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Everything's Relative: And Other Fables from Science and Technology

Sprache: Englisch.
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The surprising truth behind many of the most cherished "facts" in science historyMorse invented the telegraph, Bell the telephone, Edison the light bulb, and Marconi the radio . . . right? Well . . . the truth is slightly more complicated. The histor… weiterlesen
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Produktdetails

Titel: Everything's Relative: And Other Fables from Science and Technology
Autor/en: Tony Rothman

ISBN: 0471202576
EAN: 9780471202578
Sprache: Englisch.
JOHN WILEY & SONS INC

September 2003 - gebunden - 272 Seiten

Beschreibung

The surprising truth behind many of the most cherished "facts" in science historyMorse invented the telegraph, Bell the telephone, Edison the light bulb, and Marconi the radio . . . right? Well . . . the truth is slightly more complicated. The history of science and technology is riddled with apocrypha, inaccuracies, and falsehoods, and physicist Tony Rothman has taken it upon himself to throw a monkey wrench into the works. Combining a storyteller's gifts with a scientist's focus and hardheaded devotion to the facts-such as they may be-Rothman breaks down many of the most famous "just-so" stories of physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, and technology to give credit where credit is truly due. From Einstein's possible misunderstanding of his own theories to actress Hedy Lemarr's role in the invention of the radio-controlled torpedo, he dredges his way through the legends of science history in relating the fascinating stories behind some of the most important, and often unsung, breakthroughs in science.Tony Rothman, PhD (Bryn Mawr, PA), is a Research Associate at Bryn Mawr College. He is the author of seven other critically acclaimed science books and a frequent contributor to leading science publications, including ScientificAmerican and Discover.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Preface.

Lapses, Sources, and Acknowledgments.

I. THE DOMAIN OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY.

1. The Mafia Invents the Barometer.

2. The Riddle of the Sphinx: Thomas Young's Experiment.

3. Joseph Henry and the (Near) Discovery of (Nearly) Everything.

4. Neptune: The Greatest Triumph in the History of Astronomy, or the Greatest Fluke?

5. Invisible Light: The Discovery of Radioactivity.

6. Light, Ether, Corpuscles, and Charge: The Electron.

7. Einstein's Miraculous Year (and a Few Others).

8. What Did the Eclipse Expedition Really Show? And Other Tales of General Relativity.

9. Two Quantum Tales: Bohr and Hydrogen, Dirac and the Positron.

10. A Third Quantum Tale: Southpaw Electrons and Discounted Luncheons.

II. THE DOMAIN OF TECHNOLOGY.

11. What Hath God Wrought? Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Samuel Morse, and the Telegraph.

12. Fiat Lux: Edison, the Incandescent Bulb, and a Few Other Matters.

13. "Magna Est Veritas et Praevalet": The Telephone.

14. A Babble of Incoherence: The Wireless Telegraph, a.k.a. Radio.

15. Mind-Destroying Rays: Television.

16. Plausibility: The Invention of Secret Electronic Communication.

III. THE DOMAIN OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGY.

17. The Evolution of Evolution: Erasmus, Charles, Gregor, and Ronald.

18. Dreams with Open Eyes: Kekulé, Benzene, and Loschmidt.

19. Chance, Good and Bad: Penicillin.

IV. THE DOMAIN OF MATHEMATICS: CLOSED FOR RENOVATION.

References and Notes.

Index.

Portrait

Tony Rothman is a physicist and writer. He is the author of seven other critically acclaimed science books and a frequent contributor to leading science publications, including Scientific American and Discover.

Pressestimmen

"It's hard to think of a more wonderful science writer than Tony Rothman." (San Francisco Examiner) "...enthralling..." (New Scientist, 17 January 2004)
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