pendulum leon foucault and the triumph of science

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Pendulum

Author : Amir D. Aczel
ISBN : 1416588434
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 57. 85 MB
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In 1851, struggling, self-taught physicist Léon Foucault performed a dramatic demonstration inside the Panthéon in Paris. By tracking a pendulum's path as it swung repeatedly across the interior of the large ceremonial hall, Foucault offered the first definitive proof -- before an audience that comprised the cream of Parisian society, including the future emperor, Napoleon III -- that the earth revolves on its axis. Through careful, primary research, world-renowned author Amir Aczel has revealed the life of a gifted physicist who had almost no formal education in science, and yet managed to succeed despite the adversity he suffered at the hands of his peers. The range and breadth of Foucault's discoveries is astonishing: He gave us the modern electric compass, devised an electric microscope, invented photographic technology, and made remarkable deductions about color theory, heat waves, and the speed of light. Yet until now so little has been known about his life. Richly detailed and evocative, Pendulum tells of the illustrious period in France during the Second Empire; of Foucault's relationship with Napoleon III, a colorful character in his own right; and -- most notably -- of the crucial triumph of science over religion. Dr. Aczel has crafted a fascinating narrative based on the life of this most astonishing and largely unrecognized scientist, whose findings answered many age-old scientific questions and posed new ones that are still relevant today.

Pendulum

Author : Amir D. Aczel
ISBN : 0743464796
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 81. 8 MB
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He was neither a mathematician nor a trained physicist and yet Léon Foucault always knew that a mysterious force of nature was among us. Like Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, and others before him, Foucault sensed a dramatic relationship between the rotating skies above and the seemingly motionless ground beneath our feet. But it wasn't until 1851 -- in Paris, inside the Panthéon, and in the company of fellow amateur scientist Napoleon III -- that Foucault swung a pendulum and demonstrated an extraordinary truth about the world: that it turns on its axis. Pendulum is a fascinating journey through the mind and findings of one of the most important and lesser-known characters in the history of science. Through careful research and lively anecdotes, world-renowned author Amir D. Aczel reveals the astonishing range and breadth of Foucault's discoveries. For, in addition to offering the first unequivocal proof of Earth's rotation, Foucault gave us the modern electric compass and microscope, was a pioneer in photographic technology, and made remarkable deductions about color theory, heat waves, and the speed of light. At its heart, Pendulum is a story about the illustrious period in France during the Second Empire; the crucial triumph of science over religion; and, most compelling, the life of a struggling, self-made man whose pursuit of knowledge continues to inform our notions about the universe today.

Pendulum

Author : Amir D. Aczel
ISBN : 0743464788
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 73. 64 MB
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Recounts the events surrounding the 1853 demonstration by an amateur physicist with no formal training that proved that the Earth revolves on an axis, describing the adversity he suffered at the hands of his peers.

Galileo S Pendulum

Author : Roger G. NEWTON
ISBN : 9780674041486
Genre : Science
File Size : 61. 61 MB
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Bored during Mass at the cathedral in Pisa, the seventeen-year-old Galileo regarded the chandelier swinging overhead--and remarked, to his great surprise, that the lamp took as many beats to complete an arc when hardly moving as when it was swinging widely. Galileo's Pendulum tells the story of what this observation meant, and of its profound consequences for science and technology. The principle of the pendulum's swing--a property called isochronism--marks a simple yet fundamental system in nature, one that ties the rhythm of time to the very existence of matter in the universe. Roger Newton sets the stage for Galileo's discovery with a look at biorhythms in living organisms and at early calendars and clocks--contrivances of nature and culture that, however adequate in their time, did not meet the precise requirements of seventeenth-century science and navigation. Galileo's Pendulum recounts the history of the newly evolving time pieces--from marine chronometers to atomic clocks--based on the pendulum as well as other mechanisms employing the same physical principles, and explains the Newtonian science underlying their function. The book ranges nimbly from the sciences of sound and light to the astonishing intersection of the pendulum's oscillations and quantum theory, resulting in new insight into the make-up of the material universe. Covering topics from the invention of time zones to Isaac Newton's equations of motion, from Pythagoras' theory of musical harmony to Michael Faraday's field theory and the development of quantum electrodynamics, Galileo's Pendulum is an authoritative and engaging tour through time of the most basic all-pervading system in the world. Table of Contents: Preface Introduction 1. Biological Timekeeping: The Body's Rhythms 2. The Calendar: Different Drummers 3. Early Clocks: Home-Made Beats 4. The Pendulum Clock: The Beat of Nature 5. Successors: Ubiquitous Timekeeping 6. Isaac Newton: The Physics of the Pendulum 7. Sound and Light: Oscillations Everywhere 8. The Quantum: Oscillators Make Particles Notes References Index Reviews of this book: The range of things that measure time, from living creatures to atomic clocks, brackets Newton's intriguing narrative of time's connections, in the middle of which stands Galileo's famous discovery about pendulums...Science buffs will delight in the links Newton makes in this readable tour of how humanity marks time. --Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

The Artist And The Mathematician

Author : Amir D. Aczel
ISBN : 9780786732883
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 65. 48 MB
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Nicolas Bourbaki, whose mathematical publications began to appear in the late 1930s and continued to be published through most of the twentieth century, was a direct product as well as a major force behind an important revolution that took place in the early decades of the twentieth century that completely changed Western culture. Pure mathematics, the area of Bourbaki's work, seems on the surface to be an abstract field of human study with no direct connection with the real world. In reality, however, it is closely intertwined with the general culture that surrounds it. Major developments in mathematics have often followed important trends in popular culture; developments in mathematics have acted as harbingers of change in the surrounding human culture. The seeds of change, the beginnings of the revolution that swept the Western world in the early decades of the twentieth century — both in mathematics and in other areas — were sown late in the previous century. This is the story both of Bourbaki and the world that created him in that time. It is the story of an elaborate intellectual joke — because Bourbaki, one of the foremost mathematicians of his day — never existed.

Foucault S Pendulum

Author : Umberto Eco
ISBN : 0547539681
Genre : Fiction
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Bored with their work, three Milanese editors cook up "the Plan," a hoax that connects the medieval Knights Templar with other occult groups from ancient to modern times. This produces a map indicating the geographical point from which all the powers of the earth can be controlled—a point located in Paris, France, at Foucault’s Pendulum. But in a fateful turn the joke becomes all too real, and when occult groups, including Satanists, get wind of the Plan, they go so far as to kill one of the editors in their quest to gain control of the earth. Orchestrating these and other diverse characters into his multilayered semiotic adventure, Eco has created a superb cerebral entertainment.

A Force Of Nature The Frontier Genius Of Ernest Rutherford

Author : Richard Reeves
ISBN : 9780393076042
Genre : Science
File Size : 88. 4 MB
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"Starred Review. Reeves deploys his considerable writing skill in portraying Rutherford's personality ... capturing the full aspect of the man."—Booklist Born in colonial New Zealand, Ernest Rutherford grew up on the frontier—a different world from Cambridge, to which he won a scholarship at the age of twenty-four. His work revolutionized modern physics. Among his discoveries were the orbital structure of the atom and the concept of the "half-life" of radioactive materials. Rutherford and the young men working under him were the first to split the atom, unlocking tremendous forces—forces, as Rutherford himself predicted, that would bring us the atomic bomb. In Richard Reeves's hands, Rutherford comes alive, a ruddy, genial man and a pivotal figure in scientific history.

The Mapping Of New Spain

Author : Barbara E. Mundy
ISBN : 0226550974
Genre : History
File Size : 66. 71 MB
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To learn about its territories in the New World, Spain commissioned a survey of Spanish officials in Mexico between 1578 and 1584, asking for local maps as well as descriptions of local resources, history, and geography. In The Mapping of New Spain, Barbara Mundy illuminates both the Amerindian (Aztec, Mixtec, and Zapotec) and the Spanish traditions represented in these maps and traces the reshaping of indigene world views in the wake of colonization. "Its contribution to its specific field is both significant and original. . . . It is a pure pleasure to read." —Sabine MacCormack, Isis "Mundy has done a fine job of balancing the artistic interpretation of the maps with the larger historical context within which they were drawn. . . . This is an important work." —John F. Schwaller, Sixteenth Century Journal "This beautiful book opens a Pandora's box in the most positive sense, for it provokes the reconsideration of several long-held opinions about Spanish colonialism and its effects on Native American culture." —Susan Schroeder, American Historical Review

Present At The Creation

Author : Amir D. Aczel
ISBN : 0307591689
Genre : Science
File Size : 46. 96 MB
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The Large Hadron Collider is the biggest, and by far the most powerful, machine ever built. A project of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, its audacious purpose is to re-create, in a 16.5-mile-long circular tunnel under the French-Swiss countryside, the immensely hot and dense conditions that existed some 13.7 billion years ago within the first trillionth of a second after the fiery birth of our universe. The collider is now crashing protons at record energy levels never created by scientists before, and it will reach even higher levels by 2013. Its superconducting magnets guide two beams of protons in opposite directions around the track. After accelerating the beams to 99.9999991 percent of the speed of light, it collides the protons head-on, annihilating them in a flash of energy sufficient—in accordance with Einstein’s elegant statement of mass-energy equivalence, E=mc2—to coalesce into a shower of particles and phenomena that have not existed since the first moments of creation. Within the LHC’s detectors, scientists hope to see empirical confirmation of key theories in physics and cosmology. In telling the story of what is perhaps the most anticipated experiment in the history of science, Amir D. Aczel takes us inside the control rooms at CERN at key moments when an international team of top researchers begins to discover whether this multibillion-euro investment will fulfill its spectacular promise. Through the eyes and words of the men and women who conceived and built CERN and the LHC—and with the same clarity and depth of knowledge he demonstrated in the bestselling Fermat’s Last Theorem—Aczel enriches all of us with a firm grounding in the scientific concepts we will need to appreciate the discoveries that will almost certainly spring forth when the full power of this great machine is finally unleashed. Will the Higgs boson make its breathlessly awaited appearance, confirming at last the Standard Model of particles and their interactions that is among the great theoretical achievements of twentieth-century physics? Will the hidden dimensions posited by string theory be revealed? Will we at last identify the nature of the dark matter that makes up more than 90 percent of the cosmos? With Present at the Creation, written by one of today’s finest popular interpreters of basic science, we can all follow the progress of an experiment that promises to greatly satisfy the curiosity of anyone who ever concurred with Einstein when he said, “I want to know God’s thoughts—the rest is details.” From the Hardcover edition.

Salvage The Bones

Author : Jesmyn Ward
ISBN : 9781408827000
Genre : African American children
File Size : 49. 95 MB
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WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2011

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