Scientists A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors

ISBN-10: 0812967887
ISBN-13: 9780812967883
Edition: 2004
List price: $17.95 Buy it from $5.49
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Description: A wonderfully readable account of scientifi c development over the past fi ve hundred years, focusing on the lives and achievements of individual scientists, by the bestselling author of In Search of Schrodinger's Cat In this ambitious new book, John  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 8/10/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 672
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.462
Language: English

A wonderfully readable account of scientifi c development over the past fi ve hundred years, focusing on the lives and achievements of individual scientists, by the bestselling author of In Search of Schrodinger's Cat In this ambitious new book, John Gribbin tells the stories of the people who have made science, and of the times in which they lived and worked. He begins with Copernicus, during the Renaissance, when science replaced mysticism as a means of explaining the workings of the world, and he continues through the centuries, creating an unbroken genealogy of not only the greatest but also the more obscure names of Western science, a dot-to-dot line linking amateur to genius, and accidental discovery to brilliant deduction. By focusing on the scientists themselves, Gribbin has written an anecdotal narrative enlivened with stories of personal drama, success and failure. A bestselling science writer with an international reputation, Gribbin is among the few authors who could even attempt a work of this magnitude. Praised as "a sequence of witty, information-packed tales" and "a terrifi c read" by The Times upon its recent British publication, The Scientists breathes new life into such venerable icons as Galileo, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Linus Pauling, as well as lesser lights whose stories have been undeservedly neglected. Filled with pioneers, visionaries, eccentrics and madmen, this is the history of science as it has never been told before. "From the Hardcover edition."

John Gribbin, visiting fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex. He is married to Mary Grivvin, also a science writer.

List of Illustrations
Out of the Dark Ages
Renaissance Men
Emerging from the dark
The elegance of Copernicus
The Earth moves!
The orbits of the planets
Leonard Digges and the telescope
Thomas Digges and the infinite Universe
Bruno: a martyr for science?
Copernican model banned by Catholic Church
Vesalius: surgeon, dissector and grave-robber
Fallopio and Fabricius
William Harvey and the circulation of the blood
The Last Mystics
The movement of the planets
Tycho Brahe
Measuring star positions
Tycho's supernova
Tycho observes comet
His model of the Universe
Johannes Kepler: Tycho's assistant and inheritor
Kepler's geometrical model of the Universe
New thoughts on the motion of planets: Kepler's first and second laws
Kepler's third law
Publication of the Rudolphine star tables
Kepler's death
The First Scientists
William Gilbert and magnetism
Galileo on the pendulum, gravity and acceleration
His invention of the 'compass'
His supernova studies
Lippershey's reinvention of the telescope
Galileo's developments thereon
Copernican ideas of Galileo judged heretical
Galileo publishes Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems
Threatened with torture, he recants
Galileo publishes Two New Sciences
His death
The Founding Fathers
Science Finds its Feet
Rene Descartes and Cartesian co-ordinates
His greatest works
Pierre Gassendi: atoms and molecules
Descartes's rejection of the concept of a vacuum
Christiaan Huygens: his work on optics and the wave theory of light
Robert Boyle: his study of gas pressure
Boyle's scientific approach to alchemy
Marcello Malpighi and the circulation of the blood
Giovanni Borelli and Edward Tyson: the increasing perception of animal (and man) as machine
The 'Newtonian Revolution'
Robert Hooke: the study of microscopy and the publication of Micrographia
Hooke's study of the wave theory of light
Hooke's law of elasticity
John Flamsteed and Edmond Halley: cataloguing stars by telescope
Newton's early life
The development of calculus
The wrangling of Hooke and Newton
Newton's Principia Mathematica: the inverse square law and the three laws of motion
Newton's later life
Hooke's death and the publication of Newton's Opticks
Expanding Horizons
Edmond Halley
Transits of Venus
The effort to calculate the size of an atom
Halley travels to sea to study terrestrial magnetism
Predicts return of comet
Proves that stars move independently
Death of Halley
John Ray and Francis Willughby: the first-hand study of flora and fauna
Carl Linnaeus and the naming of species
The Comte de Buffon: Histoire Naturelle and thoughts on the age of the Earth
Further thoughts on the age of the Earth: Jean Fourier and Fourier analysis
Georges Couvier: Lectures in Comparative Anatomy; speculations on extinction
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck: thoughts on evolution
The Enlightenment
Enlightened Science I: Chemistry catches up
The Enlightenment
Joseph Black and the discovery of carbon dioxide
Black on temperature
The steam engine: Thomas Newcomen, James Watt and the Industrial Revolution
Experiments in electricity: Joseph Priestley
Priestley's experiments with gases
The discovery of oxygen
The chemical studies of Henry Cavendish: publication in the Philosophical Transactions
Water is not an element
The Cavendish experiment: weighing the Earth
Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier: study of air; study of the system of respiration
The first table of elements; Lavoisier renames elements; he publishes Elements of Chemistry
Lavoisier's execution
Enlightened Science II: Progress on all fronts
The study of electricity: Stephen Gray, Charles Du Fay, Benjamin Franklin and Charles Coulomb
Luigi Galvani, Alessandro Volta and the invention of the electric battery
Pierre-Louis de Maupertuis: the principle of least action
Leonhard Euler: mathematical description of the refraction of light
Thomas Wright: speculations on the Milky Way
The discoveries of William and Caroline Herschel
John Michell
Pierre Simon Laplace, 'The French Newton': his Exposition
Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford): his life
Thompson's thoughts on convection
His thoughts on heat and motion
James Hutton: the uniformitarian theory of geology
The Big Picture
The 'Darwinian Revolution'
Charles Lyell: His life
His travels in Europe and study of geology
He publishes the Principles of Geology
Lyell's thoughts on species
Theories of evolution: Erasmus Darwin and Zoonomia
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck: the Lamarckian theory of evolution
Charles Darwin: his life
The voyage of the Beagle
Darwin develops his theory of evolution by natural selection
Alfred Russell Wallace
The publication of Darwin's Origin of Species
Atoms and Molecules
Humphry Davy's work on gases; electrochemical research
John Dalton's atomic model; first talk of atomic weights
Jons Berzelius and the study of elements
Avogadro's number
William Prout's hypothesis on atomic weights
Friedrich Wohler: studies in organic and inorganic substances
Stanislao Cannizzaro: the distinction between atoms and molecules
The development of the periodic table, by Mendeleyev and others
The science of thermodynamics
James Joule on thermodynamics
William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) and the laws of thermodynamics
James Clerk Maxwell and Ludwig Boltzmann: kinetic theory and the mean free path of molecules
Albert Einstein: Avogadro's number, Brownian motion and why the sky is blue
Let There be Light
The wave model of light revived
Thomas Young: his double-slit experiment
Fraunhofer lines
The study of spectroscopy and the spectra of stars
Michael Faraday: his studies in electromagnetism
The invention of the electric motor and the dynamo
Faraday on the lines of force
Measuring the speed of light
James Clerk Maxwell's complete theory of electromagnetism
Light is a form of electromagnetic disturbance
Albert Michelson and Edward Morley: the Michelson
Morley experiment on light
Albert Einstein: special theory of relativity
Minkowski: the geometrical union of space and time in accordance with this theory
The Last Hurrah! of Classical Science
Contractionism: our wrinkling planet?
Early hypotheses on continental drift
Alfred Wegener: the father of the theory of continental drift
The evidence for Pangea
The radioactive technique for measuring the age of rocks
Holmes's account of continental drift
Geomagnetic reversals and the molten core of the Earth
The model of 'sea-floor spreading'
Further developments on continental drift
The 'Bullard fit' of the continents
Plate tectonics
The story of Ice Ages: Jean de Charpentier
Louis Agassiz and the glacial model
The astronomical theory of Ice Ages
The elliptical orbit model
James Croll
The Milankovitch model
Modern ideas about Ice Ages
The impact on evolution
Modern Times
Inner Space
Invention of the vacuum tube
'Cathode rays' and 'canal rays'
William Crookes: the Crookes tube and the corpuscular interpretation of cathode rays
Cathode rays are shown to move far slower than light
The discovery of the electron
Wilhelm Rontgen & the discovery of X-rays
Radioactivity; Becquerel and the Curies
Discovery of alpha, beta and gamma radiation
Rutherford's model of the atom
Radioactive decay
The existence of isotopes
Discovery of the neutron
Max Planck and Planck's constant, black-body radiation and the existence of energy quanta
Albert Einstein and light quanta
Niels Bohr
The first quantum model of the atom
Louis de Broglie
Erwin Schrodinger's wave equation for electrons
The particle-based approach to the quantum world of electrons
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle: wave-particle duality
Dirac's equation of the electron
The existence of antimatter
The strong nuclear force
The weak nuclear force; neutrinos
Quantum electrodynamics
The future? Quarks and string
The Realm of Life
The most complex things in the Universe
Charles Darwin and nineteenth-century theories of evolution
The role of cells in life
The division of cells
The discovery of chromosomes and their role in heredity
Intracellular pangenesis
Gregor Mendel: father of genetics
The Mendelian laws of inheritance
The study of chromosomes
Nucleic acid
Working towards DNA and RNA
The tetranucleotide hypothesis
The Chargaff rules
The chemistry of life
Covalent bond model and carbon chemistry
The ionic bond
Bragg's law
Chemistry as a branch of physics
Linus Pauling
The nature of the hydrogen bond
Studies of fibrous proteins
The alpha-helix structure
Francis Crick and James Watson: the model of the DNA double helix
The genetic code
The genetic age of humankind
Humankind is nothing special
Outer Space
Measuring the distances of stars
Stellar parallax determinations
Spectroscopy and the stuff of stars
The Hertzsprung--Russell diagram
The colour--magnitude relationship and the distances to stars
The Cepheid distance scale
Cepheid stars and the distances to other galaxies
General theory of relativity outlined
The expanding Universe
The steady state model of the Universe
The nature of the Big Bang
Predicting background radiation
Measuring background radiation
Modern measurements: the COBE satellite
How the stars shine: the nuclear fusion process
The concept of 'resonances'
CHON and humankind's place in the Universe
Into the unknown
Coda: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

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