Truth and Beauty: Aesthetics and Motivations in Science

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University of Chicago Press, Oct 15, 1990 - Science - 170 pages
"What a splendid book! Reading it is a joy, and for me, at least, continuing reading it became compulsive. . . . Chandrasekhar is a distinguished astrophysicist and every one of the lectures bears the hallmark of all his work: precision, thoroughness, lucidity."—Sir Hermann Bondi, Nature

The late S. Chandrasekhar was best known for his discovery of the upper
limit to the mass of a white dwarf star, for which he received the Nobel
Prize in Physics in 1983. He was the author of many books, including
The Mathematical Theory of Black Holes and, most recently,
Newton's Principia for the Common Reader.

 

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Truth and beauty: aesthetics and motivations in science

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Mathematicians often use the term elegant to describe a particularly creative theorem or proof. In these seven lectures originally presented between 1946 and 1985, a Nobel laureate in physics examines ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

The Scientist 1946
2
The Pursuit of Science Its Motivations 1985
16
THE NORA AND EDWARD RYERSON LECTURE Shakespeare Newton and Beethoven or Patterns of Creativity 1975
30
Beauty and the Quest for Beauty in Science 1979
60
THE MILNE LECTURE Edward Arthur Milne His Part in the Development of Modern Astrophysics 1979
75
ARTHUR STANLEY EDDINGTON CENTENARY LECTURES 1982 Eddington The Most Distinguished Astrophysicist of His Time
94
KARL SCHWARZSCHILD LECTURE The Aesthetic Base of the General Theory of Relativity 1986
145
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About the author (1990)

S. Chandrasekhar has received many awards in his career, including the Nobel Prize for Physics, the National Medal of Science (U.S.), and the Copley Medal of the Royal Society (London). He is the Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Department of Physics, and the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago.

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