In volume three, students will look over Albert Einstein's shoulder as he and his colleagues develop a new kind of physics. It leads in two directions: to knowledge of the vast universe and its future (insights build on Einstein's theories of relativity), and to an understanding of the astonishingly small subatomic world (the realm of quantum physics). Students will learn why relativity and quantum theory revolutionized our world and led to the most important ideas in modern science, maybe of all time. In the three-book The Story of Science series, master storyteller Joy Hakim narrates the evolution of scientific thought from ancient times to the present. With lively, character-driven narrative, Hakim spotlights the achievements of some of the world's greatest scientists and encourages a similiar spirit of inquiry in readers. The books include hundreds of color photographs, charts, maps, and diagrams; informative sidebars; suggestions for further reading; and excerpts from the writings of great scientists.
In volume two, students will watch as Copernicus's systematic observations place the sun at the center of our universe—to the dismay of establishment thinkers. After students follow the achievements and frustrations of Galileo, Kepler, and Descartes, they will appreciate the amazing Isaac Newton, whose discoveries about gravity, motion, colors, calculus, and Earth's place in the universe set the stage for modern physics, astronomy, mathematics, and chemistry. In the three-book The Story of Science series, master storyteller Joy Hakim narrates the evolution of scientific thought from ancient times to the present. With lively, character-driven narrative, Hakim spotlights the achievements of some of the world's greatest scientists and encourages a similiar spirit of inquiry in readers. The books include hundreds of color photographs, charts, maps, and diagrams; informative sidebars; suggestions for further reading; and excerpts from the writings of great scientists.
Presents the influence of of ancient Greek, Hindu, and Arab thinkers on the evolution of science in the fields of math, astronomy, and physics, with charts, diagrams, and excerpts from the writings of scientists.
Students and others looking for fascinating and painless introductions to this particular, well-traveled, but still-startling corner of the sciences will be happy with Parker as their guide. The latest book to tackle Einstein's insights and their consequences is also one of the clearest and shortest yet. - Publishers WeeklyIn clever, easy-to-follow prose, with plenty of cartoon help, Parker fleshes out Einstein's major contribution to science and mankind, while adding a bit of biography and some fun speculation about the possibilities of time travel. -San Diego TribuneIn his long-awaited new book, physicist and popular science writer Barry Parker speaks to the broadest possible audience in bringing Einstein's theories to life. Given the fervent renewed appreciation for the contributions Albert Einstein has bestowed on humanity, Parker thinks it only right to dedicate a book to explaining in the clearest possible terms the meaning and beauty of Einstein's theories.While tracing the story of Einstein's life, Parker seizes on the crucial groundbreaking theories that Einstein envisioned. Not since Isaac Newton had anyone conceived the universe in such a revolutionary, startling new way. Through Parker's eloquence, eye for detail, and clever use of Einsteinian cartoons and vivid illustrations, he enables the reader to see and appreciate for perhaps the first time the full meaning and scope of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and General Theory of Relativity.Parker then guides the reader to the next step in Einstein's revelations: the possibility of time travel. In exploring the fascinating implications of Einstein's thought, Parker treats us to the experience of discovering a black hole, traversing curved spacetime, and greeting our much younger twin who has just returned from a long and arduous spaceflight.Parker's incomparable gift for language captures Einstein's uniqueness, singular brilliance, and stunning theories. The clarity of the writing coupled with the many illustrations will drive home the point why so many consider Einstein to be the greatest scientist who ever lived and Time magazine named Albert Einstein Person of the Century.Barry Parker, Ph.D. (Boise, ID), a professor of physics at Idaho State University from 1967 to 1997, is an award-winning science writer and the author of thirteen highly acclaimed books in popular science, including Search for a Supertheory, Alien Life: The Search for Extraterrestrials and Beyond, Einstein: The Passions of a Scientist, Albert Einstein's Vision and Quantum Legacy: The Discovery That Changed Our Universe.
"Remember, what's down inside you, all covered up—the things of your soul. The important, secret things . . . The story of you, all buried, let the music caress it out into the open." When Allegra was a little girl, she thought she would pick up her violin and it would sing for her—that the music was hidden inside her instrument. Now that Allegra is twelve, she believes the music is in her fingers, and the summer after seventh grade she has to teach them well. She's the youngest contestant in the Ernest Bloch Young Musicians' Competition. She knows she will learn the notes to the concerto, but what she doesn't realize is she'll also learn how to close the gap between herself and Mozart to find the real music inside her heart. The Mozart Season includes an interview with author Virginia Euwer Wolff.
The twentieth century was defined by physics. From the minds of the world's leading physicists there flowed a river of ideas that would transport mankind to the pinnacle of wonderment and to the very depths of human despair. This was a century that began with the certainties of absolute knowledge and ended with the knowledge of absolute uncertainty. It was a century in which physicists developed weapons with the capacity to destroy our reality, whilst at the same time denying us the possibility that we can ever properly comprehend it. Almost everything we think we know about the nature of our world comes from one theory of physics. This theory was discovered and refined in the first thirty years of the twentieth century and went on to become quite simply the most successful theory of physics ever devised. Its concepts underpin much of the twenty-first century technology that we have learned to take for granted. But its success has come at a price, for it has at the same time completely undermined our ability to make sense of the world at the level of its most fundamental constituents. Rejecting the fundamental elements of uncertainty and chance implied by quantum theory, Albert Einstein once famously declared that 'God does not play dice'. Niels Bohr claimed that anybody who is not shocked by the theory has not understood it. The charismatic American physicist Richard Feynman went further: he claimed that nobody understands it. This is quantum theory, and this book tells its story. Jim Baggott presents a celebration of this wonderful yet wholly disconcerting theory, with a history told in forty episodes — significant moments of truth or turning points in the theory's development. From its birth in the porcelain furnaces used to study black body radiation in 1900, to the promise of stimulating new quantum phenomena to be revealed by CERN's Large Hadron Collider over a hundred years later, this is the extraordinary story of the quantum world. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.
...fascinating...this readable and idiosyncratic self-portrait should attract a whole new generation of readers to Asimov's fine creative works. --Publishers WeeklyNew one-volume autobiography spans Asimov's life for the first time!As one of the most gifted and prolific writers of the twentieth century, Isaac Asimov became legendary for his inexhaustible creativity, wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, and talent for explaining complex subjects in clear, concise prose. While regaling his readers with an incredible opus of almost five hundred entertaining and illuminating science fiction and nonfiction books, he also found time to write a three-volume autobiography. Now these volumes have been condensed into one by Asimov's wife, Janet, who also shares excerpts from letters he wrote to her. Together these writings provide an intimate portrait of a creative genius whose love of learning and playing with ideas is evident on every page.Reading this autobiography is like sitting down with Isaac Asimov and experiencing his witty, engaging, and brilliant personality firsthand. We are treated to many marvelous stories about his upbringing in Depression-era Brooklyn, his early fascination with the new science fiction pulp magazines, the thrill of his first published story, the creation of his well-known story Nightfall, the genesis of the Foundation series, and the evolution of his creative life as a writer.He also reveals his inner thoughts about and experiences with various luminaries in science and science fiction. Above all, Asimov's autobiography conveys unbounded enthusiasm for his craft, the infectious joy of learning and creating, complete intellectual honesty, his strong humanist convictions, and his infinite fund of good humor and optimism even at the end of his life - all told in the lively clear writing style that was his trademark.Although Janet Jeppson Asimov concludes this work with a shocking revelation about her husband's death, the volume is clearly intended as a celebration - as the title suggests - of a wonderful, creative life. As a poignant coda to this work, Janet has appended one short story that was Isaac's favorite, and his 400th essay on this thoughts about science.Janet Jeppson Asimov, M.D. (New York, NY), a retired physician, is the author of twenty books and many short stories and articles. She currently writes a bimonthly science column for a newspaper syndicate.
Einstein's Jury is the dramatic story of how astronomers in Germany, England, and America competed to test Einstein's developing theory of relativity. Weaving a rich narrative based on extensive archival research, Jeffrey Crelinsten shows how these early scientific debates shaped cultural attitudes we hold today. The book examines Einstein's theory of general relativity through the eyes of astronomers, many of whom were not convinced of the legitimacy of Einstein's startling breakthrough. These were individuals with international reputations to uphold and benefactors and shareholders to please, yet few of them understood the new theory coming from the pen of Germany's up-and-coming theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein. Some tried to test his theory early in its development but got no results. Others--through toil and hardship, great expense, and perseverance--concluded that it was wrong. A tale of international competition and intrigue, Einstein's Jury brims with detail gleaned from Crelinsten's far-reaching inquiry into the history and development of relativity. Crelinsten concludes that the well-known British eclipse expedition of 1919 that made Einstein famous had less to do with the scientific acceptance of his theory than with his burgeoning public fame. It was not until the 1920s, when the center of gravity of astronomy and physics shifted from Europe to America, that the work of prestigious American observatories legitimized Einstein's work. As Crelinsten so expertly shows, the glow that now surrounds the famous scientist had its beginnings in these early debates among professional scientists working in the glare of the public spotlight.
From Nobel Prize-winning scientist James D. Watson, a living legend for his work unlocking the structure of DNA, comes this candid and entertaining memoir, filled with practical advice for those starting out their academic careers. In Avoid Boring People, Watson lays down a life’s wisdom for getting ahead in a competitive world. Witty and uncompromisingly honest, he shares his thoughts on how young scientists should choose the projects that will shape their careers, the supreme importance of collegiality, and dealing with competitors within the same institution. It’s an irreverent romp through Watson’s colorful career and an indispensable guide to anyone interested in nurturing the life of the mind. From the Trade Paperback edition.
In 1953 Watson and Crick discovered the double helical structure of DNA and Watson's personal account of the discovery, The Double Helix, was published in 1968. Genes, Girls and Gamow is also autobiographical, covering the period from when The Double Helix ends, in 1953, to a few years later, and ending with a Postscript bringing the story up to date. Here is Watson adjusting to new-found fame, carrying out tantalizing experiments on the role of RNA in biology, and falling in love. Thebook is enlivened with copies of handwritten letters from the larger than life character George Gamow, who had made significant contributions to physics but became intrigued by genes, RNA and the elusive genetic code. This is a tale of heartbreak, scientific excitement and ambition, laced with travelogue and '50s atmosphere.
It's only a matter of time before a cosmic disaster spells the end of the Earth. But how concerned should we about about any of these catastrophic scenarios? And if they do post a danger, can anything be done to stop them?
Emma McCune’s passion for Africa, her unstinting commitment to the children of Sudan, and her youthful beauty and glamour set her apart from other relief workers from the moment she arrived in southern Sudan. But no one was prepared for her decision to marry a local warlord—a man who seemed to embody everything she was working against—and to throw herself into his violent quest to take over southern Sudan’s rebel movement. With precision and insight, Deborah Scroggins—who met McCune in Sudan—charts the process by which McCune’s romantic delusions led to her descent into the hell of Africa’s longest-running civil war. Emma’s War is at once a disturbing love story and an up-close look at Sudan: a world where international aid fuels armies as well as the starving population, and where the northern-based Islamic government—backed by Osama bin Laden—is locked in a war with the Christian and pagan south over religion, oil, and slaves. A timely, revelatory account of the nature of relief work, of the men and women who choose to carry it out, and of one woman’s sacrifice to its ideals. From the Hardcover edition.
A physicist explores the science of speed racing and the #1 spectator sport in America, with 75 million fans. Every NASCAR fan—at one time or another—asks the same question: Why isn’t my favorite driver winning? This is your chance to discover how much more there is to NASCAR than “Go fast, turn left and don’t crash.” If you’ve ever wondered why racecars don’t have mufflers, how “bump drafting” works, or what in the world “Let’s go up a pound on the right rear and add half a round of wedge” means, The Physics of NASCAR is for you. In this fast-paced investigation into the adrenaline-pumping world of NASCAR, a physicist with a passion uncovers what happens when the rubber hits the road and 800-horsepower vehicles compete at 190 miles per hour only inches from one another. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky reveals how and why drivers trust the engineering and science their teams literally build around them not only to get them across the finish line in first place, but also to keep them alive. Leslie-Pelecky is a physicist in love with the sport’s beauty and power and is uniquely qualified to explain exactly how physics translates into winning races. Based on the author’s extensive access to race shops, pit crews, crew chiefs and mechanics, this book traces the life cycle of a race car from behind the scenes at top race shops to the track. The Physics of NASCAR takes readers right into the ultra competitive world of NASCAR, from the champion driver’s hot seat behind the detachable steering wheel to the New Zealander nicknamed Kiwi in charge of shocks for the No. 19 car. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky tells her story in terms anyone who drives a car—and maybe occasionally looks under the hood--can understand. How do drivers walk away from serious crashes? How can two cars travel faster together than either car can on its own? How do you dress for a 1800°F gasoline fire? In simple yet detailed, high-octane prose, this is the ultimate thrill ride for armchair speed demons, auto science buffs, and NASCAR fans at every level of interest. Readers, start your engines.
The Extraordinary True Story of the Man Who Dared to See
Author: Robert Kurson
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Blinded at age three, Mike May overcame his disability to become a competitive downhill skiier and a member of the CIA, and in 1999 undertook an experimental surgery in an attempt to restore his sight.
Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs
Author: Ken Jennings
Category: Games & Activities
One day back in 2003, Ken Jennings and his college buddy Earl did what hundreds of thousands of people had done before: they auditioned for Jeopardy! Two years, 75 games, 2,642 correct answers, and over $2.5 million in winnings later, Ken Jennings emerged as trivia’s undisputed king. Brainiac traces his rise from anonymous computer programmer to nerd folk icon. But along the way, it also explores his newly conquered kingdom: the world of trivia itself. Jennings had always been minutiae-mad, poring over almanacs and TV Guide listings at an age when most kids are still watching Elmo and putting beans up their nose. But trivia, he has found, is centuries older than his childhood obsession with it. Whisking us from the coffeehouses of seventeenth-century London to the Internet age, Jennings chronicles the ups and downs of the trivia fad: the quiz book explosion of the Jazz Age; the rise, fall, and rise again of TV quiz shows; the nostalgic campus trivia of the 1960s; and the 1980s, when Trivial Pursuit® again made it fashionable to be a know-it-all. Jennings also investigates the shadowy demimonde of today’s trivia subculture, guiding us on a tour of trivia hotspots across America. He goes head-to-head with the blowhards and diehards of the college quiz-bowl circuit, the slightly soused faithful of the Boston pub trivia scene, and the raucous participants in the annual Q&A marathon in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, “The World’s Largest Trivia Contest.” And, of course, he takes us behind the scenes of his improbable 75-game run on Jeopardy! But above all, Brainiac is a love letter to the useless fact. What marsupial has fingerprints that are indistinguishable from human ones?* What planet has a crater on it named after Laura Ingalls Wilder?** What comedian had the misfortune to be born with the name “Albert Einstein”?*** Jennings also ponders questions that are a little more philosophical: What separates trivia from meaningless facts? Is being good at trivia a mark of intelligence? And is trivia just a waste of time, or does it serve some not-so-trivial purpose after all? Uproarious, silly, engaging, and erudite, this book is an irresistible celebration of nostalgia, curiosity, and nerdy obsession–in a word, trivia. * The koala ** Venus *** Albert Brooks From the Hardcover edition.
The Fourth Dimension in Relativity, Cubism, and Modern Thought
Author: Tony Robbin
Publisher: Yale University Press
In this insightful book, which is a revisionist math history as well as a revisionist art history, Tony Robbin, well known for his innovative computer visualizations of hyperspace, investigates different models of the fourth dimension and how these are applied in art and physics. Robbin explores the distinction between the slicing, or Flatland, model and the projection, or shadow, model. He compares the history of these two models and their uses and misuses in popular discussions. Robbin breaks new ground with his original argument that Picasso used the projection model to invent cubism, and that Minkowski had four-dimensional projective geometry in mind when he structured special relativity. The discussion is brought to the present with an exposition of the projection model in the most creative ideas about space in contemporary mathematics such as twisters, quasicrystals, and quantum topology. Robbin clarifies these esoteric concepts with understandable drawings and diagrams. Robbin proposes that the powerful role of projective geometry in the development of current mathematical ideas has been long overlooked and that our attachment to the slicing model is essentially a conceptual block that hinders progress in understanding contemporary models of spacetime. He offers a fascinating review of how projective ideas are the source of some of today’s most exciting developments in art, math, physics, and computer visualization.
Acclaimed science writer Barry Parker completes his trilogy on Einstein with this new work showing the incredibly wide-ranging influence of Einstein's many discoveries. In the first volume, Einstein's Brainchild, Parker focused on relativity, the most famous and important of the great genius's ideas. In the second volume, Einstein's Passions, his human side and diverse interests beyond science were Parker's main topic.Now the author turns once again to Einstein as creative scientist, concentrating on his prolific output of far-reaching contributions that complement and broaden his discovery of relativity. Moreover, Parker provides an indelible portrait of the man behind the theories. Parker, in clear and eloquent language, helps us appreciate the breadth and richness of Einstein's vision: from Einstein's theories supporting time travel, to his research on curved space, the cosmological constant, black holes, worm holes, gravity waves, cosmic lenses, to quantum theory, and beyond. Parker also discusses Einstein's reluctant connection with atomic weapons, his pacifist philosophy, his quest for the elusive unified field theory, and the relationship of his work to the recent hot area of superstrings.Even readers already familiar with Einstein's work will discover a wealth of new material in this singular contribution to the Einstein corpus. Parker's gift for turning complex physics into lucid prose has produced the most complete and accessible volume to elucidate for everyone the magnificent contributions of this most brilliant of scientists.Barry Parker (Pocatello, ID) is an award-winning science writer and the author of thirteen highly acclaimed popular science books, including Einstein: The Passions of a Scientist, Einstein's Brainchild: Relativity Made Relatively Easy! and Quantum Legacy: The Discovery That Changed Our Universe. He served as a professor of physics at Idaho State University from 1967 to 1997.
NATIONAL BEST SELLER A stunning, personal memoir from the astronaut and modern-day hero who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station—a message of hope for the future that will inspire for generations to come. The veteran of four spaceflights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Now, he takes us inside a sphere utterly hostile to human life. He describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both life-threatening and mundane: the devastating effects on the body; the isolation from everyone he loves and the comforts of Earth; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk; and the still more haunting threat of being unable to help should tragedy strike at home--an agonizing situation Kelly faced when, on a previous mission, his twin brother's wife, American Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot while he still had two months in space. Kelly's humanity, compassion, humor, and determination resonate throughout, as he recalls his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and the youthful inspiration that sparked his astounding career, and as he makes clear his belief that Mars will be the next, ultimately challenging, step in spaceflight. In Endurance, we see the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the infinite wonder of the galaxy.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Churchill, a towering historical biography, available for the first time in paperback. William Gladstone was, with Tennyson, Newman, Dickens, Carlyle, and Darwin, one of the stars of nineteenth-century British life. He spent sixty-three of his eighty-nine years in the House of Commons and was prime minister four times, a unique accomplishment. From his critical role in the formation of the Liberal Party to his preoccupation with the cause of Irish Home Rule, he was a commanding politician and statesman nonpareil. But Gladstone the man was much more: a classical scholar, a wide-ranging author, a vociferous participant in all the great theological debates of the day, a voracious reader, and an avid walker who chopped down trees for recreation. He was also a man obsessed with the idea of his own sinfulness, prone to self-flagellation and persistent in the practice of accosting prostitutes on the street and attempting to persuade them of the errors of their ways. This full and deep portrait of a complicated man offers a sweeping picture of a tumultuous century in British history, and is also a brilliant example of the biographer’s art. From the Trade Paperback edition.
An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq
Author: John Crawford
Category: Biography & Autobiography
In the tradition of Michael Herr's Dispatches, a National Guardsman's account of the war in Iraq. John Crawford joined the Florida National Guard to pay for his college tuition, willingly exchanging one weekend a month and two weeks a year for a free education. But in Autumn 2002, one semester short of graduating and newly married—in fact, on his honeymoon—he was called to active duty and sent to the front lines in Iraq. Crawford and his unit spent months upon months patrolling the streets of Baghdad, occupying a hostile city. During the breaks between patrols, Crawford began recording what he and his fellow soldiers witnessed and experienced. Those stories became The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell—a haunting and powerful, compellingly honest book that imparts the on-the-ground reality of waging the war in Iraq, and marks as the introduction of a mighty literary voice forged in the most intense of circumstances.