Scientific Laws, Principles, and Theories: A Reference Guide

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9780313309571: Scientific Laws, Principles, and Theories: A Reference Guide

The development of universal scientific laws, physical principles, viable theories, and testable hypotheses has a long history, one which has included many errors and many exciting breakthroughs. Students can explore that fascinating history from ancient times to the present in this unique reference collection of laws, theories, and principles related to the physical and biological scientific fields. Each entry clearly defines a concept in easy-to-understand language. Discussions of the history and development behind the concepts in each entry provide students with a broad understanding of the exploratory nature of science, how conclusions are drawn and how the study of science affects our lives.

The development of universal scientific laws, physical principles, viable theories, and testable hypotheses has a long history, one which has included many errors and many exciting breakthroughs. Students can explore that fascinating history from ancient times to the present in this unique reference collection of laws, theories, and principles related to the physical and biological scientific fields. Each entry clearly defines a concept in easy to understand language. Discussions of the history and development behind the concepts in each entry provide students with a broad understanding of the exploratory nature of science, how conclusions are drawn, and how the study of science affects our lives.

Entries are arranged alphabetically according to the name of the person credited with formulating the theory or concept. Each entry includes the name of the person who proposed the law, principle, or theory; the place where it was developed; and the time period in which it was developed. Narrative discussions explain how the scientist drew his or her conclusions and how it impacted both the scientific world as well as the world outside of science. Detailed definitions of law, principle, and theory are provided to aid readers in distinguishing among the three, and a topic and scientist index, as well as a glossary of terms, further enhance ease of use for students and interested readers.

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About the Author:

ROBERT E. KREBS is a former science teacher and university research administrator, retired as Associate Dean for Research at the University of Illinois Health Sciences Center, Chicago. Dr. Krebs now writes science books.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 10 Up-In alphabetically arranged articles ranging in length from a half page ("Eudoxus' Theory of Planetary Motion") to three pages ("Newton's Laws and Principles"), Krebs follows up his Scientific Development and Misconceptions through the Ages (Greenwood, 1999) by clarifying and discussing hundreds of hard-won insights into the way our universe works, or at least seems to. Though he claims to cover only the fields of physics and biology, the author includes the work of several chemists, mathematicians, and geologists. Krebs does not confine himself to modern or currently accepted science either, as articles about Ptolemy's geocentric scheme and Percival Lowell's theory of life on Mars exemplify. He keeps mathematical expressions to a minimum, and appends a relatively large glossary of technical terms to help readers less familiar with their areas of inquiry over rougher spots. Most of the articles conclude with multiple cross-references; an extensive index that combines names, terms, and general topics is a further aid to accessibility. The illustrations and diagrams, all black and white, are scattered but helpful. By far the most comprehensive single-volume catalog of scientific principles and theories available, this book makes a convenient, easy-to-use tool for those studying science's present or past. Libraries can serve younger students of scientific or intellectual history with Chris Rohmann's less detailed but more wide-ranging A World of Ideas (Ballantine, 1999).

John Peters, New York Public Library

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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