The Physical Tourist: A Science Guide for the Traveler

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9783764389321: The Physical Tourist: A Science Guide for the Traveler

Travelers differ.At one extreme are random travelers who see what they accidentally bump into.At the other extreme are the lock-step travelers who follow a banner (or a red umbrella) and look when and where a voice tells them to look. Between these extremes are the guide-book travelers who identify the whereabouts of those sites that interest them and they plan their sightseeing accordingly. If a traveler’s interests are captivated by the arts, guide books can be very helpful. For example, the table of contents of a current guide book for travelers going to G- many has sections on architecture, art, literature, music and cinema.The index gives page references for famous writers, musicians, and artists.Yet, while Germany was a dominate force in physical science during the 19th and into the 20th centuries and while the names and photos of prominent German physical scientists who worked in this period are sprinkled through the pages of textbooks, only one scientist is m- tioned by name:Albert Einstein is identified as the most famous citizen of Ulm.

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Typical travel guides have sections on architecture, art, literature, music and cinema. Rarely are any science-related sites identified. For example, a current travel guide for Germany contains one tidbit on science: Einstein is identified as the most famous citizen of Ulm. By contrast, this travel guide walks a tourist through Berlin and identifies where Max Planck started the quantum revolution, where Einstein lived and gave his early talks on general relativity, and where, across the street, Einstein’s books were burned by the Nazis. Or, if you are walking in Paris, this guide tells you where radioactivity was discovered and where radium was discovered. Scientific discoveries of the past, like art of the past, has shaped life in the 21st century. From this travel guide, a tourist will learn what other guides leave out.

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