Alfred Wegener: Puzzle of the Continents

Overview

Makers of Modern Science is a 10-volume set that profiles the lives and achievements of scientists who made notable contributions to the advancement of science and society. Each volume covers a scientist whose work has had a major impact on a particular field. The scientist's accomplishments are discussed, including the scientific principles and personal struggles underlying his or her work. Employing an array of primary sources-diaries, memoirs, letters, and contemporary news accounts-as well as secondary ...

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Overview

Makers of Modern Science is a 10-volume set that profiles the lives and achievements of scientists who made notable contributions to the advancement of science and society. Each volume covers a scientist whose work has had a major impact on a particular field. The scientist's accomplishments are discussed, including the scientific principles and personal struggles underlying his or her work. Employing an array of primary sources-diaries, memoirs, letters, and contemporary news accounts-as well as secondary sources, the set depicts the human drama of scientific work, the challenge of research, and the exhilaration and rewards of discovery.

Alfred Wegener recounts the life and work of the notable German meteorologist whose groundbreaking theory of continental displacement, later called continental drift, revolutionized the 18th- and 19th-century observations about the development of Earth that were embraced by his contemporary geologist peers. The book includes information on how Wegener reached his conclusions-from how the continents formed to what causes earthquakes and how Earth's surface continues to change-and how his theory of continental drift would not be generally accepted until well after his death in 1930.

Alfred Wegener includes more than 30 photographs and line illustrations, a glossary, a chronology, a list of print and Internet resources, and an index. Makers of Modern Science is an essential set for students, teachers, and general readers that provides a factual look at the lives and outstanding contributions of prominent scientists.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816061747
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Series: Makers of Modern Science Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 997,354
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface x

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xiv

1 Changing Views of the Earth 1

Earth's Early Days 2

Competing Theories 4

Catastrophes or Steady Change? 7

Charles Lyell (1797-1875): Founder of Uniformitarianism 8

Progressivism 10

Floating in a Hidden Sea 12

The Age of the Earth 16

Earth Science in Turmoil 18

2 Weather Pioneer 20

An Active Youth 20

Meteorology: The Science of Weather 22

Arctic Explorer 24

Popular Teacher and Writer 27

Wladimir Koppen (1846-1940): Pioneer Climatologist 30

A Bizarre Idea 31

Love and War 35

3 Continental Drift 38

A Challenge to Geology 39

Geologic Time 40

Ancient Continents 41

Another "Continental Drift" Theory 43

A Moving Island 45

Two Layers of Crust 46

Matching Rocks 48

Separated Twins 50

Fossil Climates and Wandering Poles 53

The Motors That Drive the Continents 55

4 "Utter, Damned Rot" 58

Early Reactions to Drift 60

Rejection in America 62

Harsh Criticisms 63

Powerful Feelings 64

Different Approaches to Science 66

Inductive and Deductive Reasoning 66

Starting All Over 68

5 Death on the Ice 70

Planning an Expedition 71

A Frustrating Start 73

Setting up Mid-Ice 75

International Polar Year: A Modern Polar Adventure 78

Visiting Mid-Ice 79

Final Journey 81

A Long Winter 83

A Memorial to Wegener: The Alfred Wegener Institute 84

Grim Discovery 85

6 Rumblings of Change 89

New Mechanisms for Drift 90

Support from South Africa 92

Comic Relief 94

Dragging Gravity 95

Artificial Earthquakes 96

War Spurs Marine Science 97

Scripps, Woods Hole, and Lamont: Three Pioneering Institutions 98

The Wound That Never Heals 99

MagneticMoments 103

7 The Plate Tectonics Revolution 106

Seafloor Spreading 107

Linking Spreading to Magnetic Changes 109

Converging Lines of Evidence 113

Eltanin 19: "Too Perfect" 114

Shaking up Geology 116

Mathematical Support 118

A New Theory of Earth Movement 119

Plate Tectonics Today 123

Conclusion: Reaching into the Future 127

Chronology 130

Glossary 137

Further Resources 142

Index 150

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