The Nature of Science: An A-Z Guide to the Laws and Principles Governing Our Universe

The Nature of Science: An A-Z Guide to the Laws and Principles Governing Our Universe

by James Trefil Physics Professor
     
 

ISBN-10: 0618319387

ISBN-13: 9780618319381

Pub. Date: 04/14/2003

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Today science literacy - knowing how the world works, from the microscopic level to the farthest reaches of space - is more important than ever, but finding all the essential information in one place can be a daunting task. Enter The Nature of Science, the ultimate science handbook for the home, explaining in everyday terms the two hundred overarching laws,…  See more details below

Overview


Today science literacy - knowing how the world works, from the microscopic level to the farthest reaches of space - is more important than ever, but finding all the essential information in one place can be a daunting task. Enter The Nature of Science, the ultimate science handbook for the home, explaining in everyday terms the two hundred overarching laws, principles, and mechanisms that make sense of the physical world.
Cloning; black holes; Fermat's last theorem; genetic drift; the inflationary universe; Newton's laws of motion; string theories. With lively writing and whimsical analogies, science popularizer James Trefil leads a remarkable A-Z tour through the discovery, significance, and workings of the universe's major laws. Here are some two hundred essays on grand theories, such as Kepler's laws of planetary motion and Mendel's laws of genetics, and on more familiar phenomena, such as how airplanes fly and how polarized sunglasses work. Abundant cross-references make it easy to follow a law's connections across different fields, revealing a web of unifying theories that span the smallest cell and the largest galaxy. Timelines in each essay further spell out the evolution of each law, while biographical sidebars on scientists showcase the often quirky tales of discovery - the human stories behind nature's laws.
From atomic theory to Zeno's paradox, The Nature of Science makes understanding science a pleasure. For those who are familiar with the Big Bang (but maybe not the Big Crunch or the Big Splash), this book is essential reading - a key to unlocking the mysteries of the universe.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618319381
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/14/2003
Edition description:
None
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
7.14(w) x 9.43(h) x 1.34(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsvi
Introductionvii
Prefacexxix
The Laws1
Accelerated Motion, equations of2
Acid Rain6
Acids and Bases, theories of8
Allen's Rule11
Ampere's Law12
Angular Momentum, conservation of14
Animal Territoriality15
Anthropic Principle16
Antibiotics, resistance to18
Antiparticles20
Archimedes' Principle22
Argon, discovery of23
Atomic Theory24
Aufbau Principle26
Avogadro's Law28
Balance of Nature30
Band Theory of Solids31
BCS Theory of Superconductivity32
Beauty Criterion35
Bell's Theorem36
Bernoulli Effect39
Big Bang41
Biot-Savart Law43
Black Holes45
Black-Body Radiation48
Bohr Atom50
Bohr Explanation52
Boltzmann Constant54
Boyle's Law55
Bragg's Law56
Brewster's Law58
Brownian Motion59
Carbon Cycle61
Carnot's Principle63
Catalysts and Enzymes65
Cell Theory66
Centrifugal Force67
Chandrasekhar Limit69
Changes of State71
Charles's Law73
Chemical Bonds74
Cherenkov Radiation77
Chronology Protection Conjecture78
Circadian Rhythms79
Clausius-Clapeyron Equation80
Cloning81
Coevolution83
Cohesion-Tension Theory84
Competitive Exclusion, principle of85
Complementarity Principle86
Complex Adaptive Systems88
Compound Motion89
Compton Effect92
Copernican Principle93
Cope's Law95
Coriolis Effect96
Correspondence Principle98
Cosmic Triangle99
Cosmological Constant102
Coulomb's Law104
Curie Point106
Curie's Law108
Dalton's Law109
Dark Matter110
Davisson-Germer Experiment113
De Broglie Relation114
Determinism116
Deterministic Chaos118
Differential Resource Utilization121
Diffraction122
Dispersion, atomic theory of123
DNA125
Doppler Effect128
Drake Equation131
Early Universe133
Ecological Succession135
Electrical Charge, conservation of137
Electrical Properties of Matter138
Electromagnetic Spectrum140
Electron, discovery of144
Elementary Particles146
Equilibrium148
Equivalence Principle150
Evolution, theory of151
Exponential Growth158
Faraday's Laws of Electrolysis160
Faraday's Laws of Induction161
Fermat's Last Theorem164
Fermat's Principle166
Fermi Paradox167
Fibonacci Numbers169
Flame Test170
Fourier Analysis171
Free Electron Theory of Conduction172
Gaia Hypothesis173
Gauss's Law174
Genetic Code176
Genetic Drift177
Germ Theory of Disease178
Giant Impact Hypothesis180
Glycolysis and Respiration181
Godel's Incompleteness Theorems184
Goldbach Conjecture186
Graham's Law187
Green Revolution188
Greenhouse Effect189
Hall Effect191
Hardy-Weinberg Law192
Heat, atomic theory of193
Heat Transfer194
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle197
Helium, discovery of202
Henry's Law204
Hershey-Chase Experiment205
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram207
Hooke's Law209
Hubble's Law211
Human Genome Project215
Huygens' Principle217
Ideal Gas Law218
Immune System219
Inflationary Universe221
Interference223
Josephson Effect225
Kepler's Laws226
Kinetic Theory230
Kinship Selection232
Kirchhoff-Bunsen Discovery233
Kirchhoff's Laws235
Lamarckianism237
Lawson Criterion238
Le Chatelier's Principle240
Lenz's Law241
"Like Dissolves Like"242
Linear Momentum, conservation of243
Linnaean System of Classification244
MacArthur-Wilson Equilibrium Theory246
Magnetic Monopoles248
Magnetism249
Marginal Value Theorem251
Mass Extinctions253
Maximum Sustainable Yield255
Maxwell's Demon256
Maxwell's Equations258
Mendel's Laws260
Michelson-Morley Experiment262
Milankovic Cycles264
Miller-Urey Experiment267
Millikan Oil-Drop Experiment269
Mimicry271
Molecular Biology, central dogma of273
Molecular Clock276
Molecular Orbital Theory278
Molecules of Life279
Moore's Law282
Murphy's Law283
Mutuality, principle of285
Nebular Hypothesis286
Nerve Signals, propagation of289
Newton's Law of Gravitation291
Newton's Laws of Motion294
Nitrogen Cycle298
Nuclear Fusion and Fission301
Null Hypothesis303
Occam's Razor304
Octet Rule305
Oersted Discovery306
Ohm's Law307
Olbers' Paradox308
"Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny"309
Optimal Foraging Theory310
Ozone Hole311
Pauli Exclusion Principle312
Penicillin, discovery of314
Periodic Table315
Period-Luminosity Relation317
Perpetual Motion318
Phlogiston319
Photoelectric Effect320
Photosynthesis321
Planck Constant324
Plate Tectonics325
Predator-Prey Relationships329
Proteins330
Quantum Chromodynamics332
Quantum Mechanics334
Quantum Tunneling336
Quarks and the Eightfold Way338
Radioactive Decay340
Radiometric Dating343
Rayleigh Criterion345
Reflection, law of347
Relativity348
Reproductive Strategies352
Reynolds Number353
Robotics, the three laws of355
Rock Cycle356
Rutherford Experiment358
Rydberg Constant360
Schrodinger's Equation361
Shock Waves364
Snell's Law365
Social Darwinism368
Species-Area Law369
Spectroscopy370
Spontaneous Generation371
Standard Model372
States of Matter375
Steady-State Theory376
Stefan-Boltzmann Law377
Stellar Evolution379
Stem Cells382
Stern-Gerlach Experiment383
String Theories384
Superposition, law of386
Surface Tension388
Symbiosis390
Terminal Velocity392
Theories of Everything393
Thermal Expansion, law of395
Thermodynamics, first law of396
Thermodynamics, second law of399
Thermodynamics, third law of402
Titius-Bode Law404
Triune brain407
Turing Test409
Tyndall Effect410
Uniformitarianism411
Urea, synthesis of413
Van Helmont Experiment414
Vital Force415
Water Cycle416
Zeeman Effect417
Zeno's Paradox418
Chronology420
Glossary424
Index426

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