The American Heritage Science Dictionary

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Overview

"The all-new American Heritage Science Dictionary defines the working vocabulary of modern science in language that nonspecialists can readily understand. All the major fields of science are covered, from the fundamental disciplines of physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics to the applied realms of medicine, earth science, high technology, and anthropology. Entries are up-to-date and relevant, encompassing the most recently discovered elements, changes in the way we view our solar system since the demotion of Pluto to the status of dwarf planet, and the latest medical breakthroughs." "Every entry begins with a clearly worded definition that encapsulates the term's central meaning. Many entries include additional information necessary for a fuller comprehension of underlying or related ideas. Important scientific concepts, such as relativity, genomic sequencing, and plate tectonics, are further explained in detailed notes that follow their associated entries." "The Dictionary also includes a variety of biographical entries describing the achievements of notable scientists, from ancient figures like Archimedes and Aristotle to modern scientists like Roger Sperry and Rosalyn Yalow. In addition, hundreds of photographs and precisely rendered drawings enhance the understanding of scientific meaning." With numerous cross-references linking related entries and a series of handy tables and charts that facilitate the understanding of key concepts and principles, The American Heritage Science Dictionary is the perfect resource for people looking to improve their science literacy, complete homework assignments, or understand the latest scientific breakthroughs reported in the news.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Published under the well-known American HeritageR name, this inexpensive science dictionary includes 8500 terms in anthropology, biology, chemistry, earth science, mathematics, medicine, physics, and technology. There are also 320 biographical entries of noted scientists as well as 30 biographical notes that explain how certain researchers found answers to major scientific problems. Written in clear, simple prose that general readers can understand, the entries are often more than simple definitions, offering in-depth discussions of scientific ideas. The text includes 350 black-and-white drawings and photographs, although some entries would have benefited from having an illustration (e.g., Hertzsprung-Russell diagram). Information traditionally provided in appendixes, such as the periodic table and units of measurement, is located in the particular entry. The only appendix is a time line of scientific discovery. Much smaller in size and scope than the comprehensive Larousse Dictionary of Science and Technology, this volume is more comparable to The New Penguin Dictionary of Science. Both resources are suitable for high school students and undergraduates, and each has enough unique information to justify maintaining both titles in a science reference collection. Bottom Line The American HeritageR Science Dictionary cannot serve as the library's sole science dictionary, but it is a nice, inexpensive supplement. Recommended for public and college libraries.-Teresa U. Berry, Univ. of Tennessee Libs., Knoxville Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Replacing The American Heritage Dictionary of Science (Houghton, 1988; o.p.), this all-new resource mixes generous definitions for more than 8000 scientific terms from "A" ("Abbreviation of adenine, ampere, angstrom, area") to "-zygous," from "fuzzy logic" to "phlogiston," with about 150 boxed analytical entries, twice as many capsule biographies, and even more line drawings or small but clear black-and-white photos. Though the foreword rightly extols the pleasures of surfing these pages, most students will stick to quick-reference use; still, as a replacement for the old edition, or even as an upgrade for The American Heritage Student Science Dictionary (Houghton, 2002), in school libraries or classroom collections supporting strong science programs, this will be a core purchase.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—In this computerized age, some people dismiss dictionaries as anachronisms barely worth the shelf space. How wrong they are can be easily seen in this nifty volume. A wide variety of information boxes pop up like succulent raisins in a tasty cake. For example, "A Closer Look" pieces examine topics such as the Doppler effect, magnetic reversal, and iridium; "Usage" pop-ups differentiate between terms students may confuse, such as "revolution" and "rotation"; and biography boxes feature cameos of such disparate subjects as Andreas Vesalius, Maria Mitchell, and Linus Pauling. Diagrams large and small dot the landscape, as do maps and small black-and-white photos. All this is embedded in a solid backdrop of more than 8,000 standard definitions of scientific relevance. This valuable tool is clearly written and often lively, and will no doubt introduce dictionary neophytes to the joys of word-surfing while on the hunt for a specific term.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618882748
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 7/9/2008
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 704
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

The Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries and of other reference titles published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are trained lexicographers with a varied array of interests and expertise. Most of the editors hold graduate degrees and have studied at least one foreign language. Several have degrees in linguistics or in the history of the English language. Others have degrees in science or sometimes other disciplines. All the editors familiarize themselves with the vocabulary in specific subject areas, collect materials on new developments and usage, and work in association with consultants to ensure that the content of our publications is as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

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