Almost Everyone's Guide to Science: The Universe, Life and Everything

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Yale University Press, 2000 - Science - 232 pages
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This fascinating book is a guide for the perplexed--those who are interested in science but are scared off by the technical detail. John Gribbin, an award-winning writer, now stands back from the details and offers us a broad picture of scientific achievement at the end of the twentieth century. He describes the structure of particles within the atom, the origins of our own species, the birth of the universe, and much more, presenting science as a way of thinking about things, an honest view of the world in which no idea is accepted unless it is confirmed by experiment rather than wishful thinking.

Modern scientific inquiry has developed over the past 400 years, turning away from the belief that the world is governed by magic and the supernatural and emerging instead as a coherent worldview in which everything fits together. This worldview, says Gribbin, is the greatest achievement of the human intellect. With eloquence and clarity he relates what scientists have learned about the nature of things, conveying the excitement of their discoveries as they investigate our place in the universe.
 

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I read this a long time ago and it still serves me to this day.

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Contents

Atoms and elements
9
Inside the atom
27
Particles and fields
48
Chemistry
66
Molecules of life
85
Evolution
104
Our changing planet
122
Winds of change
144
The Sun and its family
162
The lives of the stars
183
The large and the small
201
Further Reading
221
Index
222
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Page 4 - In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works.

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About the author (2000)

John Gribbin, visiting fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex, is the author of many bestselling books of science and science fiction including In Search of Schr dinger’s Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality and The Search for Superstrings, Symmetry and the Theory of Everything.

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