Ben Franklin stilled the waves: an informal history of pouring oil on water with reflections on the ups and downs of scientific life in general

Front Cover
Duke University Press, 1989 - Biography & Autobiography - 227 pages
0 Reviews
Benjamin Franklin was the first to report the phenomenon of oil's power to still troubled waters and to speculate on why it happened. A century later Lord Rayleigh performed an identical experiment. Irving Langmuir did it with minor variations in 1917, and won a Nobel Prize for it. ThenLangmuir's work was followed by a Dutch pediatrician's in 1925. p Each experimenter saw a little more in the result than his predecessor had seen, and the sciences of physics, chemistry and biology have all been illuminated by the work. p Charles Tanford reflects on the evolving nature of scienceand of individual scientists. Recounting innovations in each trial, he follows the classic experiment from Franklin's drawing room to our present-day institutionalized scientific establishments and speculates on the ensuing changes in our approach to scientific inquiry.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The World Outside
6
Two Benjamin Franklin
12
First Mission to London
20
Copyright

20 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1989)

Charles Tanford is Emeritus Professor at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA and a former Guggenheim Fellow. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and lives in Easingwold, UK.

Bibliographic information