To Explain The World

Author: Steven Weinberg
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062346679
Size: 21.12 MB
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A masterful commentary on the history of science from the Greeks to modern times, by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg—a thought-provoking and important book by one of the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals of our time. In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us across centuries from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford, from Plato’s Academy and the Museum of Alexandria to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London. He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times not only did not understand what we understand about the world—they did not understand what there is to understand, or how to understand it. Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the curious backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of the tides, the modern discipline of science eventually emerged. Along the way, Weinberg examines historic clashes and collaborations between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy. An illuminating exploration of the way we consider and analyze the world around us, To Explain the World is a sweeping, ambitious account of how difficult it was to discover the goals and methods of modern science, and the impact of this discovery on human knowledge and development.

To Explain The World

Author: Steven Weinberg
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0241196655
Size: 40.11 MB
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In To Explain the World, pre-eminent theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg offers a rich and irreverent history of science from a unique perspective - that of a scientist. Moving from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad to Oxford, and from the Museum of Alexandria to the Royal Society of London, he shows that the scientists of the past not only did not understand what we understand about the world - they did not understand what there is to understand. Yet eventually, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of tides, the modern discipline of science emerged.

Lake Views

Author: Steven Weinberg
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674071999
Size: 73.87 MB
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A Physics World Top Ten Book of 2010 Steven Weinberg, considered by many to be the preeminent theoretical physicist alive today, continues the wide-ranging reflections that have also earned him a reputation as, in the words of New York Times reporter James Glanz, “a powerful writer of prose that can illuminate—and sting.”

Facing Up

Author: Steven Weinberg
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674066405
Size: 38.29 MB
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Each of these essays struggles in one way or another with the necessity of facing up to the discovery that the laws of nature are impersonal, with no hint of a special status for human beings. Defending the spirit of science against its cultural adversaries, these essays express a viewpoint that is reductionist, realist, and devoutly secular. Together, they afford the general reader the unique pleasure of experiencing the superb sense, understanding, and knowledge of one of the most interesting and forceful scientific minds of our era.ease fill in marketing copy

Third Thoughts

Author: Steven Weinberg
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674989724
Size: 22.57 MB
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One of the world’s most captivating scientists challenges us to think about nature’s foundations and the entanglement of science and society. Steven Weinberg, author of The First Three Minutes, offers his views on fascinating aspects of physics and the universe, but does not seclude science behind disciplinary walls, or shy away from politics.

The Invention Of Science

Author: David Wootton
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062199250
Size: 47.17 MB
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A companion to such acclaimed works as The Age of Wonder, A Clockwork Universe, and Darwin’s Ghosts—a groundbreaking examination of the greatest event in history, the Scientific Revolution, and how it came to change the way we understand ourselves and our world. We live in a world transformed by scientific discovery. Yet today, science and its practitioners have come under political attack. In this fascinating history spanning continents and centuries, historian David Wootton offers a lively defense of science, revealing why the Scientific Revolution was truly the greatest event in our history. The Invention of Science goes back five hundred years in time to chronicle this crucial transformation, exploring the factors that led to its birth and the people who made it happen. Wootton argues that the Scientific Revolution was actually five separate yet concurrent events that developed independently, but came to intersect and create a new worldview. Here are the brilliant iconoclasts—Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, Newton, and many more curious minds from across Europe—whose studies of the natural world challenged centuries of religious orthodoxy and ingrained superstition. From gunpowder technology, the discovery of the new world, movable type printing, perspective painting, and the telescope to the practice of conducting experiments, the laws of nature, and the concept of the fact, Wotton shows how these discoveries codified into a social construct and a system of knowledge. Ultimately, he makes clear the link between scientific discovery and the rise of industrialization—and the birth of the modern world we know.

Genesis And The Big Bang Theory

Author: Gerald Schroeder
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 0307806995
Size: 23.59 MB
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In this groundbreaking book, physicist Gerald Schroeder takes on skeptics from both sides of the cosmological debate, arguing that science and the Bible are not at odds concerning the origin of the universe. From the Trade Paperback edition.

In The Light Of Science

Author: Demetris Nicolaides
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616144556
Size: 77.41 MB
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The birth of science in ancient Greece had a historical impact that is still being felt today. Physicist Demetris Nicolaides examines the epochal shift in thinking that led pre-Socratic philosophers of the sixth and fifth centuries BCE to abandon the prevailing mythologies of the age and, for the first time, to analyze the natural world in terms of impersonal, rationally understood principles. He argues not only that their conceptual breakthroughs anticipated much of later science but that scientists of the twenty-first century are still grappling with the fundamental problems raised twenty-five hundred years ago. Looking at the vast sweep of human history, the author delves into the factors that led to the birth of science: urbanization, the role of religion, and in Greece a progressive intellectual curiosity that was unafraid to question tradition. Why did the first scientific approach to understanding the world take place in Greece? The author makes a convincing case that, aside from factors of geography and politics, the power of the Greek language and a cultural proclivity for critical thinking played a large role. In the Light of Science is a unique approach to the history of science revealing the important links between the ancient past and the present scientific endeavor to understand the universe.

Lost Discoveries

Author: Dick Teresi
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439128602
Size: 60.68 MB
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Lost Discoveries, Dick Teresi's innovative history of science, explores the unheralded scientific breakthroughs from peoples of the ancient world -- Babylonians, Egyptians, Indians, Africans, New World and Oceanic tribes, among others -- and the non-European medieval world. They left an enormous heritage in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, cosmology, physics, geology, chemistry, and technology. The mathematical foundation of Western science is a gift from the Indians, Chinese, Arabs, Babylonians, and Maya. The ancient Egyptians developed the concept of the lowest common denominator, and they developed a fraction table that modern scholars estimate required 28,000 calculations to compile. The Babylonians developed the first written math and used a place-value number system. Our numerals, 0 through 9, were invented in ancient India; the Indians also boasted geometry, trigonometry, and a kind of calculus. Planetary astronomy as well may have begun with the ancient Indians, who correctly identified the relative distances of the known planets from the sun, and knew the moon was nearer to the earth than the sun was. The Chinese observed, reported, dated, recorded, and interpreted eclipses between 1400 and 1200 b.c. Most of the names of our stars and constellations are Arabic. Arabs built the first observatories. Five thousand years ago, the Sumerians said the earth was circular. In the sixth century, a Hindu astronomer taught that the daily rotation of the earth on its axis provided the rising and setting of the sun. Chinese and Arab scholars were the first to use fossils scientifically to trace earth's history. Chinese alchemists realized that most physical substances were merely combinations of other substances, which could be mixed in different proportions. Islamic scholars are legendary for translating scientific texts of many languages into Arabic, a tradition that began with alchemical books. In the eleventh century, Avicenna of Persia divined that outward qualities of metals were of little value in classification, and he stressed internal structure, a notion anticipating Mendeleyev's periodic chart of elements. Iron suspension bridges came from Kashmir, printing from India; papermaking was from China, Tibet, India, and Baghdad; movable type was invented by Pi Sheng in about 1041; the Quechuan Indians of Peru were the first to vulcanize rubber; Andean farmers were the first to freeze-dry potatoes. European explorers depended heavily on Indian and Filipino shipbuilders, and collected maps and sea charts from Javanese and Arab merchants. The first comprehensive, authoritative, popularly written, multicultural history of science, Lost Discoveries fills a crucial gap in the history of science.

Quantum Generations

Author: Helge Kragh
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691095523
Size: 20.93 MB
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At the end of the nineteenth century, some physicists believed that the basic principles underlying their subject were already known, and that physics in the future would only consist of filling in the details. They could hardly have been more wrong. The past century has seen the rise of quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology, particle physics, and solid-state physics, among other fields. These subjects have fundamentally changed our understanding of space, time, and matter. They have also transformed daily life, inspiring a technological revolution that has included the development of radio, television, lasers, nuclear power, and computers. In Quantum Generations, Helge Kragh, one of the world's leading historians of physics, presents a sweeping account of these extraordinary achievements of the past one hundred years. The first comprehensive one-volume history of twentieth-century physics, the book takes us from the discovery of X rays in the mid-1890s to superstring theory in the 1990s. Unlike most previous histories of physics, written either from a scientific perspective or from a social and institutional perspective, Quantum Generations combines both approaches. Kragh writes about pure science with the expertise of a trained physicist, while keeping the content accessible to nonspecialists and paying careful attention to practical uses of science, ranging from compact disks to bombs. As a historian, Kragh skillfully outlines the social and economic contexts that have shaped the field in the twentieth century. He writes, for example, about the impact of the two world wars, the fate of physics under Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, the role of military research, the emerging leadership of the United States, and the backlash against science that began in the 1960s. He also shows how the revolutionary discoveries of scientists ranging from Einstein, Planck, and Bohr to Stephen Hawking have been built on the great traditions of earlier centuries. Combining a mastery of detail with a sure sense of the broad contours of historical change, Kragh has written a fitting tribute to the scientists who have played such a decisive role in the making of the modern world.