Ben Franklin Stilled the Waves: An Informal History of Pouring Oil on Water with Reflections on the Ups and Downs of Scientific Life in General

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9780192804945: Ben Franklin Stilled the Waves: An Informal History of Pouring Oil on Water with Reflections on the Ups and Downs of Scientific Life in General

Benjamin Franklin was the first to report the phenomenon of oil's power to still troubled waters and to speculate on why it happened. A century later Lord Rayleigh performed an identical experiment. Irving Langmuir did it with minor variations in 1917, and won a Nobel Prize for it. Then Langmuir's work was followed by a Dutch pediatrician's in 1925. p Each experimenter saw a little more in the result than his predecessor had seen, and the sciences of physics, chemistry and biology have all been illuminated by the work. p Charles Tanford reflects on the evolving nature of science and of individual scientists. Recounting innovations in each trial, he follows the classic experiment from Franklin's drawing room to our present-day institutionalized scientific establishments and speculates on the ensuing changes in our approach to scientific inquiry.

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About the Author:


Charles Tanford is Emeritus Professor at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA and a former Guggenheim Fellow. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and lives in Easingwold, UK.

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. When Benjamin Franklin, the 18th-century American statesman and scientist, watched the calming effect of a drop of oil on the waves and ripples of a London pond, he was observing what Pliny the Elder and generations of seafarers had done before him. Franklin, though, was the first to wonder exactly what was happening to the oil, and to investigate this strange phenomenon. Following Franklin s lead, a motley crowd of scientists over the next two centuries and more chose to investigate the nature of atoms and molecules through the interaction of fluid membranes. They included Lord Rayleigh, an altruistic English Lord, Agnes Pockels, who conducted experiments in her kitchen and became one of the earliest women to make lasting contributions to science, the renowned Dutch pediatrician Evert Gorter, and Irving Langmuir, one of America s greatest industrial scientists. Building on Franklin s original experiments, their work has culminated in the discovery of the structure of cell membranes, research that continues to bear fruit today. Ben Franklin Stilled the Waves is far more than the story of oil on water; it is a voyage into the very nature of science and its place in our history. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780192804945

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.When Benjamin Franklin, the 18th-century American statesman and scientist, watched the calming effect of a drop of oil on the waves and ripples of a London pond, he was observing what Pliny the Elder and generations of seafarers had done before him. Franklin, though, was the first to wonder exactly what was happening to the oil, and to investigate this strange phenomenon. Following Franklin s lead, a motley crowd of scientists over the next two centuries and more chose to investigate the nature of atoms and molecules through the interaction of fluid membranes. They included Lord Rayleigh, an altruistic English Lord, Agnes Pockels, who conducted experiments in her kitchen and became one of the earliest women to make lasting contributions to science, the renowned Dutch pediatrician Evert Gorter, and Irving Langmuir, one of America s greatest industrial scientists. Building on Franklin s original experiments, their work has culminated in the discovery of the structure of cell membranes, research that continues to bear fruit today. Ben Franklin Stilled the Waves is far more than the story of oil on water; it is a voyage into the very nature of science and its place in our history. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780192804945

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Book Description Oxford University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 288 pages. Dimensions: 7.5in. x 5.0in. x 0.8in.Benjamin Franklin was the first to report the phenomenon of oils power to still troubled waters and to speculate on why it happened. A century later Lord Rayleigh performed an identical experiment. Irving Langmuir did it with minor variations in 1917, and won a Nobel Prize for it. Then Langmuirs work was followed by a Dutch pediatricians in 1925. p Each experimenter saw a little more in the result than his predecessor had seen, and the sciences of physics, chemistry and biology have all been illuminated by the work. p Charles Tanford reflects on the evolving nature of science and of individual scientists. Recounting innovations in each trial, he follows the classic experiment from Franklins drawing room to our present-day institutionalized scientific establishments and speculates on the ensuing changes in our approach to scientific inquiry. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780192804945

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