Cathedrals of Science

The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry

Author: Patrick Coffey

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199717460

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 7386

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In Cathedrals of Science, Patrick Coffey describes how chemistry got its modern footing-how thirteen brilliant men and one woman struggled with the laws of the universe and with each other. They wanted to discover how the world worked, but they also wanted credit for making those discoveries, and their personalities often affected how that credit was assigned. Gilbert Lewis, for example, could be reclusive and resentful, and his enmity with Walther Nernst may have cost him the Nobel Prize; Irving Langmuir, gregarious and charming, "rediscovered" Lewis's theory of the chemical bond and received much of the credit for it. Langmuir's personality smoothed his path to the Nobel Prize over Lewis. Coffey deals with moral and societal issues as well. These same scientists were the first to be seen by their countries as military assets. Fritz Haber, dubbed the "father of chemical warfare," pioneered the use of poison gas in World War I-vividly described-and Glenn Seaborg and Harold Urey were leaders in World War II's Manhattan Project; Urey and Linus Pauling worked for nuclear disarmament after the war. Science was not always fair, and many were excluded. The Nazis pushed Jewish scientists like Haber from their posts in the 1930s. Anti-Semitism was also a force in American chemistry, and few women were allowed in; Pauling, for example, used his influence to cut off the funding and block the publications of his rival, Dorothy Wrinch. Cathedrals of Science paints a colorful portrait of the building of modern chemistry from the late 19th to the mid-20th century.

Cathedrals of Science:The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry

The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry

Author: Patrick Coffey

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780195321340

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 9460

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In Cathedrals of Science, Patrick Coffey describes how chemistry got its modern footing-how thirteen brilliant men and one woman struggled with the laws of the universe and with each other. They wanted to discover how the world worked, but they also wanted credit for making those discoveries, and their personalities often affected how that credit was assigned. Gilbert Lewis, for example, could be reclusive and resentful, and his enmity with Walther Nernst may have cost him the Nobel Prize; Irving Langmuir, gregarious and charming, "rediscovered" Lewis's theory of the chemical bond and received much of the credit for it. Langmuir's personality smoothed his path to the Nobel Prize over Lewis.Coffey deals with moral and societal issues as well. These same scientists were the first to be seen by their countries as military assets. Fritz Haber, dubbed the "father of chemical warfare," pioneered the use of poison gas in World War I-vividly described-and Glenn Seaborg and Harold Urey were leaders in World War II's Manhattan Project; Urey and Linus Pauling worked for nuclear disarmament after the war. Science was not always fair, and many were excluded. The Nazis pushed Jewish scientists like Haber from their posts in the 1930s. Anti-Semitism was also a force in American chemistry, and few women were allowed in; Pauling, for example, used his influence to cut off the funding and block the publications of his rival, Dorothy Wrinch.Cathedrals of Science paints a colorful portrait of the building of modern chemistry from the late 19th to the mid-20th century.

Die Ordnung der Dinge

Im Reich der Elemente

Author: Sam Kean

Publisher: Hoffmann und Campe

ISBN: 3455850030

Category: Psychology

Page: 448

View: 2212

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Woraus besteht die Welt, woraus Mikroben, Meere, der Mensch? Kean gelingt etwas Schönes: Man kapiert’s auch ohne dröge Formeln. Das Hauptgebäude der modernen Chemie, das Periodensystem der Elemente, sieht langweilig aus, doch in ihm verbergen sich spannende Geschichten über Alchimisten, Entdecker und Goldgräber, Medizinalräte und Quacksalber, Kriegsstrategen, Spione, Geschäftemacher und Spinner. So macht Naturwissenschaft Spaß! Das periodische System der Elemente ist nicht nur eine große wissenschaftliche Leistung, sondern auch eine Schatzkiste voller skurriler Episoden, die von Leidenschaft, Abenteuern, Betrug und Besessenheit handeln. Während Kean die Grundbausteine des Universums und die Ordnung, die sie schaffen, erklärt, erzählt er zugleich, welche Rolle sie vom Urknall bis heute gespielt haben. Wie etwa Gerhard Domagk das Leben seiner Tochter riskierte, um die ersten Antibiotika zu entwickeln. Wie Portugal sowohl den Nazis als auch den Alliierten zu astronomischen Preisen Wolfram lieferte, weil beide Seiten es dringend für den Krieg brauchten.

American Arsenal

A Century of Waging War

Author: Patrick Coffey

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199341729

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 9647

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When America declared war on Germany in 1917, the United States had only 200,000 men under arms, a twentieth of the German army's strength, and its planes were no match for the German air force. Less than a century later, the United States today has by far the world's largest military budget and provides over 40% of the world's armaments. In American Arsenal Patrick Coffey examines America's military transformation from an isolationist state to a world superpower. Focusing on fifteen specific developments, Coffey illustrates the unplanned, often haphazard nature of this transformation, which has been driven by political, military, technological, and commercial interests. Beginning with Thomas Edison's work on submarine technology, American Arsenal moves from World War I to the present conflicts in the Middle East, covering topics from chemical weapons, strategic bombing, and the nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union, to "smart" bombs, hand-held anti-aircraft missiles, and the Predator and other drone aircrafts. Coffey traces the story of each advance in weaponry from drawing board to battlefield, and includes fascinating portraits of the men who invented and deployed them -Edward Teller, "the father of the hydrogen bomb", Robert Oppenheimer, head of atomic bomb design at Los Alamos; Curtis LeMay, who led the fire-bombing of Japan; Herman Kahn, nuclear strategist and a model for Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove; Abraham Karem, inventor of the Predator, and many others. Coffey also examines the increasingly detached nature of modern American warfare- the ultimate goal is to remove soldiers from the battlefield entirely- which limits casualties (211,454 in Vietnam and only 1,231 in the Gulf War) but also lessens the political and psychological costs of going to war. Examining the backstories of every major American weapons development, American Arsenal is essential reading for anyone interested in the continuing evolution of the U.S. defense program.

The Lost Elements

The Periodic Table's Shadow Side

Author: Marco Fontani,Mariagrazia Costa,Mary Virginia Orna

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199383367

Category: Science

Page: 576

View: 8834

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The Periodic Table of Elements hasn't always looked like it does now, a well-organized chart arranged by atomic number. In the mid-nineteenth century, chemists were of the belief that the elements should be sorted by atomic weight. However, the weights of many elements were calculated incorrectly, and over time it became clear that not only did the elements need rearranging, but that the periodic table contained many gaps and omissions: there were elements yet to be discovered, and the allure of finding one had scientists rushing to fill in the blanks. Supposed "discoveries" flooded laboratories, and the debate over what did and did not belong on the periodic table reached a fever pitch. With the discovery of radioactivity, the discourse only intensified. Throughout its formation, the Periodic Table of Elements has seen false entries, good-faith errors, retractions, and dead ends. In fact, there have been more falsely proclaimed elemental discoveries throughout history than there are elements on the table as we know it today. The Lost Elements: The Periodic Table's Shadow Side collects the most notable of these instances, stretching from the nineteenth century to the present. The book tells the story of how scientists have come to understand elements, by discussing the failed theories and false discoveries that shaped the path of scientific progress. We learn of early chemists' stubborn refusal to disregard alchemy as a legitimate practice, and of one German's supposed discovery of an elemental metal that breathed. As elements began to be created artificially in the twentieth century, we watch the discovery climate shift to favor the physicists, rather than the chemists. Along the way, Fontani, Costa, and Orna introduce us to the key figures in the development of today's periodic table, including Lavoisier and Mendeleev. Featuring a preface from Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann, The Lost Elements is an expansive history of the wrong side of chemical discovery-and reveals how these errors and gaffes have helped shape the table as much as any other form of scientific progress.

Masters of the Universe

Conversations with Cosmologists of the Past

Author: Helge Kragh

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191034428

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 697

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How did our modern picture of the universe come into being? Masters of the Universe tells this fascinating story in an unusual format that blends factual and fictional elements. It is based on a series of interviews that a fictional person conducted with leading astronomers and physicists between 1913 and 1965. Among the interviewed scientists are giants such as Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, and George Gamow, but also scientists who are less well known today or not primarily known as cosmologists such as Karl Schwarzschild, Paul Dirac, and Svante Arrhenius. By following the interviews the reader gets a lively and "almost authentic" impression of the problems that faced this early generation of cosmologists. Although the interviews are purely fictional, a product of the author's imagination, they could have taken place in just the way that is described. They are solidly based on historical facts and, moreover, supplemented with careful annotations and references to the literature. In this way the book bridges the gap between scholarly and popular history of science.

The Quest for the Cure

The Science and Stories Behind the Next Generation of Medicines

Author: Brent Stockwell

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231152132

Category: Science

Page: 284

View: 3426

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A leading researcher in chemical biology offers a behind-the-scenes tour of today's medical innovations, tracing key 20th-century pharmacological milestones while profiling sophisticated, emerging approaches to drug design that may enable breakthrough treatments for seemingly incurable diseases.

I Died for Beauty

Dorothy Wrinch and the Cultures of Science

Author: Marjorie Senechal

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199910839

Category: Science

Page: 312

View: 5415

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In the vein of A Beautiful Mind, The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, and Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA, this volume tells the poignant story of the brilliant, colorful, controversial mathematician named Dorothy Wrinch. Drawing on her own personal and professional relationship with Wrinch and archives in the United States, Canada, and England, Marjorie Senechal explores the life and work of this provocative, scintillating mind. Senechal portrays a woman who was learned, restless, imperious, exacting, critical, witty, and kind. A young disciple of Bertrand Russell while at Cambridge, the first women to receive a doctor of science degree from Oxford University, Wrinch's contributions to mathematical physics, philosophy, probability theory, genetics, protein structure, and crystallography were anything but inconsequential. But Wrinch, a complicated and ultimately tragic figure, is remembered today for her much publicized feud with Linus Pauling over the molecular architecture of proteins. Pauling ultimately won that bitter battle. Yet, Senechal reminds us, some of the giants of mid-century science--including Niels Bohr, Irving Langmuir, D'Arcy Thompson, Harold Urey, and David Harker--took Wrinch's side in the feud. What accounts for her vast if now-forgotten influence? What did these renowned thinkers, in such different fields, hope her model might explain? Senechal presents a sympathetic portrait of the life and work of a luminous but tragically flawed character. At the same time, she illuminates the subtler prejudices Wrinch faced as a feisty woman, profound culture clashes between scientific disciplines, ever-changing notions of symmetry and pattern in science, and the puzzling roles of beauty and truth.

Need to Know

Vocation as the Heart of Christian Epistemology

Author: John G. Stackhouse Jr.

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199376972

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 3683

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How should a Christian think? If a serious Christian wants to think seriously about a serious subject--from considering how to vote in the next election to choosing a career; from deciding among scientific theories to selecting a mate; from weighing competing marketing proposals to discerning the best fitness plan--what does he or she do? This basic question is at the heart of a complex discourse: epistemology. A bold new statement of Christian epistemology, Need to Know presents a comprehensive, coherent, and clear model of responsible Christian thinking. Grounded in the best of the Christian theological tradition while being attentive to a surprising range of thinkers in the history of philosophy, natural science, social science, and culture, the book offers a scheme for drawing together experience, tradition, scholarship, art, and the Bible into a practical yet theoretically profound system of thinking about thinking. John Stackhouse's fundamental idea is as simple as it is startling: Since God calls human beings to do certain things in the world, God can be relied upon to supply the knowledge necessary for human beings to do those things. The classic Christian concept of vocation, then, supplies both the impetus and the assurance that faithful Christians can trust God to guide their thinking--on a "need to know" basis.

Phosphor - ein Element auf Leben und Tod

Author: John Emsley

Publisher: Wiley-VCH

ISBN: 9783527304219

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 1090

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Ein neuer Titel des Erfolgsautors John Emsley über ein packendes Thema: Die Lebensgeschichte des Phosphors, des ominösen 13. Elements, beginnt zu einer Zeit, als vielen Stoffen noch eine magische Bedeutung zugeschrieben wurde. Durch Zufall entdeckt auf der Suche nach dem Stein der Weisen, wurde der Phosphor berühmt durch sein gespenstisches Leuchten und berüchtigt als langsam wirkendes Gift, dessen tödliche Wirkung zahlreiche mysteriöse Morde belegen. Er besitzt noch viele Facetten, sei es als Kunstdünger, der die Landwirtschaft revolutionierte oder als Bestandteil der berühmtesten Limonade der Welt. Phosphorverbindungen machen Stoffe schwerer entflammbar und die Wäsche weißer, sind aber auch die Grundlage für viele chemische Kampfstoffe. So ist Phosphor seit jeher mit dem Ruch des Teuflischen umgeben, eben ein Element auf Leben und Tod.

Eine kurze Geschichte der Menschheit

Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Publisher: DVA

ISBN: 364110498X

Category: History

Page: 528

View: 6336

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Krone der Schöpfung? Vor 100 000 Jahren war der Homo sapiens noch ein unbedeutendes Tier, das unauffällig in einem abgelegenen Winkel des afrikanischen Kontinents lebte. Unsere Vorfahren teilten sich den Planeten mit mindestens fünf weiteren menschlichen Spezies, und die Rolle, die sie im Ökosystem spielten, war nicht größer als die von Gorillas, Libellen oder Quallen. Vor 70 000 Jahren dann vollzog sich ein mysteriöser und rascher Wandel mit dem Homo sapiens, und es war vor allem die Beschaffenheit seines Gehirns, die ihn zum Herren des Planeten und zum Schrecken des Ökosystems werden ließ. Bis heute hat sich diese Vorherrschaft stetig zugespitzt: Der Mensch hat die Fähigkeit zu schöpferischem und zu zerstörerischem Handeln wie kein anderes Lebewesen. Anschaulich, unterhaltsam und stellenweise hochkomisch zeichnet Yuval Harari die Geschichte des Menschen nach und zeigt alle großen, aber auch alle ambivalenten Momente unserer Menschwerdung.

Thermodynamik und die Freie Energie Chemischer Substanzen

Author: Gilbert Newton Lewis,Merle Randall,Otto Redlich

Publisher: Springer-Verlag

ISBN: 3709132460

Category: Science

Page: 598

View: 7508

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Dieser Buchtitel ist Teil des Digitalisierungsprojekts Springer Book Archives mit Publikationen, die seit den Anfängen des Verlags von 1842 erschienen sind. Der Verlag stellt mit diesem Archiv Quellen für die historische wie auch die disziplingeschichtliche Forschung zur Verfügung, die jeweils im historischen Kontext betrachtet werden müssen. Dieser Titel erschien in der Zeit vor 1945 und wird daher in seiner zeittypischen politisch-ideologischen Ausrichtung vom Verlag nicht beworben.

The Joy of x

Die Schönheit der Mathematik

Author: Steven Strogatz

Publisher: Kein & Aber AG

ISBN: 3036992693

Category: Mathematics

Page: 352

View: 2104

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Mathematik durchdringt den ganzen Kosmos. Das weiß jeder, doch nur die wenigsten verstehen die Zusammenhänge wirklich. Steven Strogatz nimmt uns bei der Hand und spaziert mit uns durch diese Welt der Weisheit, Klarheit und Eleganz. Als Reiseleiter geht er neue, erfrischende Wege, deutet auf Besonderheiten, schildert Hintergründe und erklärt die unsichtbaren Mechanismen. Wir erfahren unter anderem von dem Wunder des Zählens, der genialen Einfachheit der Algebra, dem ewigen Erbe Newtons, dem Tango mit Quadraten, der Zweisamkeit von Primzahlen und der Macht des Unendlichen. Mit all seiner Begeisterung, seinem Scharfblick und seinem leichtem Ton hat Steven Strogatz ein herrliches Buch für alle geschrieben, die ihr Verständnis von Mathematik auf eine neue Art vertiefen möchten.

In die Wildnis

Allein nach Alaska

Author: Jon Krakauer

Publisher: Piper Verlag

ISBN: 3492957773

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 1766

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Im August 1992 wurde die Leiche von Chris McCandless im Eis von Alaska gefunden. Wer war dieser junge Mann, und was hatte ihn in die gottverlassene Wildnis getrieben? Jon Krakauer hat sein Leben erforscht, seine Reise in den Tod rekonstruiert und ein traurig-schönes Buch geschrieben über die Sehnsucht, die diesen Mann veranlasste, sämtliche Besitztümer und Errungenschaften der Zivilisation hinter sich zu lassen, um tief in die wilde und einsame Schönheit der Natur einzutauchen.– Verfilmt von Sean Penn mit Emile Hirsch.

Jacobus Henricus Van'T Hoff

Author: E. Cohen

Publisher: Рипол Классик

ISBN: 5875334274

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 6055

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Mit einem Portr?t von J.H. Van't Hoff in Heliograv?re und einer Bibliographie.