Cambridge Scientific Minds

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Overview

Since the scientific revolutions of the seventeenth century, a great number of distinguished scientists and mathematicians have been associated with Cambridge University. Cambridge Scientific Minds is a unique account of some of the University's most eminent thinkers over the last 400 years, including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and James Clerk Maxwell. While the rapid establishment during the Newtonian era of a series of professorships for mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, anatomy, botany, geology, and geometry marked the University's scientific coming of age, this volume's chronological balance reflects on the increasing importance of science in the institution's recent history. Chapters on Paul Dirac, Alan Turing, Joseph Needham, and Stephen Hawking, among others, represent the recent intellectual efflorescence at Cambridge. Personal memoirs and historical essays, written by leading historians, scientists, and Nobel Laureates, make Cambridge Scientific Minds as enjoyable to read as it is accessible. Peter Harman is Professor of the History of Science at Lancaster University. He has published primarily on the history of physics and natural philosophy in the 18th and 19th centuries, the period from Newton to Maxwell. His previous books include Energy, Force and Matter (Cambridge, 1982), The Investigation of Difficult Things (Cambridge, 1992), After Newton: Essays on Natural Philosophy (Variorum, 1993), The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell, volume 1 (Cambridge, 1990), volume 2 (Cambridge, 1995). Simon Mitton studied physics at the University of Oxford, and received a PhD in radio astronomy at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. He is Senior Fellow at St. Edmund's College, Cambridge. This is his tenth book.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Unlike most collective works, this volume is surprisingly even. I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading each and every one of the essays and profited from my effort!.... These selections can but tempt the prospective reader to delve deeper into the delightful insights provided by this volume. While intended to contribute to the popular consumption of the history of science, Cambridge Scientific Minds also epitomizes the best of recent developments in the history of science itself. The authors and editors are to be congratulated for a job very well done." Isis

"...provides a portrait of some of the most eminent scientists associated with the University over the past 400 years." Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society

"In making some aspects of the history of science accessible and enjoyable to a wide audience, the editors and the authors and the publisher have rendered their readers as well as Cambridge, science, and the history of science a considerable service...historians of science can browse this book with benefit and pleasure." Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521781008
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Harman is Professor of the History of Science at Lancaster University. At Cambridge he lectured in the history of science and was a Research Fellow of Clare Hall. He has written several books published by Cambridge University Press.

Simon Mitton studied physics at the University of Oxford, following which he did a PhD in radio astronomy at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. He is the Senior Fellow of St Edmund's College, Cambridge. This is his tenth book.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Peter Harman; 1. William Gilbert Stephen Pumfrey; 2. William Harvey Andrew Cunningham; 3. Isaac Newton Rupert Hall; 4. William Whewell Richard Yeo; 5. Adam Sedgwick David Oldroyd; 6. Charles Babbage Anthony Hyman; 7. Charles Darwin Peter Bowler; 8. Stokes and Kelvin David Wilson; 9. James Clerk Maxwell Simon Schaffer; 10. Russell and Whitehead Ivor Grattan-Guinness; 11. Thomson and Rutherford Brian Pippard; 12. Gowland Hopkins Harmke Kamminga; 13. Sherrington and Adrian Tilli Tansey; 14. Hardy and Littlewood Robin Wilson; 15. Arthur Eddington Malcolm Longair; 16. Paul Dirac Helge Kragh; 17. Alan Turing Andrew Hodges; 18. Crick and Watson Robert Olby; 19. Mary Cartwright Tom K├Ârner; 20. Joseph Needham Gregory Blue; 21. Molecular biology Max Perutz; 22. Radioastronomy Antony Hewish; 23. Stephen Hawking Simon Mitton.
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