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I am interested in some reference text, for example, textbook that would describe going from old times (say, Greece) till modern times: 1) definitions of units and measurements 2) describing experiments to motivate models like Newton's first law, Faraday's law 3) describing predictions made by models and what things it predicts right and which experiments show that, and what things it predicts wrong and which experiments show that.

Of course, it might be possible that such text does not exist, but I would be happy to see some kind of subset of the things I described.

I found many great historical books but most of them skip on the mathematical part by which I mean - let us take this specific idea (let's say equation), and find a prediction, and see that it works/fails in these experiments. Instead, usually, either the equation is just stated, or some results are just being told without specifically saying how that corresponds/agrees/disagrees with specific models of that time.

Of course, it might be possible that such text does not exist, but I would be happy to see some kind of subset of the things I described.

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    $\begingroup$ "Let us take this specific idea (let's say equation), and find a prediction, and see that it works/fails in these experiments" is not how things worked historically, it is a reconstruction based on imaginary cleaned up methodology that did not emerge until early 20th century. The books you found "skip" it because it isn't there. Some of it is partly covered in Model-Based Reasoning by Magnani-Nersessian, see also The Uses of Experiment by Gooding et al $\endgroup$ – Conifold Aug 13 at 4:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifold Thanks for your reply. I probably cannot explain exactly what I mean but I am interested in predictions based on calculations from some models and then seeing which experiments disprove them. I am pretty sure that historically it is what happened because otherwise how would people know that it is time for a new theory? It is just that this "prediction by theory by making some kind of calculation" is usually missing from history books $\endgroup$ – Daniels Krimans Aug 13 at 5:58
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, but this is not how it typically happened. People viewed it as "deriving" laws from observations and experiments "inductively" rather than testing them. This is particularly obvious in Newton's Principia. Of course, in practice, they were inserting some pre-existing intuitive speculations into what they were doing (especially Faraday and Maxwell), but it was much more messy and convoluted than what you are asking for. A book that does what you describe would not be a history book, but some modern intro into a subject. As for "time for a new theory" look at Kuhn's Scientific Revolutions. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Aug 13 at 6:08
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    $\begingroup$ is freely available (in the U.S., at least) on the internet, you can look at what was actually published rather than one or two summary viewpoints removed. For example, volumes of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society can be found here, although it appears that many of these might not be freely available. $\endgroup$ – Dave L Renfro Aug 13 at 7:55
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Good book on the history of introductory physics (upto first year college) $\endgroup$ – Geremia Aug 13 at 15:54
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I would recommend

  • René Dugas, A History of Mechanics, trans. John Royden Maddox.
    • GoodReads reviews
    • Monumental study traces the history of mechanical principles chronologically from their earliest roots in antiquity through the Middle Ages to the revolutions in relativistic mechanics and wave and quantum mechanics of the early 20th century. Contributions of ancient Greeks, Leonardo, Galileo, Kepler, Lagrange, many other important figures. 116 black-and-white illustrations.

It starts with Hellenistic mechanics and ends with quantum mechanics.

For electromagnetism:

For thermodynamics:

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