It Must Be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science

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9781862075559: It Must Be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science
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It Must Be Beautiful is a collection of 12 essays on the power and beauty of modern scientific equations by some of the world's foremost scientists and historians. Contributors include Steven Weinberg, Peter Galison, John Maynard Smith, and Frank Wilczek.

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Roger Penrose on Einstein's equations of General Relativity; John Maynard Smith on the equation in biology; Peter Galison, of Harvard University, on E=mc2; Robert May, President of the Royal Society, on the quadratic map; Graham Farmelo, Deputy Head of the Science Museum, on the Planck equation; Arthur Miller on the wave equation of Erwin Schrodinger; Oliver Morton, the award winning science journalist, on the Drake equation that predicts the likelihood of life beyond earth; a general essay by Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize laureate and author of Dreams of a Final Theory.

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The power of equations can seem magical, writes MIT physics professor Frank Wilczek in an essay on the Dirac Equation, which describes the movement of quantum particles. Like the brooms created by the Sorcerer's Apprentice, they can take on a life of their own, giving birth to consequences that their creator did not expect, cannot control, and may even find repugnant. Though it seems like an odd reversal of the scientific method to do the math first and then find the data that fit, it has happened time and again. These 11 essays contributed by various scientists and science writers (e.g., Roger Penrose, Peter Galison, Oliver Morton, and Steven Weinberg) describe scientific advances that derived from mathematical theory such as Einstein's thought experiments on relativity, a game theory equation that predicted animal behavior, or the discovery that the mathematics of chaos describes the real-world phenomenon. A fascinating history of science for educated nonmathematical readers; for larger public and academic libraries. Amy Brunvand, Univ. of Utah Lib., Salt Lake City
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description GRANTA BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. New ed. Language: English . Brand New Book. Equations lie at the heart of many of the most extraordinarily successful scientific theories. Here, some of the greatest living scientists unpack the best known equations so that they become understandable, and we are entertained and enlightened by a knowledge of how it was arrived at, what it can do and what remains to be understood about it. Seller Inventory # AA99781862075559

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