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The Great Scientists: From Euclid To Stephen Hawking (2000)

by John Farndon(Favorite Author)
4.28 of 5 Votes: 5
0760780617 (ISBN13: 9780760780619)
review 1: This book gives a nice description of the great scientists from ancient to current times. Author John Farndon breaks down the scientists into time periods. These periods include the ancients, middle ages, the Renaissance, the 17thC, 18C, 19thC and 20th C. So, I am going to just feature one scientist from each time period.The Ancients:Archimedes (207-212 BC):Archimedes greatest discovery was the principle of buoyancy. An object will float when its weight is exactly equal to the up thrust of the displaced water that it is put upon. Knowledge of this principle allowed shipbuilders to produce large ships.He also devised a system which allows a person to create gigantic numbers by using exponents to raise the number to a power. He furthermore worked out the volumes and ar... moreeas of regular shapes such as spheres and cones.The Middle Ages:Al-Khwarizmi ( 786 -unknown )-In attempt to improve calculations in regards to lawsuits, trade, digging canals and other human activity he created algebra.He also authored a book on geography which improved on the accuracy of previous similar books.The Renaissance:Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564)-Vesalius authored the book “Fabrica” which became the most important medical book of his age. It detailed the human skeleton, veins, the nervous system and the main body organs in such accurate detail that medical students were required to keep it at the dissecting table.17th Century:Anton von Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723)-Leeuwenhoek made homemade microscopes but his most important contribution to science is that he discovered bacteria. From examining water from different sources he identified incredible tiny creatures scurrying about. What he saw are bacteria. 18th Century:Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778)-Linnaeus discovered that plants reproduced with a sexual organ. In flowers, he called the stamen (where pollen is made) the bridegroom and the pistils (where seeds are made) the bride. This information became important to farmers because we now know that you need more than one plant on a lot of species to produce fruit. This is because one plant must pollinate the other. He also developed a binomial system to name all the creatures he could find on earth.19th Century:Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)Pasteur first discovered yeast by studying beer and wine as they age. With yeast he studied why food goes bad. And he determined it goes bad by exposure to microbes in ordinary air. He also noticed that when air is heated the microbes die and the food is preserved. He also discovered that microbes cause infection and disease. So by using sterilized bandages, which killed microbes, surgeries became much safer. 20th CenturyMax Plank (1858-1947)Plank created Quantum Theory which stated that energy is released in tiny invisible chunks. So, if you want to get a feel for the greatest scientists of history this is a good book to start with.
review 2: This string of micro-biographies describes the most important scientific discoveries in history. It has excellent photos, drawings and paintings that really add to the experience. By putting them in chronological order, this book does what a show like Nova cannot; it puts all these accomplishments in their historical perspective. Also it is fun to learn some of the personal stories of the scientists. I enjoyed reading Euclid’s proof of the Pythagorean Theorem. I was surprised that it was not until the 8th century that our ten-digit system of numbers was popularized by al-Khwarizmi. The old medical drawings are interesting, as is the long strange trip of Linus Pauling. less
Reviews (see all)
I enjoyed glimpses of how they started and what shaaped them. Very interesting.
Very informative. I'm going to read other books in the series now.
Not a terribly "meaty" read, but very enjoyable
Enjoy it very much!
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