A Book of Scientific Curiosities: Everything You Need to Know about Science, But Never Had Time to Ask

Front Cover
Carroll & Graf, 2005 - Science - 308 pages
From the length of the human genome to the number of stars in the sky, within these pages lies a fascinating collection of stories of mankind's speculation and discovery. When the great Isaac Newton looked back on his life's work, he felt he had been 'like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.' Given Newton's prickly personality, we may guess he would have been very upset had anyone else referred to his achievements in such terms. But the image he conjured up has captivated scientists ever since, and Cyril Aydon has cast his eye over the last 2000 years at the pebbles discovered by others.

Here is his selection of nearly two hundred famous scientists, and their astonishing discoveries—from how the Babylonians taught us to measure time and the first use of the word dinosaur to Galileo's revelations about the cosmos and Maimen's development of the first laser—retold in entertaining and illuminating anecdotes, together with timeliness and a fascinating medley of facts and figures.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

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


The Zodiac 16 Stellar Magnitudes 17 Some Bright Stars 18 Light
Newton and His Era 89 Alchemy and Chemistry 90 Chemical

14 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

CYRIL AYDON is a former business consultant, now a full-time writer. He is the author of a much-acclaimed life of Charles Darwin.

Bibliographic information