Book picks similar to
The Cambridge Concise History of Astronomy by Michael Hoskin
Two New Sciences: Including Centers Of Gravity And Force Of Percussion
Galileo Galilei - 1638
His public advocacy of the Copernican over the Aristotelian system of the universe flew directly in the face of biblical authority and ecclesiastical tradition. Condemned and placed under house arrest by the Inquisition, Galileo nonetheless devoted his last years to the completion of his Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences, which deals with motion and the resistance of solids. The Two New Sciences, which Galileo called his most important work, may be regarded as the summary statement of a life devoted to scientific experimentation and free inquiry untrammeled by tradition and authority.
The Story of Western Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory
Susan Wise Bauer - 2015
The Story of Western Science shows us the joy and importance of reading groundbreaking science writing for ourselves and guides us back to the masterpieces that have changed the way we think about our world, our cosmos, and ourselves.Able to be referenced individually, or read together as the narrative of Western scientific development, the book's twenty-eight succinct chapters lead readers from the first science texts by Hippocrates, Plato, and Aristotle through twentieth-century classics in biology, physics, and cosmology. The Story of Western Science illuminates everything from mankind's earliest inquiries to the butterfly effect, from the birth of the scientific method to the rise of earth science and the flowering of modern biology.Each chapter recommends one or more classic books and provides entertaining accounts of crucial contributions to science, vivid sketches of the scientist-writers, and clear explanations of the mechanics underlying each concept. The Story of Western Science reveals science to be a dramatic undertaking practiced by some of history's most memorable characters. It reminds us that scientific inquiry is a human pursuit—an essential, often deeply personal, sometimes flawed, frequently brilliant way of understanding the world.In the tradition of her perennial bestseller The-Well Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer delivers an accessible, entertaining, and illuminating springboard into the scientific education you never had.
Watersheds of World History
John L. Taylor - 2012
This is a kaleidoscope of human events to be enjoyed by everyone but especially by those who have little or no background in world history and would like to appreciate and understand how the fragments of major events form a unified whole. Read the high reviews on Amazon.
Astronomy For Dummies
Stephen P. Maran - 1999
Featuring star maps, charts, gorgeous full-color photographs, and easy-to-follow explanations, this fact-filled guide gives readers a leg up on the basic principles of astronomy and shows how to get the most out of binoculars, telescopes, planetarium visits, and other fun astronomical activities. This updated edition includes an updated color signature and covers the many discoveries made in recent years, as well as new astronomy Web sites.
The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
Kingfisher Publications - 1998
Along the way, it reveals riveting facts on the founding of the great Roman Empire, the revolution that changed France forever, the war between the North and South that unified America, the start of World War I and the Great Depression that followed, the first moon landing, and the end of apartheid in South Africa.The encyclopedia is organized chronologically and then thematically within each time period. A timeline runs across the top of each page. Each section includes biographies of important people and features on art, architecture, and technology.
Religion 101: From Allah to Zen Buddhism, an Exploration of the Key People, Practices, and Beliefs that Have Shaped the Religions of the World
Peter Archer - 2013
Written in easy-to-understand language, Religion 101 offers a fascinating--and memorable--glimpse at the sacred stories, traditions, and doctrines that have influenced today's most popular religions.From Jesus and the Four Noble Truths to the Buddhist Wheel of Existence, this book provides you with thought-provoking insight into the customs and beliefs of common faiths like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam. Inside, you will also discover hundreds of important religious facts, illustrations, and thought puzzles that you won't be able to find anywhere else.So whether you're looking to unravel the mysteries of existence and meaning, or just want to find out what Kabbalah is all about, Religion 101 has all the answers--even the ones you didn't know you were looking for.
Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists
Richard Wolfson - 2000
Relativity and quantum physics touch the very basis of physical reality, altering our commonsense notions of space and time, cause and effect. Both have reputations for complexity. But the basic ideas behind relativity and quantum physics are, in fact, simple and comprehensible by anyone. As Professor Wolfson points out, the essence of relativity can be summed up in a single sentence: The laws of physics are the same for all observers in uniform motion. The same goes for quantum theory, which is based on the principle that the "stuff " of the universe-matter and energy-is not infinitely divisible but comes in discrete chunks called "quanta." Profound ... Beautiful ... Relevant Why should you care about these landmark theories? Because relativity and quantum physics are not only profound and beautiful ideas in their own right, they are also the gateway to understanding many of the latest science stories in the media. These are the stories about time travel, string theory, black holes, space telescopes, particle accelerators, and other cutting-edge developments. Consider these ideas: Although Einstein's theory of general relativity dates from 1914, it has not been possible to test certain predictions until recently. The Hubble Space Telescope is providing some of the most striking confirmations of the theory, including certain evidence for the existence of black holes, objects that warp space and time so that not even light can escape. Also, the expansion of the universe predicted by the theory of general relativity is now a known rate. General relativity also predicts an even weirder phenomenon called "wormholes" that offer shortcuts to remote reaches of time and space. According to Einstein's theory of special relativity, two twins would age at different rates if one left on a high-speed journey to a distant star and then returned. This experiment has actually been done, not with twins, but with an atomic clock flown around the world. Another fascinating experiment confirming that time slows as speed increases comes from measuring muons at the top and bottom of mountains. A seemingly absurd consequence of quantum mechanics, called "quantum tunneling," makes it possible for objects to materialize through impenetrable barriers. Quantum tunneling happens all the time on the subatomic scale and plays an important role in electronic devices and the nuclear processes that keep the sun shining. Some predictions about the expansion of the universe were so odd that Einstein himself tried to rewrite the mathematics in order to eliminate them. When Hubble discovered the expansion of the universe, Einstein called the revisions the biggest mistake he had ever made. An intriguing thought experiment called "Schrödinger's cat" suggests that a cat in an enclosed box is simultaneously alive and dead under experimental conditions involving quantum phenomena. From Aristotle to the Theory of Everything Professor Wolfson begins with a brief overview of theories of physical reality starting with Aristotle and culminating in Newtonian or "classical" physics. Then he outlines the logic that led to Einstein's theory of special relativity, and the simple yet far-reaching insight on which it rests. With that insight in mind, you move on to consider Einstein's theory of general relativity and its interpretation of gravitation in terms of the curvature of space and time. Professor Wolfson then shows how inquiry into matter at the atomic and subatomic scales led to quandaries that are resolved-or at least clarified-by quantum mechanics, a vision of physical reality so at odds with our experience that it nearly defies language. Bringing relativity and quantum mechanics into the same picture leads to hypotheses about the origin, development, and possible futures of the entire universe, and the possibility that physics can produce a "theory of everything" to account for all aspects of the physical world. Fascinating Incidents and Ideas Along the way, you'll explore these fascinating incidents and ideas: In the 1880s, Albert Michelson and Edward Morley conducted an experiment to determine the motion of the Earth relative to the ether, which was a supposedly imponderable substance pervading all of space. You'll learn about their experiment, its shocking result, and the resulting theoretical crisis. In 1905, a young Swiss patent clerk named Albert Einstein resolved the crisis by discarding the ether concept and asserting the principle of relativity-that the laws of physics are the same for all observers in uniform motion. Relativity implies that the time order of events can be different in different reference frames. Does this wreak havoc with cause and effect? And why does Einstein assert that nothing can go faster than light? Shortly after publishing his 1905 paper on special relativity, Einstein realized that his theory required a fundamental equivalence between mass and energy, which he expressed in the equation E=mc2. Among other things, this famous formula means that the energy contained in a single raisin could power a large city for a whole day. Historically, the path to general relativity followed Einstein's attempt to incorporate gravity into relativity theory, which led to his understanding of gravity not as a force, but as a local manifestation of geometry in curved spacetime. Quantum theory places severe limits on our ability to observe nature at the atomic scale because it implies that the act of observation necessarily disturbs the thing that is being observed. The result is Werner Heisenberg's famous "uncertainty principle." Are quarks, the particles that make up protons and neutrons, the truly elementary particles? What are the three fundamental forces that physicists identify as holding particles together? Could they be manifestations of a single, universal force? A Teaching Legend On his own Middlebury College campus, Professor Wolfson is a teaching legend with an infectious enthusiasm for his subject and a knack for conveying difficult concepts in a way that fosters true understanding. He is the author of an introductory text on physics, a contributor to the esteemed publication Scientific American, and a specialist in interpreting science for the nonspecialist. In this course, Professor Wolfson uses extensive illustrations and diagrams to help bring to life the theories and concepts that he discusses. Thus we highly recommend our DVD version, although Professor Wolfson is mindful of our audio students and carefully describes visual materials throughout his lectures. Professor Richard Wolfson on the Second Edition of Einstein's Relativity: "The first version of this course was produced in 1995. In this new version, I have chosen to spend more time on the philosophical interpretation of quantum physics, and on recent experiments relevant to that interpretation. I have also added a final lecture on the theory of everything and its possible implementation through string theory. The graphic presentations for the DVD version have also been extensively revised and enhanced. But the goal remains the same: to present the key ideas of modern physics in a way that makes them clear to the interested layperson."
The Practical Astronomer
Will Gater - 2010
Illustrated throughout with detailed photographs and illustrations, and using clear, easy-to-follow text, The Practical Astronomer takes you on a step-by-step journey from the basics of what can be seen with the naked eye, to how you can view more distant objects such as the planets of the solar system, and even galaxies far, far away-all in your own backyard.
The Modern Scholar: Astronomy I: Earth, Sky, and Planets
James B. Kaler - 2003
By studying the physical astronomy of all the planets in the Solar System, we can attempt to understand their true nature. Ultimately, these lectures will bring us to a greater understanding of the Solar System's creation, which brings us again back to the beginning and what it means to us as we look outward from our rotating Earth.
The History Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained
R.G. Grant - 2010
One hundred crystal-clear articles explore the Law Code of Hammurabi, the Renaissance, the American Revolution, World War II, and much, much more, bringing the events and people of history to life.As part of DK's award-winning Big Ideas Simply Explained series, The History Book uses infographics and images to explain key ideas and themes. Biographies of key leaders, thinkers, and warriors, from Julius Caesar to Barack Obama, offer insight into their lives and further historical insight into these world-changing episodes.The History Book makes the past 4,000 years of history accessible and provides enlightenment on the forces that shaped the world as we know it today, for students and history buffs alike.Series Overview: Big Ideas Simply Explained series uses creative design and innovative graphics, along with straightforward and engaging writing, to make complex subjects easier to understand. These award-winning books provide just the information needed for students, families, or anyone interested in concise, thought-provoking refreshers on a single subject.Reviews:"[The Big Ideas Simply Explained books] are beautifully illustrated with shadow-like cartoons that break down even the most difficult concepts so they are easier to grasp. These step-by-step diagrams are an incredibly clever learning device to include, especially for visual learners." - Examiner.com"The visual layout promotes browsing with illustrations, pull quotes, and simple mind maps to explain concepts quickly." - Library Journal"Accessible guide to the great thinkers." - School Library Journal"Clever and engaging." - Booklist
Don't Know Much About® the Universe: Everything You Need to Know About Outer Space but Never Learned
Kenneth C. Davis - 2001
Yet most of us look up at the night sky and feel totally in the dark when it comes to the basic facts about the universe.Kenneth C. Davis steps into that void with a lively and readable guide to the discoveries, theories, and real people who have shed light on the mysteries and wonders of the cosmos. Discover why Einstein was such a genius, the truth behind a blue moon or two, the amazing secrets of Stonehenge, and even how one great astronomer lost his nose.With the fun question-and-answer format that has appealed to the millions of readers of his bestselling Don't Much About® series, you'll be taking off on an exciting armchair exploration of the solar system, the Milky Way, and beyond.