By Isaac Asimov

Asimov tells the tales at the back of the technology: the boys and ladies who made the real discoveries and the way they did it. starting from Galilei, Achimedes, Newton and Einstein, he's taking the main complicated strategies and explains it in the sort of method first-time reader at the topic feels convinced on his/her figuring out.

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Poincares legacies: pages from year two of a mathematical blog

There are various bits and items of folklore in arithmetic which are handed down from consultant to scholar, or from collaborator to collaborator, yet that are too fuzzy and non-rigorous to be mentioned within the formal literature. ordinarily, it used to be an issue of success and placement as to who realized such folklore arithmetic.

Extra resources for Asimov’s New Guide to Science

Example text

Here is an example. Egyptian land surveyors had found a practical way to form a right angle: they divided a rope into twelve equal parts and made a triangle in which three parts formed one side, four parts another, and five parts the third side—the right angle lay where the three-unit side joined the four— unit side. There is no record of how the Egyptians discovered this method, and apparently their interest went no further than to make use of it. But the curious Greeks went on to investigate why such a triangle should contain a right angle.

Experimentation began to become philosophically respectable in Europe with the support of such philosophers as Roger Bacon (a contemporary of Thomas Aquinas) and his later namesake Francis Bacon. But it was Galileo who overthrew the Greek view and effected the revolution. He was a convincing logician and a genius as a publicist. He described his experiments and his point of view so clearly and so dramatically that he won over the European learned community. And they accepted his methods along with his results.

GEOMETRY AND MATHEMATICS The Greeks achieved their most brilliant successes in geometry. These successes can be attributed mainly to the development of two techniques: abstraction and generalization. Here is an example. Egyptian land surveyors had found a practical way to form a right angle: they divided a rope into twelve equal parts and made a triangle in which three parts formed one side, four parts another, and five parts the third side—the right angle lay where the three-unit side joined the four— unit side.