Interviews with Hawking, his family, colleagues, and friends provide a close-up look at one of the world's greatest physicists, as well as a lucid explanation of his major theories
The story of the compass is shrouded in mystery and myth, yet most will agree it begins around the time of the birth of Christ in ancient China. A mysterious lodestone whose powers affected metal was known to the Chinese emperor. When this piece of metal was suspended in water, it always pointed north. This unexplainable occurrence led to the stone's use in feng shui, the Chinese art of finding the right location. However, it was the Italians, more than a thousand years later, who discovered the ultimate destiny of the lodestone and unleashed its formidable powers. In Amalfi sometime in the twelfth century, the compass was born, crowning the Italians as the new rulers of the seas and heralding the onset of the modern world. Retracing the roots of the compass and sharing the fascinating story of navigation through the ages, The Riddle of the Compass is Aczel at his most entertaining and insightful.
Ronald W. Clark's definitive biography of Einstein, the Promethean figure of our age, goes behind the phenomenal intellect to reveal the human side of the legendary absent-minded professor who confidently claimed that space and time were not what they seemed.
Here is the classic portrait of the scientist and the man: the boy growing up in the Swiss Alps, the young man caught in an unhappy first marriage, the passionate pacifist who agonized over making The Bomb, the indifferent Zionist asked to head the Israeli state, the physicist who believed in God.
There is no more profound, enduring or fascinating question in all of science than that of how time, space, and matter began. Now John Barrow, who has been at the cutting edge of research in this area and has written extensively about it, guides us on a journey to the beginning of time, into a world of temperatures and densities so high that we cannot recreate them in a laboratory. With new insights, Barrow draws us into the latest speculative theories about the nature of time and the "inflationary universe," explains "wormholes," showing how they bear upon the fact of our own existence, and considers whether there was a "singularity" at the inception of the universe. Here is a treatment so up-to-date and intellectually rich, deaing with ideas and speculation at the farthest frontier of science, that neither novice nor expert will want to miss what Barrow has to say. The Origin of the Universe is "In the Beginning" for beginners--the latest information from a first-rate scientist and science writer.
To his colleagues, Richard Feynman was not so much a genius as he was a full-blown magician: someone who "does things that nobody else could do and that seem completely unexpected." The path he cleared for twentieth-century physics led from the making of the atomic bomb to a Nobel Prize-winning theory of quantam electrodynamics to his devastating expos of the Challenger space shuttle disaster. At the same time, the ebullient Feynman established a reputation as an eccentric showman, a master safe cracker and bongo player, and a wizard of seduction.Now James Gleick, author of the bestselling Chaos, unravels teh dense skein of Feynman's thought as well as the paradoxes of his character in a biography--which was nominated for a National Book Award--of outstanding lucidity and compassion.
Already climbing the bestseller lists-and garnering rave reviews--this "little masterpiece" sheds brilliant light on the equation that changed the world.
Bodanis begins by devoting chapters to each of the equation's letters and symbols, introducing the science and scientists forming the backdrop to Einstein's discovery--from Ole Roemer's revelation that the speed of light could be measured to Michael Faraday's pioneering work on energy fields. Having demystified the equation, Bodanis explains its science and brings it to life historically, making clear the astonishing array of discoveries and consequences it made possible. It would prove to be a beacon throughout the twentieth century, important to Ernest Rutherford, who discovered the structure of the atom, Enrico Fermi, who probed the nucleus, and Lise Meitner, who finally understood how atoms could be split wide open. And it has come to inform our daily lives, governing everything from the atomic bomb to a television's cathode-ray tube to the carbon dating of prehistoric paintings.