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By George Johnson

This book looks at the ten most fascinating experiments in the history of science - moments when a curious soul posed a particularly eloquent question to nature and received a crisp, unambiguous reply.

Johnson takes us to those times when scientists were dazzled by light, by electricity, and by the beating of hearts they laid bare on the dissecting table. We see Galileo singing to mark time as he measures the pull of gravity, and Newton carefully inserting a needle behind his eye to learn how light causes vibrations in the retina. William Harvey ties a tourniquet around his arm and watches his arteries throb above and his veins bulge below, proving that blood circulates. Ivan Palov made his now-famous dogs salivate - not at the sound of bells but at ascending chord progressions.

The curiosity of all these scientists was rewarded: in an instant, confusion was swept aside, and something new about nature leapt into view. In bringing us these stories, George Johnson restores the romance to science, reminding us of the existential excitement of a single soul staring down the unknown.

Hardback - 192 pages

Published 2008

Very good condition - ex library copy Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: Hamilton, Waikato, NZ

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