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The Age Of Science : Cornelia & Michael Bessie Series - Gerard Piel

The Age Of Science

Cornelia & Michael Bessie Series

Hardcover Published: 1st January 2001
ISBN: 9780465057559
Number Of Pages: 480
For Ages: 18+ years old

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A sweeping overview of the scientific achievements of the 20th century, without question the greatest century for science in human history, by the legendary former publisher of Scientific American. . When historians of the future come to examine western civilization in the twentieth century, one area of intellectual accomplishment will stand out above all others: more than any other era before it, the twentieth century was an age of science. Not only were the practical details of daily life radically transformed by the application of scientific discoveries, but our very sense of who we are, how our minds work, how our world came to be, how it works and our proper role in it, our ultimate origins, and our ultimate fate were all influenced by scientific thinking as never before in human history. In The Age of Science, the former editor and publisher of Scientific American gives us a sweeping overview of the scientific achievements of the twentieth century, with chapters on the fundamental forces of nature, the subatomic world, cosmology, the cell and molecular biology, earth history and the evolution of life, and human evolution. Beautifully written and illustrated, this is a book for the connoisseur: an elegant, informative, magisterial summation of one of the twentieth century's greatest cultural achievements.

Industry Reviews

The former publisher of "Scientific American "undertakes a summary of the state of knowledge as a new century gets underway. After a brief introduction describing the genesis of the modern "Scientific American "in the years after WWII as a science magazine for the general reader, Piel points out that, to the scientist, the relevance of a discovery or theory to the world at large never really comes up. Science is, to a scientist, its own justification. But everyone has at one time or another wondered how the universe began, how life originated, and how it will all end. These questions have fascinated the best minds in our era as in earlier ones, but only now can our answers satisfy strict scientific criteria: above all, the primacy of observation, the rejection of the metaphysical, and the need to present one's results for verification. Modern science began with the extension of the range of human senses by means of such instruments as the telescope, the microscope, and various electronic detection devices. In the 20th century, as the power and scope of those instruments dramatically increased, the universe became both clearer and stranger. Relativity and quantum theory brought elements of the paradoxical into the seemingly hard surface of reality. The astronomers' gaze into deep space, in wavelengths invisible to the eye, revealed vast energies at play and huge vistas of time. And the light shed by the new physics on the processes of chemistry gave birth to molecular biology, above all the discovery of the DNA molecule's role in the nature of life on our planet. True to the mission he mapped out for his magazine, Piel is always aware of the general reader's needs, and takes care to outline basic principles as well as the broader implications of the discoveries he describes. Clear, comprehensive, and up-to-date. (Kirkus Reviews)

About This Book and Myselfp. xi
Science Is What Scientists Dop. 1
The ground of knowledge
Scientific revolutions
Galileo's inclined plane
Galileo's parabola
No higher authority
Revolution at the Ground of Knowledgep. 45
The laws of motion
The law of gravity
Phlogiston and chemistry
Electricity and magnetism
Relativity, Special and General
Light and Matterp. 109
Never at rest
Discovery of the electron
No irreducible atom
Not what but whence
Quantum electro- and chromodynamics
Space and Timep. 171
The force of gravity
Stellar parallax
Cosmic redshift
Black holes
The inflationary Big Bang
The Living Cellp. 241
Mendel's gene
The cell and its nucleus
Constitution of living matter
The origin of life
Symbiosis in evolution
Earth History and the Evolution of Lifep. 309
Plate tectonics
The first signs of life
Voyage of the Beagle
Natural selection
Increasing diversity
The vertebrate eye
Tools and Human Evolutionp. 377
The economic problem
Objective knowledge
Arrival of the primates
The Hominoidea
The man-apes
The cultural revolution
Homo erectus
The dawn of purpose
Homo sapiens
End Notesp. 445
Indexp. 449
Acknowledgmentsp. 460
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780465057559
ISBN-10: 0465057551
Series: Cornelia & Michael Bessie Series
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 480
Published: 1st January 2001
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 20.32  x 3.81
Weight (kg): 1.02
Edition Number: 1