By Thomas Crump
From the gnomons and sundials of precedent days to the 26-kilometer underground particle accelerator of the twenty-first century, this interesting and enlightening quantity by way of mathematician and anthropologist Thomas Crump exhibits how technological know-how has constantly redefined the world’s horizons, prolonged the frontiers of data, and complex human civilization. With 16 pages of photos, and brilliant vignettes of scientists and their innovations, Crump courses readers via early makes an attempt to degree time and space—from astronomical charts and calendars to Arabic numerals and algebraic notation—before he examines the delivery of an basically smooth know-how within the 1600s. With Galileo’s telescopic exploration of the skies first and foremost of the 17th century and Newton’s experiments with the prism and light-weight at its finish, the optical tools basic to all clinical examine were invented. Crump then proceeds to electromagnets, cathode tubes, thermometers, vacuum pumps, X rays, accelerators, semiconductors, microprocessors, and tools at present being designed to function in subzero temperatures. right here, then, in an obtainable, succinctly narrated quantity, is the long-lasting human quest for wisdom via expertise. right here, too, is the evidence that what's knowable is, and has constantly been, way more compelling than what's identified. “[Crump] offers vigorous summaries of the development in numerous fields, and succeeds in respiring new lifestyles into ordinary stories.”—The Economist “Fascinating reading.”—Publishers Weekly
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Extra info for A Brief History of Science: As Seen Through the Development of Scientific Instruments
Hot metals could become malleable, so that they could be hammered into different shapes, or ductile, so that they could be stretched out to make wire. The possibilities seemed endless, as appears from the objects discovered by archaeologists in different parts of the world and coming from different periods of time. The manufacture of metal objects revealed two further useful properties: a metal surface could be polished to a shine, making it useful as a mirror; and metals cast in the right form were sonorous, making them useful for bells.
The link between agriculture and pottery is not fortuitous. Early agriculture focused on two cereals, barley and wheat. Barley, by the process of malting, becomes beer, with yeast as a by-product. A mixture of flour and water, kneaded into dough to which yeast is added, will become bread, provided that it is baked in a sufficiently hot oven. The earliest ovens were little more than holes dug into the ground, but stone and eventually brick were used for purpose-built structures. Brick compounded of various earths was originally dried in the sun, but the process invited extension to products made in different shapes and fired at greater heat.
Even the 2 THE MASTERY OF FIRE cleverest laboratory primates, benefiting from years of intensive private tuition given by human instructors, hardly reach the stage at which children's thought begins to develop the adult forms demonstrated by Vygotsky. These pampered primates give a new twist to the meaning of the term 'educationally subnormal'. For humankind, what is remembered is just as important as what is perceived. What the child first has to remember is the language spoken in its immediate circle.
A Brief History of Science: As Seen Through the Development of Scientific Instruments by Thomas Crump