The Discoveries: Great Breakthroughs in 20th-century Science, Including the Original Papers

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9780375421686: The Discoveries: Great Breakthroughs in 20th-century Science, Including the Original Papers

An unprecedented explosion of creativity, insight, and breakthrough occurred in every field of science in the last century. From the theory of relativity to the first quantum model of the atom to the mapping of the structure of DNA, these discoveries profoundly changed the way we understand the world and our place in it. Now the physicist and novelist Alan Lightman tells the stories of two dozen of the most seminal discoveries.

In lucid and literary prose, Lightman paints the intellectual and emotional landscape of each discovery, portrays the personalities and human drama of the scientists involved, and explains the significance and impact of the work. He explores such questions as whether there were common patterns of research, whether the discoveries were accidental or intentional, and whether the scientists were aware of or oblivious to the significance of what they had found. Finally, Lightman gives an unprecedented and exhilarating guided tour through each of the original papers, which are included in the book. Here are Einstein and Bohr, McClintock and Pauling, Planck and Heisenberg, and many others in their own words, grappling with the nature of the world. Original in its scope and depth, The Discoveries offers an extraordinary exploration into the nature of scientific discoveries and the minds of the men and women who made them.

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From the Inside Flap :

An extraordinarily accessible, illuminating chronicle of the great moments of scientific discovery in the 20th century, and an exploration into the minds of the remarkable men and women behind them.
We know and read the literary masterpieces; how many of us have had the opportunity not only to read but understand the masterpieces of science that describe the very moment of discovery? The last century has seen an explosion of creativity and insight that led to breakthroughs in every field of science: from the theory of relativity to the first quantum model of the atom to the mapping of the structure of DNA, these discoveries profoundly changed how we understand the world and our place in it.
Alan Lightman tells the stories of two dozen breakthroughs made by such brilliant scientists as Einstein, Bohr, McClintock and Pauling, among others, drawing on his unique background as a scientist and novelist to reveal the process of scientific discovery at its greatest. He outlines the intellectual and emotional landscape of each discovery, portrays the personalities and human drama of the scientists involved, and explains the significance and impact of the work. Finally, he gives an unprecedented and exhilarating guided tour through each of the original papers.

About the Author :

Alan Lightman was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and educated at Princeton and at the California Institute of Technology, where he received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. An active research scientist in astronomy and physics for two decades, he has also taught both subjects on the faculties of Harvard and MIT. Lightman’s novels include Einstein’s Dreams, which was an international best seller; Good Benito; The Diagnosis, which was a finalist for the National Book Award; and Reunion. His essays have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Nature, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker, among other publications. He lives in Massachusetts, where he is adjunct professor of humanities at MIT.

Einstein’s Dreams, The Diagnosis, and Reunion are
available in paperback from Vintage Books.

Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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Alan Lightman
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