The Prism and the Pendulum

The Prism and the Pendulum

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments in Science

Book - 2003
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Baker & Taylor
A philosopher and historian creates a thought-provoking odyssey through two millennia of scientific accomplishment, capturing ten key experiments that changed the world forever, from Eratosthenes's first measurement of Earth's circumference, to Foucault's pendulum, to Galileo's study of the speed of falling bodies, to the realm of quantum mechanics. 30,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
We see the first measurement of the earth's circumference, accomplished in the third century B. C. by Eratosthenes using sticks, shadows, and simple geometry. We visit Foucault's mesmerizing pendulum, a cannonball suspended from the dome of the Pantheon in Paris that allows us to see the rotation of the earth on its axis. We meet Galileo - the only scientist with two experiments in the top ten - drawing on his musical training to measure the speed of falling bodies. And we travel to the quantum world, in the most beautiful experiment of all.

Baker
& Taylor

A philosopher and historian creates a thought-provoking odyssey through two millennia of scientific accomplishment, capturing ten key experiments that changed the world forever.

Publisher: New York : Random House, 2003
ISBN: 9781400061310
1400061318
Characteristics: 244p. : ill

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johnsankey
Feb 14, 2015

This is an excellent book for anyone interested in science. It does indeed choose 10 among the most elemental and defiinitive experiments, and discusses the application of the notion of beauty to each intelligently. Its weakness is that experimentalists deliberately eschew bonding to their results as a matter of sad experience; we were and are far more critical of Millikan than Crease is. It's theoreticians, mathematics-centered people, who validly search for beauty explicitly. The book ignores that huge separation in motivation at its cost, because most people consider both to be scientists.

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