Books  General Natural History  History of Science 

Galileo's Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science

By: Peter Atkins

388 pages, 140 b/w illus, figs

Oxford University Press

Paperback | May 2004 | #143070 | ISBN: 0198609418
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £9.99 $12/€11 approx
Hardback | Mar 2003 | #137605 | ISBN: 0198606648
Out of Print Details

About this book

Excellent account of ten pioneering ideas in science ranging from natural selection through quantum theory to curved spacetime.
`The Nobel Prize for Literature has never been won by a scientist. It is high time it happened, and Peter Atkins would be my candidate. He is not a popularizer of science in the ordinary sense.... He is not afraid to lead us toward the far horizons of scientific understanding but, rather than oversimplify and trivialise, he uses his powerful mastery of the English language to open our eyes to the poetry of deep science.... Atkins's literate prose leaves us inspired, fulfilled, enriched, and properly alive.' Richard Dawkins


Prologue: the emergence of understanding; 1. Evolution: the emergence of complexity; 2. DNA: the rationalization of biology; 3. Energy: the universalization of accountancy; 4. Entropy: the spring of change; 5. Atoms: the reduction of matter; 6. Symmetry: the quantification of beauty; 7. Quanta: the simplification of understanding; 8. Cosmology: the globalization of reality; 9. Spacetime: the arena of action; 10. Arithmetic: the limitation of explanation; Epilogue: the future of understanding; Further Reading; Index

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