A Little History of Science by William BynumScience is fantastic. It tells us about the infinite reaches of space, the tiniest living organism, the human body, the history of Earth. People have always been doing science because they have always wanted to make sense of the world and harness its power. From ancient Greek philosophers through Einstein and Watson and Crick to the computer-assisted scientists of today, men and women have wondered, examined, experimented, calculated, and sometimes made discoveries so earthshaking that people understood the world--or themselves--in an entirely new way. This inviting book tells a great adventure story: the history of science. It takes readers to the stars through the telescope, as the sun replaces the earth at the center of our universe. It delves beneath the surface of the planet, charts the evolution of chemistry's periodic table, introduces the physics that explain electricity, gravity, and the structure of atoms. It recounts the scientific quest that revealed the DNA molecule and opened unimagined new vistas for exploration. Emphasizing surprising and personal stories of scientists both famous and unsung, A Little History of Science traces the march of science through the centuries. The book opens a window on the exciting and unpredictable nature of scientific activity and describes the uproar that may ensue when scientific findings challenge established ideas. With delightful illustrations and a warm, accessible style, this is a volume for young and old to treasure together.
Call Number: ebook and Q125 .B98 2012
The Computing Universe by Tony Hey; Gyuri PápayComputers now impact almost every aspect of our lives, from our social interactions to the safety and performance of our cars. How did this happen in such a short time? And this is just the beginning. In this book, Tony Hey and Gyuri Pápay lead us on a journey from the early days of computers in the 1930s to the cutting-edge research of the present day that will shape computing in the coming decades. Along the way, they explain the ideas behind hardware, software, algorithms, Moore's Law, the birth of the personal computer, the Internet and the Web, the Turing Test, Jeopardy's Watson, World of Warcraft, spyware, Google, Facebook and quantum computing. This book also introduces the fascinating cast of dreamers and inventors who brought these great technological developments into every corner of the modern world. This exciting and accessible introduction will open up the universe of computing to anyone who has ever wondered where his or her smartphone came from.
Call Number: ebook and QA76.17 .H49 2015
Voyaging in Strange Seas by David KnightAn ambitious, landmark history of the Scientific Revolution, from the age of Columbus to the age of Cook In 1492 Columbus set out across the Atlantic; in 1776 American colonists declared their independence. Between these two events old authorities collapsed--Luther's Reformation divided churches, and various discoveries revealed the ignorance of the ancient Greeks and Romans. A new, empirical worldview had arrived, focusing now on observation, experiment, and mathematical reasoning. This engaging book takes us along on the great voyage of discovery that ushered in the modern age. David Knight, a distinguished historian of science, locates the Scientific Revolution in the great era of global oceanic voyages, which became both a spur to and a metaphor for scientific discovery. He introduces the well-known heroes of the story (Galileo, Newton, Linnaeus) as well as lesser-recognized officers of scientific societies, printers and booksellers who turned scientific discovery into public knowledge, and editors who invented the scientific journal. Knight looks at a striking array of topics, from better maps to more accurate clocks, from a boom in printing to medical advancements. He portrays science and religion as engaged with each other rather than in constant conflict; in fact, science was often perceived as a way to uncover and celebrate God's mysteries and laws. Populated with interesting characters, enriched with fascinating anecdotes, and built upon an acute understanding of the era, this book tells a story as thrilling as any in human history.]]>
Call Number: ebook
Ancient and Medieval Science
Aladdin's Lamp: how Greek science came to Europe through the Islamic world by John FreelyAladdin's Lamp is the fascinating story of how ancient Greek philosophy and science began in the sixth century B.C. and, during the next millennium, spread across the Greco-Roman world, producing the remarkable discoveries and theories of Thales, Pythagoras, Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Archimedes, Galen, Ptolemy, and many others. John Freely explains how, as the Dark Ages shrouded Europe, scholars in medieval Baghdad translated the works of these Greek thinkers into Arabic, spreading their ideas throughout the Islamic world from Central Asia to Spain, with many Muslim scientists, most notably Avicenna, Alhazen, and Averroës, adding their own interpretations to the philosophy and science they had inherited. Freely goes on to show how, beginning in the twelfth century, these texts by Islamic scholars were then translated from Arabic into Latin, sparking the emergence of modern science at the dawn of the Renaissance, which climaxed in the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. Here is early science in all its glory, from Pythagorean “celestial harmony” to the sun-centered planetary theory of Copernicus, who, in 1543, aided by the mathematical methods of medieval Arabic astronomers, revived a concept proposed by the Greek astronomer Aristarchus some eighteen centuries before. When Newton laid the foundations of modern science, building on the work of Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, and others, he said that he was “standing on the sholders [sic] of Giants,” referring to his predecessors in ancient Greece and in the Arabic and Latin worlds from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance. Caliph Harun al-Rashid was one of the Muslim rulers who first promoted translating Greek texts into Arabic. His Baghdad is the setting forTheThousand and OneNights,in which Scheherazades’s “Tale of Aladdin and His Magic Lamp” reflects the marvels of the new science and the amazing inventions it was said to produce. John Freely’sAladdin’s Lampreturns us to that time and brings to light an essential and long-overlooked chapter in the history of science.
Call Number: Q127.G7 F74 2009
Aristotle's Empiricism by Jean De GrootInnbsp;Aristotle’s Empiricism, Jean De Groot argues that an important part of Aristotle’s natural philosophy has remained largely unexplored and shows that much of Aristotle’s analysis of natural movement is influenced by the logic and concepts of mathematical mechanics that emerged from late Pythagorean thought. De Groot draws upon the pseudo-Aristotelian Physical Problems XVI to reconstruct the context of mechanics in Aristotle’s time and to trace the development of kinematic thinking from Archytas to the Aristotelian Mechanics. She shows the influence of kinematic thinking on Aristotle’s concept of power or potentiality, which she sees as having a physicalistic meaning originating in the problem of movement. De Groot identifies the source of early mechanical knowledge in kinesthetic awareness of mechanical advantage, showing the relation of Aristotle’s empiricism to more ancient experience. The book sheds light on the classical Greek understanding of imitation and device, as it questions both the claim that Aristotle’s natural philosophy codifies opinions held by convention and the view that the cogency of his scientific ideas depends on metaphysics.
Groundbreaking Scientific Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by Robert E. KrebsThe Middle Ages and the Renaissance were a period of scientific and literary reawakening. Scientific development and a renewed interest in classical science led to new discoveries, inventions, and technologies. Between 500 and 1600 A.D., scientific explorers rediscovered ancient Greek and Eastern knowledge, which led to an eruption of fresh ideas. This reference work describes more than 75 experiments, inventions, and discoveries of the period, as well as the scientists, physicians, and scholars responsible for them. Individuals such as Leonardo da Vinci, Marco Polo, and Galileo are included, along with entries on reconstructive surgery, Stonehenge, eyeglasses, the microscope, and the discovery of smallpox. Part of a unique series that ranges from ancient times to the 20th century, this exploration of scientific advancements during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance will be useful to high school and college students, teachers, and general readers seeking information about significant advances in scientific history.
Call Number: Q127.G7 B47 2010
The House of Wisdom by Jim Al-KhaliliA myth-shattering view of the medieval Islamic world's myriad scientific innovations, which preceded-and enabled-the European Renaissance. The Arabic legacy of science and philosophy has long been hidden from the West. British-Iraqi physicist Jim Al-Khalili unveils that legacy to fascinating effect by returning to its roots in the hubs of Arab innovation that would advance science and jump-start the European Renaissance. Inspired by the Koranic injunction to study closely all of God's works, rulers throughout the Islamic world funded armies of scholars who gathered and translated Persian, Sanskrit, and Greek texts. From the ninth through the fourteenth centuries, these scholars built upon those foundations a scientific revolution that bridged the one-thousand-year gap between the ancient Greeks and the European Renaissance. Many of the innovations that we think of as hallmarks of Western science were actually the result of Arab ingenuity: Astronomers laid the foundations for the heliocentric model of the solar system long before Copernicus; physicians accurately described blood circulation and the inner workings of the eye ages before Europeans solved those mysteries; physicists made discoveries that laid the foundation for Newton's theories of optics. But the most significant legacy of Middle Eastern science was its evidence-based approach-the lack of which kept Europeans in the dark throughout the Dark Ages. The father of this experimental approach to science-what we call the scientific method-was an Iraqi physicist who applied it centuries before Europeans first dabbled in it. Al-Khalili details not only how discoveries like these were made, but also how they changed European minds and how they were ultimately obscured by later Western versions of the same principles. With transporting detail, Al-Khalili places the reader in the intellectual and cultural hothouses of the Arab Enlightenment: the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, one of the world's greatest academies, the holy city of Isfahan, the melting pots of Damascus and Cairo, and the embattled Islamic outposts of Spain. Al-Khalili tackles two tantalizing questions: Why did the Arab world enter its own Dark Age after such a dazzling enlightenment? And how much did Arabic learning contribute to making the Western world as we know it? Given his singular combination of expertise in both the Western and Middle Eastern scientific traditions, Al-Khalili is uniquely qualified to solve those riddles.
Call Number: Q127.A5 A4 2011
What Did the Romans Know? : An Inquiry into Science and Worldmaking by Lehoux, DarynWhat did the Romans know about their world? Quite a lot, as Daryn Lehoux makes clear in this fascinating and much-needed contribution to the history and philosophy of ancient science. Lehoux contends that even though many of the Romans' views about the natural world have no place in modern science-the umbrella-footed monsters and dog-headed people that roamed the earth and the stars that foretold human destinies-their claims turn out not to be so radically different from our own. Lehoux draws upon a wide range of sources from what is unquestionably the most prolific period of ancient science, from the first century BC to the second century AD. He begins with Cicero's theologico-philosophical trilogy On the Nature of the Gods, On Divination, and On Fate, illustrating how Cicero's engagement with nature is closely related to his concerns in politics, religion, and law. Lehoux then guides readers through highly technical works by Galen and Ptolemy, as well as the more philosophically oriented physics and cosmologies of Lucretius, Plutarch, and Seneca, all the while exploring the complex interrelationships between the objects of scientific inquiry and the norms, processes, and structures of that inquiry. This includes not only the tools and methods the Romans used to investigate nature, but also the Romans' cultural, intellectual, political, and religious perspectives. Lehoux concludes by sketching a methodology that uses the historical material he has carefully explained to directly engage the philosophical questions of incommensurability, realism, and relativism. By situating Roman arguments about the natural world in their larger philosophical, political, and rhetorical contexts, What Did the Romans Know? demonstrates that the Romans had sophisticated and novel approaches to nature, approaches that were empirically rigorous, philosophically rich, and epistemologically complex.