Franklin

The discoveries : great breakthroughs in 20th century science / Alan Lightman.

Author/Creator:
Lightman, Alan P., 1948-
Publication:
New York : Pantheon Books, c2005.
Format/Description:
Book
xviii, 553 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
Edition:
1st ed.
Status/Location:
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Details

Subjects:
Discoveries in science -- Historiography.
Discoveries in science -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
Science -- Historiography.
Science -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
Summary:
An unprecedented explosion of creativity, insight, and breakthrough occurred in every field of science in the last century. These discoveries profoundly changed the way we understand the world and our place in it. Now physicist and novelist Lightman tells the stories of two dozen of the most seminal discoveries. He 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 a guided tour through each of the original papers, which are included in the book.--From publisher description.
Contents:
The quantum
Hormones
The particle nature of light
Special relativity
The nucleus of the atom
The size of the cosmos
The arrangement of atoms in solid matter
The quantum atom
The means of communication between nerves
The uncertainty principle
The chemical bond
The expansion of the universe
Antibiotics
The means of production of energy in living organisms
Nuclear fission
The movability of genes
The structure of DNA
The structure of proteins
Radio waves from the big bang
A unified theory of forces
Quarks : a tiniest essence of matter
The creation of altered forms of life.
Notes:
Includes bibliographical references (p. [511]-526) and index.
ISBN:
0375421688
OCLC:
58535935
Publisher Number:
9780375421686 (hardcover) 53250