Great Calculations

Author: Colin Pask
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 163388029X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Science is based not only on observation and experiment, but on theory as well. As Einstein said, “Theory tells us what to measure.” And theories are often crystallized into succinct calculations, like those made using Einstein's famous E = mc2. This book looks at fifty such great calculations, exploring how and why they were developed and assessing their impact on the history of science. As the author shows, many significant scientific calculations are quite simple and fairly easy to understand, even for readers will little math background. But their implications can be surprising and profound. For example, what links a famous comet and the cost of an annuity? Why do scientists claim there is “dark matter” in the universe if it can’t be observed? How does carbon-based life on Earth depend on a quirk of nuclear physics? The answer to each question is an illuminating calculation. This accessible, engaging book will help you understand these breakthroughs and how they changed our view of life and the world. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Magnificent Principia

Author: Colin Pask
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616147466
Format: PDF
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Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg has written that "all that has happened since 1687 is a gloss on the Principia." Now you too can appreciate the significance of this stellar work, regarded by many as the greatest scientific contribution of all time. Despite its dazzling reputation, Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, or simply the Principia, remains a mystery for many people. Few of even the most intellectually curious readers, including professional scientists and mathematicians, have actually looked in the Principia or appreciate its contents. Mathematician Pask seeks to remedy this deficit in this accessible guided tour through Newton's masterpiece. Using the final edition of the Principia, Pask clearly demonstrates how it sets out Newton's (and now our) approach to science; how the framework of classical mechanics is established; how terrestrial phenomena like the tides and projectile motion are explained; and how we can understand the dynamics of the solar system and the paths of comets. He also includes scene-setting chapters about Newton himself and scientific developments in his time, as well as chapters about the reception and influence of the Principia up to the present day. From the Hardcover edition.

Math for the Frightened

Author: Colin Pask
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781616144210
Format: PDF
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Introduces the reader to the main ideas of mathematics, and painlessly demonstrates how they are expressed in symbols while helping to overcome the fear of math and begin to appreciate the science that Einstein called the poetry of logical ideas.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Author: Thomas S. Kuhn
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226458148
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.

Negative Math

Author: Alberto A. Martinez
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691123097
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A student in class asks the math teacher: "Shouldn't minus times minus make minus?" Teachers soon convince most students that it does not. Yet the innocent question brings with it a germ of mathematical creativity. What happens if we encourage that thought, odd and ungrounded though it may seem? Few books in the field of mathematics encourage such creative thinking. Fewer still are engagingly written and fun to read. This book succeeds on both counts. Alberto Martinez shows us how many of the mathematical concepts that we take for granted were once considered contrived, imaginary, absurd, or just plain wrong. Even today, he writes, not all parts of math correspond to things, relations, or operations that we can actually observe or carry out in everyday life. Negative Math ponders such issues by exploring controversies in the history of numbers, especially the so-called negative and "impossible" numbers. It uses history, puzzles, and lively debates to demonstrate how it is still possible to devise new artificial systems of mathematical rules. In fact, the book contends, departures from traditional rules can even be the basis for new applications. For example, by using an algebra in which minus times minus makes minus, mathematicians can describe curves or trajectories that are not represented by traditional coordinate geometry. Clear and accessible, Negative Math expects from its readers only a passing acquaintance with basic high school algebra. It will prove pleasurable reading not only for those who enjoy popular math, but also for historians, philosophers, and educators. Key Features: Uses history, puzzles, and lively debates to devise new mathematical systems Shows how departures from rules can underlie new practical applications Clear and accessible Requires a background only in basic high school algebra

Nabokov s Favorite Word Is Mauve

Author: Ben Blatt
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501105388
Format: PDF, Mobi
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What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? How can we judge a book by its cover? Data meets literature in this playful and informative look at our favorite authors and their masterpieces. “A literary detective story: fast-paced, thought-provoking, and intriguing.” —Brian Christian, coauthor of Algorithms to Live By There’s a famous piece of writing advice—offered by Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, and myriad writers in between—not to use -ly adverbs like “quickly” or “fitfully.” It sounds like solid advice, but can we actually test it? If we were to count all the -ly adverbs these authors used in their careers, do they follow their own advice compared to other celebrated authors? What’s more, do great books in general—the classics and the bestsellers—share this trait? In Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve, statistician and journalist Ben Blatt brings big data to the literary canon, exploring the wealth of fun findings that remain hidden in the works of the world’s greatest writers. He assembles a database of thousands of books and hundreds of millions of words, and starts asking the questions that have intrigued curious word nerds and book lovers for generations: What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Do men and women write differently? Are bestsellers getting dumber over time? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? What makes a great opening sentence? How can we judge a book by its cover? And which writerly advice is worth following or ignoring? Blatt draws upon existing analysis techniques and invents some of his own. All of his investigations and experiments are original, conducted himself, and no math knowledge is needed to understand the results. Blatt breaks his findings down into lucid, humorous language and clear and compelling visuals. This eye-opening book will provide you with a new appreciation for your favorite authors and a fresh perspective on your own writing, illuminating both the patterns that hold great prose together and the brilliant flourishes that make it unforgettable.

Gravity

Author: Nicholas Mee
Publisher: Anchor Books
ISBN: 9781901579482
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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What If

Author: Randall Munroe
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0544272994
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The creator of the incredibly popular webcomic xkcd presents his heavily researched answers to his fans' oddest questions, including “What if I took a swim in a spent-nuclear-fuel pool?” and “Could you build a jetpack using downward-firing machine guns?” 100,000 first printing.

Intelligent Design Uncensored

Author: William A. Dembski
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1458715574
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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What is ID? Why is it controversial? Intelligent design is surrounded by a storm of debate. Proponents and opponents have both sought to have their voices heard above the din. Is it unscientific? Is it a danger to real Christian faith? Is it trying to smuggle God into the classroom? Controversy can create confusion rather than clarity. So here to clear things up is Bill Dembski, one of the founders of intelligent design, who joins with Jonathan Witt to answer these questions and more. They plainly lay out just what intelligent design is and is not. They answer objections with straight talk that is down to earth. You'll be surprised at how often smart people have misrepresented ID. You might be surprised to see exactly how they respond to what turns out to be misleading arguments. Here is the book to make you intelligent about the whole fuss.

Professor Povey s Perplexing Problems

Author: Thomas Povey
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780747756
Format: PDF, Docs
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InProfessor Povey's Perplexing Problems, Thomas Povey shares 109 of his favorite problems in physics and maths. A tour de force of imagination and exposition, he guides us through uncompromisingly challenging territory that expands our minds and encourages a playful and exploratory approach to study. "The puzzles," he says, "are like toys. We should pick up the one we most enjoy, and play with it." Whether you are an aspiring scientist or an old-hand, pitting yourself against these problems will test your ability to think, and inspire you with curiosity and enthusiasm for physics. Presented with charm and wit, the questions span the gap between high-school and university-entrance standard material. Detailed answers are lightened with a fascinating and refreshing blend of scientific history, application and personal anecdote. On this delightful and idiosyncratic romp through pre-university maths and physics, the author shows us that behind every single one of these questions lies a new way of thinking about subjects we thought we had understood. He argues that engaging with the unfamiliar is key to forming deeper insights and developing intellectual independence.Professor Povey's Perplexing Problems is a manifesto that science should be playful, and a celebration of the curious.