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Ernst Mach: Physicist and Philosopher pp Cite as. But most of us have seen only one, or — at most — only a very few of the many facets of his work. Physiologists who study the history of their subject know about the Mach-Breuer-Brown theory of the function of the semicircular canals in the labyrinth of the internal ear. Psychologists working in the field of visual sensation and perception are familiar with the contrast phenomenon known as Mach bands.

In short, most of us know of some significant contribution that Mach made in our own special field — or in one closely related to it — but it usually comes as a surprise to find that he made so many equally significant contributions in other fields.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF. Skip to main content. This service is more advanced with JavaScript available. Advertisement Hide. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Mach, E. Ottomar Beyer , Prag, Google Scholar. Ratliff, F. Taylor, H. Rockefeller University USA. Personalised recommendations. Cite chapter How to cite? ENW EndNote.

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Ernst Mach

Ernst Mach February 18, — February 19, made major contributions to physics, philosophy, and physiological psychology. In physics, the speed of sound bears his name, as he was the first to systematically study super-sonic motion. He also made important contributions to understanding the Doppler effect. His critique of Newtonian ideas of absolute space and time were an inspiration to the young Einstein, who credited Mach as being the philosophical forerunner of relativity theory. His systematic skepticism of the old physics was similarly important to a generation of young German physicists.


On Mach’s Contributions to the Analysis of Sensations

The ratio of one's speed to that of sound is named the Mach number in his honour. As a philosopher of science, he was a major influence on logical positivism and American pragmatism. His grandfather, Wenzl Lanhaus, an administrator of the Chirlitz estate, was also master builder of the streets there. His activities in that field later influenced the theoretical work of Ernst Mach. It was there that Ernst Mach was baptized by Peregrin Weiss. Mach later became a socialist and an atheist.

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