Quirky Sides of Scientists

True Tales of Ingenuity and Error from Physics and Astronomy

Authors: Topper, David R

  • Enlightens the reader to the quirkiness of the scientific mind
  • Clearly demonstrates that the greatest scientific minds throughout history arrived at their famous theories in very unorganized ways
  • Details how researchers often did not fully grasp the significance and implications of their own work
  • Tells little-known, yet fascinating stories in a clear and engaging style to captivate the scientific-educated reader
  • Reveals that the popular image of the scientist is really a caricature of the way scientists think and do their work
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eBook $29.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-71019-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $39.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-387-71018-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $39.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-2429-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

These historical narratives of scientific behavior reveal the often irrational way scientists arrive at and assess their theories. There are stories of Einstein’s stubbornness leading him to reject a correct interpretation of an experiment and miss an important deduction from his own theory, and Newton missing the important deduction from one of his most celebrated discoveries. Copernicus and Galileo are found surpressing information. A theme running throughout the book is the notion that what is obvious today was not so in the past. Scientists seen in their historical context shatter myths and show them to be less modern than we often like to think of them.

About the authors

http://history.uwinnipeg.ca/topper.html

David R. Topper is Professor of History at the University of Winnipeg where, since 1970, he has taught courses in the history of science and the history of art. He was the recipient of two teaching awards: the Robson Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Winnipeg (1981), and the National 3M Teaching Fellowship (1987). Since 1982 he has been an international co-editor and, from 2005, honorary editor of the journal Leonardo. His recent publications are on matters related to the work of Galileo, Newton, and Einstein.

Reviews

From the reviews:

"This is a serious work of historical detection, in which Topper delves into the nitty-gritty of astronomical and cosmological theory production from Aristarchus to Einstein. … The extensive list of notes and references at the ends of chapters underline the thoroughness of the research … . I warmly commend this book … ." (Colin Knappitt, Astronomy Now, February, 2008)

"Topper treats us to a series of pen portraits of the intellectual endeavours of Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Einstein. … I got a great deal of pleasure from reading this fast-flowing, well-referenced, and refreshingly different book, and I was also introduced to many unfamiliar and thought-provoking aspects of the history of our subject’s progress and the oddities of some of the major proponents of the past." (David W. Hughes, The Observatory, Vol. 128 (1203), 2008)

"The chapters are self-contained, and include treatments of Einstein’s occasional forays into experiment, Galileo’s observations of the motion of sunspots, Newton’s analysis of colour and Kepler’s heroic efforts to account for the planetary orbits by solid geometry. … the book has a certain academic charm. … There are ample consolations here for the specialist, I’m sure … . The author clearly loves this stuff, and his enthusiasm shines through. A reader who already shares that enthusiasm will get along fine with this book … ." (Jon Turney, Times Higher Education, February, 2008)


Table of contents (2 chapters)

  • Art Illustrates Science: Galileo, a Blemished Moon, and a Parabola of Blood

    David R. Topper

    Pages 109-121

  • Ensnared in Circles: Galileo and the Law of Projectile Motion

    David R. Topper

    Pages 123-137

Buy this book

eBook $29.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-71019-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $39.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-387-71018-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $39.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-2429-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Quirky Sides of Scientists
Book Subtitle
True Tales of Ingenuity and Error from Physics and Astronomy
Authors
Copyright
2007
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag New York
eBook ISBN
978-0-387-71019-8
DOI
10.1007/978-0-387-71019-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-387-71018-1
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4419-2429-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 210
Number of Illustrations and Tables
57 b/w illustrations
Topics