Download Asimov’s Biographical Encyclopedia Of Science And Technology by Isaac Asimov PDF

By Isaac Asimov

During this remarkably thorough and entirely soaking up publication, Isaac Asimov strains the historical past of technological know-how, from historical Egypt to the atomic age--through the lives and careers of teh women and men who made it. In 1,510 biographical sketches he offers a wealth of proof and anecdotes that remove darkness from every one person's contribution to the realm of technology. And by means of arranging the entries chronologically, he exhibits in addition the interactions one of the numerous participants and one of the quite a few brances of technological know-how. From Imhotep to Neil Armstrong, from Cleveland Abbe to Vladimir Zworykin, Asimov captures the titanic scope and human drama of medical discovery in a e-book that makes a useful reference--and interesting studying.

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Extra resources for Asimov’s Biographical Encyclopedia Of Science And Technology

Sample text

Plato decided also that since the heavens were perfect, the various heav­ enly bodies would have to move in exact circles (the perfect curve) along with the crystalline spheres (the perfect solid) that held them in place. The spheres were another Pythagorean notion, and the Pythagorean preoccupation with sound also shows itself in Philolaus’ [19] belief that the spheres of the various planets made celestial music as they turned—a belief that persisted even in the time of Kepler [169] two thousand years later.

In the physical sciences, he was the first to study magnetism. More impor­ tant, he is the first man we know of who asked the question: Of what is the uni­ verse made? and to answer it without in­ troducing gods or demons. His own answer was that the funda­ mental stuff (the “element,” we would now say) of the universe was water, and the earth was only a flat disc floating on an infinite ocean. This answer was a most reasonable guess for the times, since it was clear that life, at least, depended on water.

In pure mathematics, it was shown al­ most twenty-one centuries later, by James Gregory [226], that such things as converging series existed, in which an infinite number of terms nevertheless added up to a finite sum. The Achillesand-the-tortoise paradox involved (with­ out Zeno’s knowledge) such a converg­ ing series. Then, too, methods for han­ dling the infinitely divisible (even were that supposed to exist) were not devel­ oped until Newton [231] and his inven­ tion of the calculus. Zeno was completely defeated in the end, but he deserves a chorus of thanks just the same for the values that grew out of more than two millennia of intel­ lectual struggle required to defeat him.

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