The Clockwork Universe
Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World
Автор(и) : Edward Dolnick
Издател : HarperCollins Publishers
Място на издаване : New York, USA
Година на издаване : 2011
ISBN : 978-0-06171-951-6
Брой страници : 378
Език : английски
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"The Clockwork Universe" is the story of a band of men who lived in a world of dirt and disease but pictured a universe that ran like a perfect machine. A meld of history and science, this book is a group portrait of some of the greatest minds who ever lived as they wrestled with nature’s most sweeping mysteries. The answers they uncovered still hold the key to how we understand the world.
At the end of the seventeenth century—an age of religious wars, plague, and the Great Fire of London— when most people saw the world as falling apart, these earliest scientists saw a world of perfect order. They declared that, chaotic as it looked, the universe was in fact as intricate and perfectly regulated as a clock. This was the tail end of Shakespeare’s century, when the natural and the supernatural still twined around each other. Disease was a punishment ordained by God, astronomy had not yet broken free from astrology, and the sky was filled with omens. It was a time when little was known and everything was new. These brilliant, ambitious, curious men believed in angels, alchemy, and the devil, and they also believed that the universe followed precise, mathematical laws—a contradiction that tormented them and changed the course of history.
The Clockwork Universe is the fascinating and compelling story of the bewildered geniuses of the Royal Society, the men who made the modern world.
My newest book, The Clockwork Universe, is a return to my roots (I have a master's degree in math, from MIT). It's about Isaac Newton and Leibniz and the Royal Society—the story of a quarrelsome band of geniuses in powdered wigs and knee-length breeches who helped create the world we know today. The backdrop is Europe during the black plague, and the Great Fire of London, and Louis XIV in high heels and gold-embroidered waistcoat at Versailles.
Chaotic as it looked, these earliest scientists declared, the universe was in fact an intricate and perfectly regulated clockwork. This was the tail-end of Shakespeare's century, and these were brilliant, ambitious, confused, conflicted men. They believed in angels and alchemy and the devil, and they believed that the universe followed precise, mathematical laws.
These rowdy geniuses were as rambunctious as schoolboys, eagerly setting off explosions and sampling snake venom and gawking through the first telescopes and microscopes. Nothing was known; everything was new. In The Clockwork Universe we elbow our way next to the shouting, rowdy scientists, and we see the mysteries of physics and astronomy clearly and vividly explained.
Edward Dolnick is the author of Down the Great Unknown and the Edgar Award-winning The Rescue Artist. A former chief science writer at the Boston Globe, he has written for The Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Magazine, and many other publications.
Личен сайт: http://www.edwarddolnick.net/