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Combining engagingly written, well-researched history with the respected imprimatur of Scientific American magazine, this authoritative, accessible reference provides a wide-ranging overview of the inventions, technological advances, and discoveries that have transformed human society throughout our history. More than 400 entertaining entries explain the details and significance of such varied breakthroughs as the development of agriculture, the "invention" of algebra, and the birth of the computer. Special chronological sections divide the entries, providing a unique focus on the intersection of science and technology from early human history to the present. In addition, each section is supplemented by primary source sidebars, which feature excerpts from scientists' diaries, contemporary accounts of new inventions, and various "In Their Own Words" sources.
Part I: The Ancient World through Classical Antiquity, 8000 B.C. to A.D. 330.
Part II: The Middle Ages through 1599.
Part III: The Age of Scientific Revolution, 1600 to 1790.
Part IV: The Industrial Revolution, 1791 to 1890.
Part V: The Electrical Age, 1891 to 1934.
Part VI: The Atomic and Electronic Age, 1935 into the 21st Century.