This paper examines how ionospheric physics emerged as a research speciality in Britain, Germany, and the United States in the first 4 decades of the 20th century. It argues that the formation of this discipline can be viewed as the confluence of four deep-rooted traditions in which scientists and engineers transformed, from within, research areas connected to radio wave propagation and geomagnetism.
With countless reports, few physical records, and no theory consensus, ball lightning remains an unsolved problem in atmospheric physics; 41 qualified observation abstracts (1868–2020) from eight countries are presented by a case investigator. Some were related to mountain, power line, aeroplane; two had medical effects. Six influential cases are added. High-quality report data stimulate further fieldwork and theories of the phenomenon. Scientific readers are invited to share unreported events.
From the perspective of the social history of science and transnational history, this paper reviews the development of the Institute of Geophysics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGCAS). The scientific development of IGCAS and typical examples in several branches of geophysics, which include atmospheric science, seismology, and space physics, are summarized. The experience and lessons in the development of this institute and its effect on geophysics in China are explored.
The historical development of the Geophysical Service of Austria, comprising the national geomagnetic, gravimetric and seismological services as well as the Applied Geophysics Section located at the Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG) in Vienna in Austria, is presented. Achievements, changes and challenges of the department from its modest beginning in 1851 until 2020 are described, including the Conrad Observatory.
A historical review of the establishment of the Haldde Observatory in Bossekop, Kaafjord, Finnmark, in northern Norway is presented together with some of the scientific outcomes of the efforts and the aftermath of this enterprise that led to the establishment of the University of Tromsø in 1968 and finally the inauguration of the Haldde Observatory as a historic site by the European Physical Society in 2018.