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The Science Book

Book Description

The Science Book explores how scientists have sought to explain our world and the universe, and how scientific discoveries have been made.

A new title in DK's successful "Big Ideas, Simply Explained" series, this book on science and the history of science looks at topics such as why Copernicus's ideas were contentious, how Galileo worked out his theories on motion and inertia, and what the discovery of DNA meant. The Science Book covers every area of science--astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, math, and physics, and brings the greatest scientific ideas to life with fascinating text, quirky graphics, and pithy quotes.

Table of Contents

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. THE BEGINNING OF SCIENCE 600 BCE–1400 CE
    1. Eclipses of the Sun can be predicted • Thales of Miletus
    2. Now hear the fourfold roots of everything • Empedocles
    3. Measuring the circumference of Earth • Eratosthenes
    4. The human is related to the lower beings • Al-Tusi
    5. A floating object displaces its own volume in liquid • Archimedes
    6. The Sun is like fire, the Moon is like water • Zhang Heng
    7. Light travels in straight lines into our eyes • Alhazen
  3. SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION 1400–1700
    1. At the center of everything is the Sun • Nicolaus Copernicus
    2. The orbit of every planet is an ellipse • Johannes Kepler
    3. A falling body accelerates uniformly • Galileo Galilei
    4. The globe of the Earth is a magnet • William Gilbert
    5. Not by arguing, but by trying • Francis Bacon
    6. Touching the spring of the air • Robert Boyle
    7. Is light a particle or a wave? • Christiaan Huygens
    8. The first observation of a transit of Venus • Jeremiah Horrocks
    9. Organisms develop in a series of steps • Jan Swammerdam
    10. All living things are composed of cells • Robert Hooke
    11. Layers of rock form on top of one another • Nicolas Steno
    12. Microscopic observations of animalcules • Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
    13. Measuring the speed of light • Ole Rømer
    14. One species never springs from the seed of another • John Ray
    15. Gravity affects everything in the universe • Isaac Newton
  4. EXPANDING HORIZONS 1700–1800
    1. Nature does not proceed by leaps and bounds • Carl Linnaeus
    2. The heat that disappears in the conversion of water into vapor is not lost • Joseph Black
    3. Inflammable air • Henry Cavendish
    4. Winds, as they come nearer the equator, become more easterly • George Hadley
    5. A strong current comes out of the Gulf of Florida • Benjamin Franklin
    6. Dephlogisticated air • Joseph Priestley
    7. In nature, nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything changes • Antoine Lavoisier
    8. The mass of a plant comes from the air • Jan Ingenhousz
    9. Discovering new planets • William Herschel
    10. The diminution of the velocity of light • John Michell
    11. Setting the electric fluid in motion • Alessandro Volta
    12. No vestige of a beginning and no prospect of an end • James Hutton
    13. The attraction of mountains • Nevil Maskelyne
    14. The mystery of nature in the structure and fertilization of flowers • Christian Sprengel
    15. Elements always combine the same way • Joseph Proust
  5. A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 1800–1900
    1. The experiments may be repeated with great ease when the Sun shines • Thomas Young
    2. Ascertaining the relative weights of ultimate particles • John Dalton
    3. The chemical effects produced by electricity • Humphry Davy
    4. Mapping the rocks of a nation • William Smith
    5. She knows to what tribe the bones belong • Mary Anning
    6. The inheritance of acquired characteristics • Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
    7. Every chemical compound has two parts • Jöns Jakob Berzelius
    8. The electric conflict is not restricted to the conducting wire • Hans Christian Ørsted
    9. One day, sir, you may tax it • Michael Faraday
    10. Heat penetrates every substance in the universe • Joseph Fourier
    11. The artificial production of organic substances from inorganic substances • Friedrich Wöhler
    12. Winds never blow in a straight line • Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis
    13. On the colored light of the binary stars • Christian Doppler
    14. The glacier was God’s great plough • Louis Agassiz
    15. Nature can be represented as one great whole • Alexander von Humboldt
    16. Light travels more slowly in water than in air • Léon Foucault
    17. Living force may be converted into heat • James Joule
    18. Statistical analysis of molecular movement • Ludwig Boltzmann
    19. Plastic is not what I meant to invent • Leo Baekeland
    20. I have called this principle natural selection • Charles Darwin
    21. Forecasting the weather • Robert FitzRoy
    22. Omne vivum ex vivo—all life from life • Louis Pasteur
    23. One of the snakes grabbed its own tail • August Kekulé
    24. The definitely expressed average proportion of three to one • Gregor Mendel
    25. An evolutionary link between birds and dinosaurs • Thomas Henry Huxley
    26. An apparent periodicity of properties • Dmitri Mendeleev
    27. Light and magnetism are affectations of the same substance • James Clerk Maxwell
    28. Rays were coming from the tube • Wilhelm Röntgen
    29. Seeing into the Earth • Richard Dixon Oldham
    30. Radiation is an atomic property of the elements • Marie Curie
    31. A contagious living fluid • Martinus Beijerinck
  6. A PARADIGM SHIFT 1900–1945
    1. Quanta are discrete packets of energy • Max Planck
    2. Now I know what the atom looks like • Ernest Rutherford
    3. Gravity is a distortion in the space-time continuum • Albert Einstein
    4. Earth’s drifting continents are giant pieces in an ever-changing jigsaw • Alfred Wegener
    5. Chromosomes play a role in heredity • Thomas Hunt Morgan
    6. Particles have wavelike properties • Erwin Schrödinger
    7. Uncertainty is inevitable • Werner Heisenberg
    8. The universe is big… and getting bigger • Edwin Hubble
    9. The radius of space began at zero • Georges Lemaître
    10. Every particle of matter has an antimatter counterpart • Paul Dirac
    11. There is an upper limit beyond which a collapsing stellar core becomes unstable • Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
    12. Life itself is a process of obtaining knowledge • Konrad Lorenz
    13. 95 percent of the universe is missing • Fritz Zwicky
    14. A universal computing machine • Alan Turing
    15. The nature of the chemical bond • Linus Pauling
    16. An awesome power is locked inside the nucleus of an atom • J. Robert Oppenheimer
  7. FUNDAMENTAL BUILDING BLOCKS 1945–PRESENT
    1. We are made of stardust • Fred Hoyle
    2. Jumping genes • Barbara McClintock
    3. The strange theory of light and matter • Richard Feynman
    4. Life is not a miracle • Harold Urey and Stanley Miller
    5. We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA) • James Watson and Francis Crick
    6. Everything that can happen happens • Hugh Everett III
    7. A perfect game of tic-tac-toe • Donald Michie
    8. The unity of fundamental forces • Sheldon Glashow
    9. We are the cause of global warming • Charles Keeling
    10. The butterfly effect • Edward Lorenz
    11. A vacuum is not exactly nothing • Peter Higgs
    12. Symbiosis is everywhere • Lynn Margulis
    13. Quarks come in threes • Murray Gell-Mann
    14. A theory of everything? • Gabriele Veneziano
    15. Black holes evaporate • Stephen Hawking
    16. Earth and all its life forms make up a single living organism called Gaia • James Lovelock
    17. A cloud is made of billows upon billows • Benoît Mandelbrot
    18. A quantum model of computing • Yuri Manin
    19. Genes can move from species to species • Michael Syvanen
    20. The soccer ball can withstand a lot of pressure • Harry Kroto
    21. Insert genes into humans to cure disease • William French Anderson
    22. Designing new life forms on a computer screen • Craig Venter
    23. A new law of nature • Ian Wilmut
    24. Worlds beyond the solar system • Geoffrey Marcy
  8. DIRECTORY
  9. GLOSSARY
  10. CONTRIBUTORS
  11. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  12. COPYRIGHT