railway engineers was conservatism, which did not encourage the fruit of academically oriented research to turn into actual changes in the design of rolling stocks. On the other hand, Matsudaira and other former Navy engineers had the research style characterized by practical orientation and creativity, which became a catalyst for change at the Japanese National Railways. This article thus compares the two different engineering cultures, examining engineers' practices and approaches as well as their social environments and social values. The changes in the engineering culture of the Japanese National Railways shown in this article implies the importance of discussing the continuities and discontinuities in other scenes of technological development from the prewar period to the postwar period.
Charles Babbage (1791-1871) was a polymath at the Victorian Age in England. He is famous for his calculating engines, especially the Analytical Engine, which is a prototype of modern computers. Also it is well known that the range of Babbage's writings are spread over many fields. The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise is a typical book indicating another talent of his. This treatise is known as a critic of Whewell's words in his Bridgewater Treatise entitled Astronomy and General Physics Considered with Reference to Natural Theology. In his treatise, Whewell dismissed works of continental mathematicians, because they were injurious to devotion. However Babbage stood against Whewell's position. When Babbage was an undergraduate of Cambridge University, he organized "Analytical Society " with his friends. The Society's object was to introduce continental mathematics (Analysis) into England. Babbage had learned the importance of continental Analysis, so he criticized Whewell's words. Another topic of Babbage's treatise is Hume's argument about miracles. In Hume's essay, Babbage noticed the number of witness of miracles. Using Laplace's probability theory and singular points of curves of the forth degree, Babbage criticized Hume's thought. Thus Babbage manifested his idea about natural theology, as a mathematician who adhered continental analysis.
The role of interchange between physicists and philosophers in advancing Japanese physics of the late-Meiji and Taisho era is explored. Their cooperation brought forth their common objective and motivation of activities: "modernization of Japan in its true meaning of the words. " Topics treated are the brotherhood relationship between physicist Ayao Kuwaki and philosopher Gennyoku Kuwaki, the controversy between Ayao Kuwaki and philosopher Hajime Tanabe, the colleague relationship between physicist Jun Ishiwara and Tanabe, and influence of these people upon philosopher Kitaro Nishida, who proposed inviting Einstein to Japan and asked him famous Kyoto address "How I Created the Theory of Relativity. " Also, are pointed out, the role played by the above philosophers in bringing forth the Taisho-democracy movement, which made Einstein's visit possible, and the relationship between the theory of relativity and the ideology of democracy.
Harvard University's first cyclotron, constructed in the 1930s, was dismantled and moved from its original location in Boston to Los Alamos, New Mexico, which was the center for atomic bomb assembly. This cyclotron has never been analyzed in depth. This paper elucidates and analyzes the process through which Harvard's cyclotron was developed. It aims to clarify the distinctive features of cyclotron development at Harvard. Specifically, it describes the role of Harvard University President James B. Conant in the decision to construct a cyclotron; the role of private enterprise in achieving cyclotron technology; and the difficulties encountered in securing funds. The following conclusions are drawn: 1) To promote nuclear physics research, in which the university was lagging behind, Conant took direct initiative for building a cyclotron. Without his initiative, arousing opinion within the university and obtaining support from military and business sources would probably have been impossible; 2) The free loan of a radio transmitter from the Department of the. Navy was a major factor in the decision to construct a cyclotron. At the same time, it created new difficulties in actually achieving cyclotron technology. These difficulties were overcome through cyclotron technology accumulated by enterprises and research institutions in the United States and, more directly, by the spread of cyclotron technology through exchanges among cyclotron engineers; 3) University funds financed the cyclotron's construction, but support for its operation and maintenance were requested from outside sources.