Quirky Sides of Scientists: True Tales of Ingenuity and Error from Physics and Astronomy (Hardback)David R. Topper (author)
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These historical narratives of scientific behavior reveal the often irrational way scientists arrive at and assess their theories. There are stories of Einstein's stubbornness leading him to reject a correct interpretation of an experiment and miss an important deduction from his own theory, and Newton missing the important deduction from one of his most celebrated discoveries. This enlightening book clearly demonstrates that the greatest minds throughout history arrived at their famous scientific theories in very unorganized ways and they often did not fully grasp the significance and implications of their own work.
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Number of pages: 210
Weight: 508 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 14 mm
Edition: 2007 ed.
From the reviews:
"This is a serious work of historical detection, in which Topper delves into the nitty-gritty of astronomical and cosmological theory production from Aristarchus to Einstein. ... The extensive list of notes and references at the ends of chapters underline the thoroughness of the research ... . I warmly commend this book ... ." (Colin Knappitt, Astronomy Now, February, 2008)
"Topper treats us to a series of pen portraits of the intellectual endeavours of Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Einstein. ... I got a great deal of pleasure from reading this fast-flowing, well-referenced, and refreshingly different book, and I was also introduced to many unfamiliar and thought-provoking aspects of the history of our subject's progress and the oddities of some of the major proponents of the past." (David W. Hughes, The Observatory, Vol. 128 (1203), 2008)
"The chapters are self-contained, and include treatments of Einstein's occasional forays into experiment, Galileo's observations of the motion of sunspots, Newton's analysis of colour and Kepler's heroic efforts to account for the planetary orbits by solid geometry. ... the book has a certain academic charm. ... There are ample consolations here for the specialist, I'm sure ... . The author clearly loves this stuff, and his enthusiasm shines through. A reader who already shares that enthusiasm will get along fine with this book ... ." (Jon Turney, Times Higher Education, February, 2008)
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