The Great Equations: Breakthroughs in Science from Pythagoras to Heisenberg


Author: Robert P. Crease
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393337936
Category: Mathematics
Page: 320
View: 2248

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Shares behind-the-scenes stories for ten of the most significant equations in human history, covering a range of topics, from Feynman's statement about Maxwell's pivotal electromagnetic equations and the influence of Newton's law of gravitation to the reason Euler's formula has been called "God's equation" and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. 20,000 first printing.

You Are Here

A Portable History of the Universe
Author: Christopher Potter
Publisher: Knopf Canada
ISBN: 0307375226
Category: Science
Page: 304
View: 7452

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A thrilling biography of the universe, as seen through the lens of today’s most cutting-edge scientific thinking. Here’s the book that explains the universe. You Are Here is an exhilarating journey that shows the cosmos as it has never been seen before. From the smallest parts of matter to the largest structures in the universe, Christopher Potter traces the life of the universe from theories of its conception to theories of its eventual fate. Along this heart-stopping voyage from quarks to galaxies, he writes entertainingly about the history and philosophy of science. With wisdom and wonder, Potter traverses the cosmos from its formation to its eventual end – while exploring everything in between. Some questions You Are Here sets out to answer: • What is this ‘everything’ that has evolved from nothing? And what do we mean by everything? • What stuff is ‘nothing’ made out of? • If the universe contains everything there is then what is it contained in? • Where are we in the universe? • Is there room for God in a material universe? • How scared should we be? • What fate awaits the universe? Science actually has answers to these questions, and in You Are Here, Potter will explain them to you. From the Hardcover edition.

Pandora's Seed

Why the Hunter-Gatherer Holds the Key to Our Survival
Author: Spencer Wells
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 0812971914
Category: Nature
Page: 256
View: 3196

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Originally published in hardcover in 2010.

Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel (Great Discoveries)


Author: Rebecca Goldstein
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393327604
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 296
View: 8948

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A portrait of the eminent twentieth-century mathematician discusses his theorem of incompleteness, relationships with such contemporaries as Albert Einstein, and untimely death as a result of mental instability and self-starvation.

Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines


Author: Richard A. Muller
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393069884
Category: Science
Page: 384
View: 1738

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A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller We live in complicated, dangerous times. Present and future presidents need to know if North Korea's nascent nuclear capability is a genuine threat to the West, if biochemical weapons are likely to be developed by terrorists, if there are viable alternatives to fossil fuels that should be nurtured and supported by the government, if private companies should be allowed to lead the way on space exploration, and what the actual facts are about the worsening threats from climate change. This is "must-have" information for all presidents—and citizens—of the twenty-first century. Winner of the 2009 Northern California Book Award for General Nonfiction. Images in this eBook are not displayed due to permissions issues.

Life in the Market Ecosystem


Author: Stuart K. Hayashi
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739186698
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 624
View: 2616

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Life in the Market Ecosystem, the second book in the Nature of Liberty trilogy, confronts evolutionary psychology head on. It describes the evolutionary psychologists’ theory of gene-culture co-evolution, which states that although customs and culture are not predetermined by anyone’s genetic makeup, one’s practice of a custom can influence the likelihood of that person having children and grandchildren. Therefore, according to the theory, customs count as evolutionary adaptations. Extending that theory further, as entire systems of political economy—capitalism, socialism, and hunter-gatherer subsistence—consist of multiple customs and institutions, it follows that an entire political-economic system can likewise be classified as an evolutionary adaptation. Considering that liberal-republican capitalism has, insofar as the system has been implemented, done more to reduce the mortality rate and secure human fertility than other models of societal structure, it stands to reason that liberal-republican capitalism is itself a beneficent evolutionary adaptation. Moreover, as essential tenets of Rand’s Objectivism—individualism, observation-based rationality, and peaceable self-interest—have been integral to the development of the capitalist ecosystem, important aspects of the Objectivism are worthwhile adaptations as well. This book shall uphold that position, as well as combat critiques by evolutionary psychologists and environmentalists who denounce capitalism as self-destructive. Instead, capitalism is the most sustainable and fairest political model. This book argues that of all the philosophies, Objectivism is the one that is most fit for humanity.

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments


Author: George Johnson
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307268667
Category: Science
Page: 208
View: 2721

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A dazzling, irresistible collection of the ten most groundbreaking and beautiful experiments in scientific history. With the attention to detail of a historian and the storytelling ability of a novelist, New York Times science writer George Johnson celebrates these groundbreaking experiments and re-creates a time when the world seemed filled with mysterious forces and scientists were in awe of light, electricity, and the human body. Here, we see Galileo staring down gravity, Newton breaking apart light, and Pavlov studying his now famous dogs. This is science in its most creative, hands-on form, when ingenuity of the mind is the most useful tool in the lab and the rewards of a well-considered experiment are on exquisite display.

The Natural Law of Cycles

Governing the Mobile Symmetries of Animals and Machines
Author: James H. Bunn
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
ISBN: 1412851408
Category: Science
Page: 384
View: 4239

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The Natural Law of Cycles assembles scientific work from different disciplines to show how research on angular momentum and rotational symmetry can be used to develop a law of energy cycles as a local and global influence. Angular momentum regulates small-scale rotational cycles such as the swimming of fish in water, the running of animals on land, and the flight of birds in air. Also, it regulates large-scale rotation cycles such as global currents of wind and water. James H. Bunn introduces concepts of symmetry, balance, and angular momentum, showing how together they shape the mobile symmetries of animals. Chapter 1 studies the configurations of animals as they move in a head-first direction. Chapter 2 shows how sea animals follow currents and tides generated by the rotational cycles of the earth. In chapter 3, Bunn explores the biomechanical pace of walking as a partial cycle of rotating limbs. On a large scale, angular momentum governs balanced shifts in plate tectonics. Chapter 4 begins with an examination of rotational wind patterns in terms of the counter-balancing forces of angular momentum. The author shows how these winds augment the flights of birds during migrations. A final chapter centers on the conservation of energy as the most basic principle of science. Bunn argues that in the nineteenth century the unity of nature was seen in the emergent concept of energy, not matter, as the source of power, including the movements of animals and machines. In each chapter Bunn features environmental writers who celebrate mobile symmetries. This book will interest students, naturalists, and advocates of the environmental movement.

The Quantum Moment

How Planck, Bohr, Einstein, and Heisenberg Taught Us to Love Uncertainty
Author: Robert P. Crease,Alfred Scharff Goldhaber
Publisher: W W Norton & Company Incorporated
ISBN: 9780393351927
Category: Science
Page: 352
View: 1083

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Describes how the early-20th-century discoveries in quantum physics found their way into today's modern language and collective culture, appearing in everything from television shows and movies to coffee mugs and T-shirts to art forms like sculpture and prose. 20,000 first printing.

World in the Balance: The Historic Quest for an Absolute System of Measurement


Author: Robert P. Crease
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393082040
Category: Science
Page: 320
View: 7601

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The epic story of the invention of a global network of weights, scales, and instruments for measurement. Millions of transactions each day depend on a reliable network of weights and measures. This network has been called a greater invention than the steam engine, comparable only to the development of the printing press. Robert P. Crease traces the evolution of this international system from the use of flutes to measure distance in the dynasties of ancient China and figurines to weigh gold in West Africa to the creation of the French metric and British imperial systems. The former prevailed, with the United States one of three holdout nations. Into this captivating history Crease weaves stories of colorful individuals, including Thomas Jefferson, an advocate of the metric system, and American philosopher Charles S. Peirce, the first to tie the meter to the wavelength of light. Tracing the dynamic struggle for ultimate precision, World in the Balance demonstrates that measurement is both stranger and more integral to our lives than we ever suspected.

The God Problem

How a Godless Cosmos Creates
Author: Howard Bloom
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616145528
Category: Religion
Page: 708
View: 9606

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God’s war crimes, Aristotle’s sneaky tricks, Einstein’s pajamas, information theory’s blind spot, Stephen Wolfram’s new kind of science, and six monkeys at six typewriters getting it wrong. What do these have to do with the birth of a universe and with your need for meaning? Everything, as you’re about to see. How does the cosmos do something it has long been thought only gods could achieve? How does an inanimate universe generate stunning new forms and unbelievable new powers without a creator? How does the cosmos create? That’s the central question of this book, which finds clues in strange places. Why A does not equal A. Why one plus one does not equal two. How the Greeks used kickballs to reinvent the universe. And the reason that Polish-born Benoît Mandelbrot—the father of fractal geometry—rebelled against his uncle. You’ll take a scientific expedition into the secret heart of a cosmos you’ve never seen. Not just any cosmos. An electrifyingly inventive cosmos. An obsessive-compulsive cosmos. A driven, ambitious cosmos. A cosmos of colossal shocks. A cosmos of screaming, stunning surprise. A cosmos that breaks five of science’s most sacred laws. Yes, five. And you’ll be rewarded with author Howard Bloom’s provocative new theory of the beginning, middle, and end of the universe—the Bloom toroidal model, also known as the big bagel theory—which explains two of the biggest mysteries in physics: dark energy and why, if antimatter and matter are created in equal amounts, there is so little antimatter in this universe. Called "truly awesome" by Nobel Prize–winner Dudley Herschbach, The God Problem will pull you in with the irresistible attraction of a black hole and spit you out again enlightened with the force of a big bang. Be prepared to have your mind blown. From the Hardcover edition.

50 Mathematical Ideas You Really Need to Know


Author: Tony Crilly
Publisher: Quercus
ISBN: 1623651883
Category: Mathematics
Page: 208
View: 1861

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Just the mention of mathematics is enough to strike fear into the hearts of many, yet without it, the human race couldn't be where it is today. By exploring the subject through its 50 key insights--from the simple (the number one) and the subtle (the invention of zero) to the sophisticated (proving Fermat's last theorem)--this book shows how mathematics has changed the way we look at the world around us.

Is God a Mathematician?


Author: Mario Livio
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781416594437
Category: Mathematics
Page: 320
View: 9974

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Bestselling author and astrophysicist Mario Livio examines the lives and theories of history’s greatest mathematicians to ask how—if mathematics is an abstract construction of the human mind—it can so perfectly explain the physical world. Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner once wondered about “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in the formulation of the laws of nature. Is God a Mathematician? investigates why mathematics is as powerful as it is. From ancient times to the present, scientists and philosophers have marveled at how such a seemingly abstract discipline could so perfectly explain the natural world. More than that—mathematics has often made predictions, for example, about subatomic particles or cosmic phenomena that were unknown at the time, but later were proven to be true. Is mathematics ultimately invented or discovered? If, as Einstein insisted, mathematics is “a product of human thought that is independent of experience,” how can it so accurately describe and even predict the world around us? Physicist and author Mario Livio brilliantly explores mathematical ideas from Pythagoras to the present day as he shows us how intriguing questions and ingenious answers have led to ever deeper insights into our world. This fascinating book will interest anyone curious about the human mind, the scientific world, and the relationship between them.

Lewis Carroll in Numberland: His Fantastical Mathematical Logical Life


Author: Robin Wilson
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 039307210X
Category: Mathematics
Page: 208
View: 6033

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“A fine mathematical biography.”—John Allen Paulos, New York Times Book Review Just when we thought we knew everything about Lewis Carroll, here comes this “insightful . . . scholarly . . . serious” (John Butcher, American Scientist) biography that will appeal to Alice fans everywhere. Fascinated by the inner life of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Robin Wilson, a Carroll scholar and a noted mathematics professor, has produced this revelatory book—filled with more than one hundred striking and often playful illustrations—that examines the many inspirations and sources for Carroll’s fantastical writings, mathematical and otherwise. As Wilson demonstrates, Carroll made significant contributions to subjects as varied as voting patterns and the design of tennis tournaments, in the process creating large numbers of imaginative recreational puzzles based on mathematical ideas.

The Prism and the Pendulum

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments in Science
Author: Robert Crease
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780307432537
Category: Science
Page: 272
View: 4714

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Is science beautiful? Yes, argues acclaimed philosopher and historian of science Robert P. Crease in this engaging exploration of history’s most beautiful experiments. The result is an engrossing journey through nearly 2,500 years of scientific innovation. Along the way, we encounter glimpses into the personalities and creative thinking of some of the field’s most interesting figures. 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 Panthéon 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—brilliantly 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. We also learn why these ten experiments exert such a powerful hold on our imaginations. From the ancient world to cutting-edge physics, these ten exhilarating moments reveal something fundamental about the world, pulling us out of confusion and revealing nature’s elegance. The Prism and the Pendulum brings us face-to-face with the wonder of science. From the Hardcover edition.

Euclid in the Rainforest

Discovering Universal Truth in Logic and Math
Author: Joseph Mazur
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101664878
Category: Mathematics
Page: 352
View: 9861

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Like Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach, and David Berlinski’s A Tour of the Calculus, Euclid in the Rainforest combines the literary with the mathematical to explore logic—the one indispensable tool in man’s quest to understand the world. Underpinning both math and science, it is the foundation of every major advancement in knowledge since the time of the ancient Greeks. Through adventure stories and historical narratives populated with a rich and quirky cast of characters, Mazur artfully reveals the less-than-airtight nature of logic and the muddled relationship between math and the real world. Ultimately, Mazur argues, logical reasoning is not purely robotic. At its most basic level, it is a creative process guided by our intuitions and beliefs about the world.

How to Build a Hovercraft

Air Cannons, Magnetic Motors, and 25 Other Amazing DIY Science Projects
Author: Stephen Voltz,Fritz Grobe
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 1452131996
Category: Science
Page: 176
View: 9233

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From the Coke and Mentos fountain makers who found initial fame via Maker Faire and YouTube (more than 150 million views!) comes this collection of DIY science projects guaranteed to inspire a love of experimentation. Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz, also known as EepyBird, share their favorite projects: a giant air vortex cannon, a leaf blower hovercraft, a paper airplane that will fly forever, and many more. Each experiment features instructions that will take users from amateur to showman level—there's something here for all skill levels—alongside illustrations, photographs, and carefully explained science. How to Build a Hovercraft is guaranteed to engage curious minds and create brag-worthy results!

Drift

The Unmooring of American Military Power
Author: Rachel Maddow
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 0307461009
Category: Political Science
Page: 288
View: 6530

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The #1 New York Times bestseller that charts America’s dangerous drift into a state of perpetual war. Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war. To understand how we've arrived at such a dangerous place, Maddow takes us from the Vietnam War to today's war in Afghanistan, along the way exploring Reagan's radical presidency, the disturbing rise of executive authority, the gradual outsourcing of our war-making capabilities to private companies, the plummeting percentage of American families whose children fight our constant wars for us, and even the changing fortunes of G.I. Joe. Ultimately, she shows us just how much we stand to lose by allowing the scope of American military power to overpower our political discourse. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seri­ously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about our vast and confounding national security state.

Headstrong

52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World
Author: Rachel Swaby
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 0553446800
Category: Science
Page: 288
View: 1462

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Fifty-two inspiring and insightful profiles of history’s brightest female scientists. In 2013, the New York Times published an obituary for Yvonne Brill. It began: “She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job, and took eight years off from work to raise three children.” It wasn’t until the second paragraph that readers discovered why the Times had devoted several hundred words to her life: Brill was a brilliant rocket scientist who invented a propulsion system to keep communications satellites in orbit, and had recently been awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Among the questions the obituary—and consequent outcry—prompted were, Who are the role models for today’s female scientists, and where can we find the stories that cast them in their true light? Headstrong delivers a powerful, global, and engaging response. Covering Nobel Prize winners and major innovators, as well as lesser-known but hugely significant scientists who influence our every day, Rachel Swaby’s vibrant profiles span centuries of courageous thinkers and illustrate how each one’s ideas developed, from their first moment of scientific engagement through the research and discovery for which they’re best known. This fascinating tour reveals these 52 women at their best—while encouraging and inspiring a new generation of girls to put on their lab coats. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Galileo's Muse

Renaissance Mathematics and the Arts
Author: Mark A. Peterson
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674062973
Category: Science
Page: 352
View: 5032

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Mark Peterson makes an extraordinary claim in this fascinating book focused around the life and thought of Galileo: it was the mathematics of Renaissance arts, not Renaissance sciences, that became modern science. Painters, poets, musicians, and architects brought about a scientific revolution that eluded the philosopher-scientists of the day.