Great Scientific Experiments: Twenty Experiments That Changed Our View of the World

Overview

These vividly recounted tales of human skill and ingenuity offer fascinating views of the correlation between theories, practical inquiries, ideas, and facts. Re-created strictly on the basis of the original publication in which the results were first announced, the scrupulously accurate retellings of 20 groundbreaking scientific experiments are complemented with rare photos and illustrations.
Based on such criteria as fame, historical importance, elegance, and economy of ...

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Great Scientific Experiments: Twenty Experiments that Changed our View of the World

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Overview

These vividly recounted tales of human skill and ingenuity offer fascinating views of the correlation between theories, practical inquiries, ideas, and facts. Re-created strictly on the basis of the original publication in which the results were first announced, the scrupulously accurate retellings of 20 groundbreaking scientific experiments are complemented with rare photos and illustrations.
Based on such criteria as fame, historical importance, elegance, and economy of method, the experiments include Aristotle's work on the embryology of the chick, Galileo's discovery of the law of descent, Newton's experiment on the nature of colors, Lavoisier's proof of the oxygen hypothesis, William Beaumont's work on the process of digestion, Faraday's demonstration of the identity of all forms of electricity, J. J. Thompson's discovery of the electron, Michelson and Morely's demonstration of the impossibility of detecting the motion of the earth, and a dozen others.
Each experiment is appraised and analyzed in the light of subsequent developments, placing the work within the context of the history of science. In addition to diagrams and photographs of the experimental method and apparatus, brief biographies and portraits of the scientist appear as well.
Rom Harré is a Fellow Emeritus of Linacre College, Oxford, and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University and American University, Washington, D.C.

Each experiment is appraised and analyzed in the light of subsequent experiments, placing the work in the context of the history of science.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
These tales of human skill and ingenuity offer insight into 20 groundbreaking scientific experiments. Accounts are based on the original publications in which the experiments' results were first announced, and each experiment is analyzed in light of subsequent developments in the history of sciences. Historical b&w illustrations are included, as well as photos of experimental equipment and brief biographies with portraits. Harré teaches at Georgetown University and American University. This is an unabridged republication of a book first published by Phaidon Press, Oxford, 1981. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486422633
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 11/24/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 986,949
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

  Preface
  Introduction
I. Formal Aspects of Method
  A. Exploring the Characteristics of a Naturally Occurring Process
    1. Aristotle: The Embryology of the Chick
    2. William Beaumont: The Process of Digestion as Chemistry
  B. Deciding between Rival Hypotheses
    3. Robert Norman: The Discovery of Dip and the Field Concept
    4. Setphen Hales: The Circulation of Sap in Plants
    5. Konrad Lorenz: The Conditions of Imprinting
  C. Finding the Form of a Law Inductively
    6. Galileo: The Law of Descent
    7. Robert Boyle: The Measurement of the Spring of the Air
  D. The Use of Models to Simulate otherwise Unresearchable Processes
    8. Theodoric of Freibourg: The Causes of the Rainbow
  E. Exploiting an Accident
    9. Louis Pasteur: The Preparation of Artificial Vaccines
    10. Ernest Rutherford: The Artificial Transmutation of the Elements
  F. Null Results
    11. A. A. Michelson and E. W. Morley: The Impossibility of Detecting the Motion of the Earth
II. Developing the Content of a Theory
  A. Finding the Hidden Mechanism of a Known Effect
    12. F. Jacob and E. Wollman: The Direct Transfer of Genetic Material
    13. J. J. Gibson: The Mechanism of Perception
  B. Existence Proofs
    14. A. L. Lavoisier: The Proof of the Oxygen Hypothesis
    15. Humphry Davy: The Electrolytic Isolation of New Elements
    16. J. J. Thomson: The Discovery of the Electron
  C. The Decomposition of an Apparently Simple Phenomenon
    17. Isaac Newton: The Nature of Colours
  D. The Demonstration of Underlying Unity within Apparent Variety
    18. Michael Faraday: The Identity of All Forms of Electricity
III. Technique
  A. Accuracy and Care in Manipulation
    19. J. J. Berzelius: The Perfection of Chemical Measurement
  B. The Power and Versatility of Apparatus
    20. Otto Stern: The Wave Aspect of Matter and the Third Quantum Number
  General Bibliography
  Index
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