- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
This title in other editions
The Prism and the Pendulum: The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments in Scienceby Robert P. Crease
Synopses & Reviews
Is science beautiful? Yes, argues Robert P. Crease in this engaging exploration of history's ten most beautiful experiments. The Prism and the Pendulum is an engrossing journey through nearly 2,500 years of scientific innovation.
Along the way, we see the first measurement of the earth's circumference, accomplished in the thrid century B.C. by Eratosthenes using sticks, shadows, and simple geometry. We visit Foucault's mesmerizing pendulum, which revealed the rotation of the earth on its axis. We meed Galileo brilliantly measuring the speed of falling bodies. And we travel to the quantum world, in the most beautiful experiment of all.
From ancient ideas to cutting-edge physics, these ten exhilarating experiments each reveal something fundamental about the world, bringing us face-to-face with the wonder of science.
Is science beautiful? Yes, argues acclaimed philosopher and historian of science Robert P. Crease in this engaging exploration of historys most beautiful experiments. The result is an engrossing journey through nearly 2,500 years of scientific innovation. Along the way, we encounter glimpses into the personalities and creative thinking of some of the fields most interesting figures.
We see the first measurement of the earths circumference, accomplished in the third century B.C. by Eratosthenes using sticks, shadows, and simple geometry. We visit Foucaults mesmerizing pendulum, a cannonball suspended from the dome of the Panthéon in Paris that allows us to see the rotation of the earth on its axis. We meet Galileo—the only scientist with two experiments in the top ten—brilliantly drawing on his musical training to measure the speed of falling bodies. And we travel to the quantum world, in the most beautiful experiment of all.
We also learn why these ten experiments exert such a powerful hold on our imaginations. From the ancient world to cutting-edge physics, these ten exhilarating moments reveal something fundamental about the world, pulling us out of confusion and revealing natures elegance. The Prism and the Pendulum brings us face-to-face with the wonder of science.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Robert P. Crease is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at Stony Brook University in New York, and historian at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He writes a monthly column, “Critical Point,” for Physics World magazine. His books include Making Physics: A Biography of Brookhaven National Laboratory; The Play of Nature: Experimentation as Performance; The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-Century Physics (with Charles C. Mann); and—with Robert Serber—Peace & War: Reminiscences of a Life on the Frontiers of Science. Creases translations include American Philosophy of Technology: The Empirical Turn. He lectures widely, and his articles and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, and elsewhere. He lives in New York City.
From the Hardcover edition.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
Reference » Science Reference » Experiments
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General