On-line version ISSN 0717-7194
This paper presents the development of Physics in Chile from the beginnings of the Republic until the year 1960, emphasizing the internal development of the discipline, the evolution of its conception and the transmission of its body of knowledge. This work faces the myth of the non-existent scientific tradition in Chile by showing in the case of Physics a long and sustained development. In this development we distinguish four stages of Physics: (1) As a chapter of Scholastic Philosophy; (2) As a discipline closely related to engineering and real-life problems; (3) As cultural science and base of a scientific view of the world; (4) As a discipline with its own problems, where research becomes a central part of its development. For the science historian the novelty is that this development follows a logic where the local parameters have strong influence as compared to those determined by the universal development of the discipline.
Keywords : science; physics; engineering; Chile.