Eurekas and Euphorias: The Oxford Book of Scientific Anecdotes (Popular Science)

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9780192804037: Eurekas and Euphorias: The Oxford Book of Scientific Anecdotes (Popular Science)
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The march of science has been marked through the years by episodes of drama and comedy, of failure as well as triumph, by outrageous strokes of luck, deserved and undeserved, and sometimes by human tragedy. In Eurekas and Euphorias, Walter Gratzer captures the human face of discovery as he relates many intriguing tales of scientific adventures spanning over two thousand years.
Open this book at random and you may chance on the clumsy chemist named Sapper who broke a thermometer in a reaction vat and made the discovery that launched the modern dyestuff industry. Or the physicist who dissolved his gold Nobel Prize medal in acid to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Nazis. The book uncovers deep intellectual friendships, as well as ferocious animosities, and even acts of theft and malice, deceit, and a hoax or two. Indeed, we discover that scientists come in all shapes--the obsessive and the dilettantish, the genial, the envious, the preternaturally brilliant and the slow-witted who sometimes saw further in the end, the open-minded and the intolerant, recluses and arrivistes. We meet mathematicians and physicists in prison cells, and even in a madhouse, making important advances in their field. And we witness the careers, sometimes tragic, sometimes carefree, of the great women scientists, from Hypatia of Alexandria, to Sophie Germain and Sonia Kovalevskaya, to Marie Curie and her relentless battle with the French Academy.
Told with wit and relish, here then is a glorious parade to delight the reader, with stories to astonish, to instruct, and most especially, to entertain.

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About the Author:


Walter Gratzer is a biophysicist at the Randall Institute, King's College London. He is known to a wide readership through his book reviews which appear regularly in Nature. His books include The Undergrowth of Science: Delusion, Self-Deception and Human Frailty, Longman Literary Companion to Science, and The Bedside Nature.

From Publishers Weekly:

Sifting through centuries of scientific ephemera, biophysicist Gratzer uncovers what may be the real history of science, revealed not by its formal narratives but by anecdotes of discovery shared over cups of coffee and pints of beer. The resulting collection of almost 200 tales is a browser's delight, an informal history featuring appealing quotes from memoirs, biographies and reports and candid images of scientists at work. Gratzer, author of The Undergrowth of Science, acknowledges that he cannot verify the truth of each account (though he includes extremely reliable sources for most) and cheerfully notes that he includes reports he feels "deserve to be true." Luminaries from polymathic Archimedes, whom Grazter credits with "the first eureka," to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, who attributed his scientific inspiration to a Cornell University dining hall plate, are shown in all their brilliant (and sometimes nasty) humanity. Not surprisingly, many of science's greatest moments turn out to be the result of stereotypical absentmindedness, and Gratzer reports these incidents with affectionate glee. While some of the material is familiar, readers at all levels of scientific literacy will find fresh, witty and sometimes moving glimpses into the reality of scientific endeavor.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780198609407: Eurekas and Euphorias: The Oxford Book of Scientific Anecdotes (Popular Science)

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ISBN 10:  019860940X ISBN 13:  9780198609407
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2004
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9780199691241: Eurekas and Euphorias

Oxford..., 2002
Softcover

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The march of science has never proceeded smoothly. It has been marked through the years by episodes of drama and comedy, of failure as well as triumph, and by outrageous strokes of luck, deserved and undeserved, and sometimes by human tragedy. It has seen deep intellectual friendships, as well as ferocious animosities, and once in a while acts of theft and malice, deceit, and even a hoax or two. Scientists come in all shapes - the obsessive and the dilettantish, the genial, the envious, the preternaturally brilliant and the slow-witted who sometimes see further in the end, the open-minded and the intolerant, recluses and arrivistes. From the death of Archimedes at the hands of an irritated Roman soldier to the concoction of a superconducting witches brew at the very close of the twentieth century, the stories in Eurekas and Euphorias pour out, told with wit and relish by Walter Gratzer. Open this book at random and you may chance on the clumsy chemist who breaks a thermometer in a reaction vat and finds mercury to be the catalyst that starts the modern dyestuff industry; or a famous physicist dissolving his gold Nobel Prize medal in acid to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Nazis, recovering it when the war ends; mathematicians and physicists diverting themselves in prison cells, and even in a madhouse, by creating startling advances in their subject. We witness the careers, sometimes tragic, sometimes carefree, of the great women mathematicians, from Hypatia of Alexandria to Sophie Germain in France and Sonia Kovalevskaya in Russia and Sweden, and then Marie Curie s relentless battle with the French Academy. Here, then, a glorious parade unfolds to delight the reader, with stories to astonish, to instruct, and most especially, to entertain. Seller Inventory # APC9780192804037

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The march of science has never proceeded smoothly. It has been marked through the years by episodes of drama and comedy, of failure as well as triumph, and by outrageous strokes of luck, deserved and undeserved, and sometimes by human tragedy. It has seen deep intellectual friendships, as well as ferocious animosities, and once in a while acts of theft and malice, deceit, and even a hoax or two. Scientists come in all shapes - the obsessive and the dilettantish, the genial, the envious, the preternaturally brilliant and the slow-witted who sometimes see further in the end, the open-minded and the intolerant, recluses and arrivistes. From the death of Archimedes at the hands of an irritated Roman soldier to the concoction of a superconducting witches brew at the very close of the twentieth century, the stories in Eurekas and Euphorias pour out, told with wit and relish by Walter Gratzer. Open this book at random and you may chance on the clumsy chemist who breaks a thermometer in a reaction vat and finds mercury to be the catalyst that starts the modern dyestuff industry; or a famous physicist dissolving his gold Nobel Prize medal in acid to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Nazis, recovering it when the war ends; mathematicians and physicists diverting themselves in prison cells, and even in a madhouse, by creating startling advances in their subject. We witness the careers, sometimes tragic, sometimes carefree, of the great women mathematicians, from Hypatia of Alexandria to Sophie Germain in France and Sonia Kovalevskaya in Russia and Sweden, and then Marie Curie s relentless battle with the French Academy. Here, then, a glorious parade unfolds to delight the reader, with stories to astonish, to instruct, and most especially, to entertain. Seller Inventory # APC9780192804037

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Book Description Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 320 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.1in. x 1.3in.The march of science has been marked through the years by episodes of drama and comedy, of failure as well as triumph, by outrageous strokes of luck, deserved and undeserved, and sometimes by human tragedy. In Eurekas and Euphorias, Walter Gratzer captures the human face of discovery as he relates many intriguing tales of scientific adventures spanning over two thousand years. Open this book at random and you may chance on the clumsy chemist named Sapper who broke a thermometer in a reaction vat and made the discovery that launched the modern dyestuff industry. Or the physicist who dissolved his gold Nobel Prize medal in acid to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Nazis. The book uncovers deep intellectual friendships, as well as ferocious animosities, and even acts of theft and malice, deceit, and a hoax or two. Indeed, we discover that scientists come in all shapes--the obsessive and the dilettantish, the genial, the envious, the preternaturally brilliant and the slow-witted who sometimes saw further in the end, the open-minded and the intolerant, recluses and arrivistes. We meet mathematicians and physicists in prison cells, and even in a madhouse, making important advances in their field. And we witness the careers, sometimes tragic, sometimes carefree, of the great women scientists, from Hypatia of Alexandria, to Sophie Germain and Sonia Kovalevskaya, to Marie Curie and her relentless battle with the French Academy. Told with wit and relish, here then is a glorious parade to delight the reader, with stories to astonish, to instruct, and most especially, to entertain. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Seller Inventory # 9780192804037

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