Alternate Realities: How Science Shapes Our Vision of the by Joel Davis PDF

By Joel Davis

ISBN-10: 030645629X

ISBN-13: 9780306456299

ISBN-10: 1489934405

ISBN-13: 9781489934406

Science is a shatterer of worlds, exploding our worldview after which growing it anew. This poetic paintings lines how our ever-increasing wisdom of technological know-how shapes the way in which we see the realm and the universe, and colours our uncomplicated experience of truth. technological know-how author Joel Davis depicts how the interaction of man's fertile mind's eye coupled with startling clinical discoveries has not just contributed to larger advances, yet to new ideas of fact itself. Davis takes us on a voyage via time as he vividly paints a sweeping photo of fact at serious issues in heritage via this day. He recounts intimately the innovative contributions made via brave and excellent thinkers from Galileo and Newton to Hubble and Wheeler - those that, via their aptitude for perception and invention, dared to arrange our position within the sunlight procedure and stretch our suggestion of a universe to a huge, notable chasm. From the macrocosm of the universe to the microcosm of the quantum global, Davis indicates how our imaginative and prescient of fact evolves and adapts. simply as he vividly inspires a photograph photo of the massive bang idea, he dives into the quantum international and infuses it with existence. via his expertise to provide an explanation for the unexplainable, he demanding situations us to visualize some of the most riveting revelations of the hot Physics: that various realities are attainable at any given moment.

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Additional info for Alternate Realities: How Science Shapes Our Vision of the World

Example text

The only lights of our own creation were fires. The night sky was an intimate companion, and we knew it well. Even a thousand years ago, we had a different view of the night sky. The giant cities of today, with their electric lights and neon signs, did not exist. Most of us lived in small towns or hamlets. We were familiar with the night and its lights. Nothing obscured it but clouds or smoke. It should come as no surprise, then, that astro- 34 0 Alternate Realities nomical visions figure so prominently in prescientific cosmologies.

So Hipparchus invented a set of geometric devices to do so. His system envisioned a series of complex geometric movements called epicycles, deferents, and eccentrics. A deferent is a large, imaginary circle surrounding the earth. An epicycle is a smaller circle along which a planet travels. The center of the epicycle, in tum, moves along the deferent, circling the earth. An eccentric was another circle, whose center lay off to one side of the earth's center. Some heavenly bodies traveled along an eccentric.

Pythagoras is surely one of the most controversial of the ancient Greek thinkers. We know little about his life, and none of his actual writings survive; we only have what others later wrote about his philosophy and explanations for natural phenomena. Some writers suggest that Pythagoras spent a part of his early adult life in Mesopotamia, and there learned much of the practical astronomical data accumulated by the Babylonians. Surely he knew a lot of astronomy, and there is no reason to dismiss this story out of hand.

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Alternate Realities: How Science Shapes Our Vision of the World by Joel Davis

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