Synopses & Reviews
Great innovations in science and the people behind them.Philosopher and science historian Robert P. Crease tells the stories behind ten of the greatest equations in human history. Was Nobel laureate Richard Feynman really joking when he called Maxwell's electromagnetic equations the most significant event of the nineteenth century? How did Newton's law of gravitation influence young revolutionaries? Why has Euler's formula been called "God's equation," and why did a mysterious ecoterrorist make it his calling card? What role do betrayal, insanity, and suicide play in the second law of thermodynamics?
The Great Equationstells the stories of how these equations were discovered, revealing the personal struggles of their ingenious originators. From "1 + 1 = 2" to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Crease locates these equations in the panoramic sweep of Western history, showing how they are as integral to their time and place of creation as are great works of art.
Review
"[...] Any reader who aspires to be scientifically literate will find this a good starting place." Publishers Weekly
Synopsis
Philosopher and science historian Robert P. Crease tells the stories behind ten of the greatest equations in human history. Was Nobel laureate Richard Feynman really joking when he called Maxwell's electromagnetic equations the most significant event of the nineteenth century? How did Newton's law of gravitation influence young revolutionaries? Why has Euler's formula been called "God's equation," and why did a mysterious ecoterrorist make it his calling card? What role do betrayal, insanity, and suicide play in the second law of thermodynamics?
The Great Equations tells the stories of how these equations were discovered, revealing the personal struggles of their ingenious originators. From "1 + 1 = 2" to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Crease locates these equations in the panoramic sweep of Western history, showing how they are as integral to their time and place of creation as are great works of art.
Synopsis
From "1 + 1 = 2" to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Crease locates 10 of the greatest equations in the panoramic sweep of Western history, showing how they are as integral to their time and place of creation as are great works of art. 43 illustrations.
Synopsis
While we may be familiar with some of science"s greatest equations, we may not know that each and every equation emerged not in 'Eureka!' moments but in years of cultural developments and scientific knowledge. With vignettes full of humor, drama, and eccentricity, philosopher and science historian Robert P. Crease shares the stories behind ten of history"s greatest equations, from the 'first equation,' 1 + 1 = 2, which promises a rational, well-ordered world, to Heisenberg"s uncertainty principle, which reveals the limitations of human knowledge. For every equation, Crease provides a brief account of who discovered it, what dissatisfactions lay behind its discovery, and what the equation says about the nature of our world.
Synopsis
Great innovations in science and the people behind them.
Video
About the Author
Robert P. Crease writes the "Critical Point" column for Physics World. He is the chairman of the Philosophy Department at Stony Brook University and lives in New York City. He is the author of, among other books, The Prism and the Pendulum, The Great Equations and World in the Balance.