Author: Reviel Netz
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Release Date: 2009-03-12
Part archaeological detective story, part science, and part history, The Archimedes Codex tells the astonishing story of a lost manuscript, from its tenth-century creation in ancient Constantinople to the auction block at Christie’s in New York, and how a team of scholars used the latest imaging technology to reveal and decipher the original text. What they found was the earliest surviving manuscript by Archimedes (287 BC–212 BC), the greatest mathematician of antiquity—a manuscript that established, for the first time, the extent of his mathematical genius, which was two thousand years ahead of modern science.
Author: Reviel Netz
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2011-10-13
The story of the amazing discovery of Archimedes' lost works Drawings and writings by Archimedes, previously thought to have been destroyed, have been uncovered beneath the pages of a 13th-century monk's prayer book. These hidden texts, slowly being retrieved and deciphered by scientists, show that Archimedes' thinking (2,200 years ago) was even ahead of Isaac Newton in the 17th century. Archimedes discovered the value of Pi, he developed the theory of specific gravity and made steps towards the development of calculus. Everything we know about him comes from three manuscripts, two of which have disappeared. The third, currently in the Walters Art Museum, is a palimpsest - the text has been scraped off, the book taken apart and its parchment re-used, in this case as a prayer book. William Noel, the project director, and Reviel Netz, a historian of ancient mathematics, tell the enthralling story of the survival of that prayer book from 1229 to the present, and examine the process of recovering the invaluable text underneath as well as investigating into why that text is so important.
Author: Mario Livio
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2011-02-22
Bestselling author and astrophysicist Mario Livio examines the lives and theories of history’s greatest mathematicians to ask how—if mathematics is an abstract construction of the human mind—it can so perfectly explain the physical world. Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner once wondered about “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in the formulation of the laws of nature. Is God a Mathematician? investigates why mathematics is as powerful as it is. From ancient times to the present, scientists and philosophers have marveled at how such a seemingly abstract discipline could so perfectly explain the natural world. More than that—mathematics has often made predictions, for example, about subatomic particles or cosmic phenomena that were unknown at the time, but later were proven to be true. Is mathematics ultimately invented or discovered? If, as Einstein insisted, mathematics is “a product of human thought that is independent of experience,” how can it so accurately describe and even predict the world around us? Physicist and author Mario Livio brilliantly explores mathematical ideas from Pythagoras to the present day as he shows us how intriguing questions and ingenious answers have led to ever deeper insights into our world. This fascinating book will interest anyone curious about the human mind, the scientific world, and the relationship between them.
Archimedes to Hawking takes the reader on a journey across the centuries as it explores the eponymous physical laws--from Archimedes' Law of Buoyancy and Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and Hubble's Law of Cosmic Expansion--whose ramifications have profoundly altered our everyday lives and our understanding of the universe. Throughout this fascinating book, Clifford Pickover invites us to share in the amazing adventures of brilliant, quirky, and passionate people after whom these laws are named. These lawgivers turn out to be a fascinating, diverse, and sometimes eccentric group of people. Many were extremely versatile polymaths--human dynamos with a seemingly infinite supply of curiosity and energy and who worked in many different areas in science. Others had non-conventional educations and displayed their unusual talents from an early age. Some experienced resistance to their ideas, causing significant personal anguish. Pickover examines more than 40 great laws, providing brief and cogent introductions to the science behind the laws as well as engaging biographies of such scientists as Newton, Faraday, Ohm, Curie, and Planck. Throughout, he includes fascinating, little-known tidbits relating to the law or lawgiver, and he provides cross-references to other laws or equations mentioned in the book. For several entries, he includes simple numerical examples and solved problems so that readers can have a hands-on understanding of the application of the law. A sweeping survey of scientific discovery as well as an intriguing portrait gallery of some of the greatest minds in history, this superb volume will engage everyone interested in science and the physical world or in the dazzling creativity of these brilliant thinkers.
Author: Tyler Priest
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Release Date: 2009-10-12
Genre: Business & Economics
“. . . tells a dramatic story of imaginative businessmen and engineers who propelled Shell forward in the search for ways to locate and recover oil from the depths of the sea.”—Southwestern Historical Quarterly
"The Archimedes Palimpsest is the name given to a Byzantine prayer-book which was written over a number of earlier manuscripts, including two unique examples containing works by Archimedes, unquestionably the greatest mathematician of antiquity. Sold at auction in 1998, it has since been the subject of a privately funded project to conserve, image, and transcribe its texts. In this volume the scientists, conservators, classicists, and historians involved in the project discuss in full their techniques and their discoveries. These include new speeches by the classical Athenian orator Hyperides, a lost commentary on Aristotle's Categories from the second or third century AD, and substantial re-readings and reinterpretations of the works by Archimedes. The book discusses the pioneering imaging and post-processing techniques used to reveal the texts, and includes detailed codicological descriptions of all eight manuscripts comprising the Palimpsest. It will be of interest to manuscript scholars, classicists, and historians of science"--
Author: Jo Marchant
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Astronomical clocks
"In 1900 a group of sponge divers blown off course in the Mediterranean discovered an Ancient Greek shipwreck dating from around 70 BC. Lying unnoticed for months amongst their hard-won haul was what appeared to be a formless lump of corroded rock, which turned out to be the most stunning scientific artefact we have from antiquity. For more than a century this Antikythera mechanism' puzzled academics, but now, more than 2000 years after the device was lost at sea, scientists have pieced together its intricate workings. Unmatched in complexity for 1000 years, it was able to predict eclipses and track the paths of the Sun and the Moon through the zodiac, and probably even showed ancient astronomers the movements of the five known planets. In Decoding the Heavens, Jo Marchant tells for the first time the story of the 100-year quest to understand this ancient computer. Along the way she unearths a diverse cast of remarkable characters ranging from Archimedes to Jacques Cousteau and explores the deep roots of modern technology not only in ancient Greece but in the Islamic world and medieval Europe too. At heart an epic adventure story, it is a book that challenges our assumption
Author: Valerie Lester
Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher
Release Date: 2015-10-15
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
This is the first English-language biography of the relentlessly ambitious and incomparably talented printer Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813). Born to a printing family in the small foothill town of Saluzzo, he left his comfortable life to travel to Rome in 1758 where he served as an apprentice of Cardinal Spinelli at the Propaganda Fide press. There, under the sponsorship of Ruggieri, he learned all aspects of the printing craft. Even then, his real talent lay in type design and punchcutting, especially of the exotic foreign alphabets needed by the papal office to spread the faith. His life changed when at age 28 he was invited by the Duke of Parma to abandon Rome for that very French city to establish and direct the ducal press. He remained in Parma, overseeing a vast variety of printing, some of it pedestrian, but much of it glorious. And all of it making use of the typefaces he personally designed and engraved. This fine book goes beyond Bodoni's capacity as a printer; it examines the life and times in which he lived, the turbulent and always fragile political climate, the fascinating cast of characters that enlivened the ducal court, the impressive list of visitors making the pilgrimage to Parma, and the unique position Parma occupied, politically Italian but very much French in terms of taste and culture. Even the food gets its due. The illustrations—of the city, of the press, of the types and matrices—are captivating, but most striking are the pages from the books he designed, especially pages from his typographic masterpiece, the Manuale Tipografico, which displayed the myriad typefaces in multiple sizes that Bodoni had designed and engraved over a long and prolific career. Intriguing, scholarly, visually arresting, and designed and printed to Bodoni's standards, this title belongs on the shelf of any self-respecting bibliophile. It not only makes for compelling reading, it will be considered the biography of record of a great printer for years to come.
Leonardo da Vinci's scientific explorations were virtually unknown during his lifetime, despite their extraordinarily wide range. He studied the flight patterns of birds to create some of the first human flying machines; designed military weapons and defenses; studied optics, hydraulics, and the workings of the human circulatory system; and created designs for rebuilding Milan, employing principles still used by city planners today. Perhaps most importantly, Leonardo pioneered an empirical, systematic approach to the observation of nature-what is known today as the scientific method.Drawing on over 6,000 pages of Leonardo's surviving notebooks, acclaimed scientist and bestselling author Fritjof Capra reveals Leonardo's artistic approach to scientific knowledge and his organic and ecological worldview. In this fascinating portrait of a thinker centuries ahead of his time, Leonardo singularly emerges as the unacknowledged “father of modern science.” From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Martin Gardner
Publisher: Courier Corporation
Release Date: 2014-12-02
Genre: Games & Activities
Famed puzzle expert explains math behind a multitude of mystifying tricks: card tricks, stage "mind reading," coin and match tricks, counting out games, geometric dissections, etc. More than 400 tricks. 135 illustrations.
This insightful work examines what happened to Newton's science as it was interpreted by his major followers. The authors also look at the scientific culture that Newton helped to create and the impact that his ideas had on the rapidly developing technology that led to the Industrial Revolution.
Based on a series of lectures delivered at Cornell University in the fall of 1949, and since revised, this is the standard non-technical coverage of Egyptian and Babylonian mathematics and astronomy, and their transmission to the Hellenistic world. Entirely modern in its data and conclusions, it reveals the surprising sophistication of certain areas of early science, particularly Babylonian mathematics. After a discussion of the number systems used in the ancient Near East (contrasting the Egyptian method of additive computations with unit fractions and Babylonian place values), Dr. Neugebauer covers Babylonian tables for numerical computation, approximations of the square root of 2 (with implications that the Pythagorean Theorem was known more than a thousand years before Pythagoras), Pythagorean numbers, quadratic equations with two unknowns, special cases of logarithms and various other algebraic and geometric cases. Babylonian strength in algebraic and numerical work reveals a level of mathematical development in many aspects comparable to the mathematics of the early Renaissance in Europe. This is in contrast to the relatively primitive Egyptian mathematics. In the realm of astronomy, too, Dr. Neugebauer describes an unexpected sophistication, which is interpreted less as the result of millennia of observations (as used to be the interpretation) than as a competent mathematical apparatus. The transmission of this early science and its further development in Hellenistic times is also described. An Appendix discusses certain aspects of Greek astronomy and the indebtedness of the Copernican system to Ptolemaic and Islamic methods. Dr. Neugebauer has long enjoyed an international reputation as one of the foremost workers in the area of premodern science. Many of his discoveries have revolutionized earlier understandings. In this volume he presents a non-technical survey, with much material unique on this level, which can be read with great profit by all interested in the history of science or history of culture. 14 plates. 52 figures.
What ancient mystery lies behind the creation of Freemasonry- a lost secret so powerful that the Brotherhood itself has been on a quest to find it for three hundred years? For those of us lacking the resources to excavate occult secrets hidden beneath the Louvre or the Rosslyn Chapel, or within CIA Headquarters, The Shadow of Solomon is the next best thing. These pages reveal the true secrets of Solomon, from masonry to magic. Laurence Gardner's personal experience as both a Templar and a mason makes this fascinating journey through the history of the Bible, Knights Templar, Freemasons, and everything that followed all the more striking and immediate. Is it an accident that the world's attention should be turned to these men and their strange lexicon of symbols and secrets RIGHT NOW? What will happen when we understand that there is something we all have in common that is greater than nation or religion? Freemasons are often said to be the world's most influential secret society, yet the story of this enigmatic fraternity is wrapped in mystery and intrigue. Their involvement in shaping political world events has stretched over centuries, even to the extent that masonic principles lie beneath the establishment of the United States and its Constitution. The Shadow of Solomon is the definitive insider's account of the startling truth behind masonic history and the centuries-long search that the fraternity has undertaken to find its own lost secrets.