To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science

To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science

by Steven Weinberg


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A masterful commentary on the history of science from the Greeks to modern times, by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg—a thought-provoking and important book by one of the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals of our time.

In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us across centuries from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford, from Plato’s Academy and the Museum of Alexandria to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London. He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times not only did not understand what we understand about the world—they did not understand what there is to understand, or how to understand it. Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the curious backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of the tides, the modern discipline of science eventually emerged. Along the way, Weinberg examines historic clashes and collaborations between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy.

An illuminating exploration of the way we consider and analyze the world around us, To Explain the World is a sweeping, ambitious account of how difficult it was to discover the goals and methods of modern science, and the impact of this discovery on human knowledge and development.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062346667
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/09/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 276,314
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Steven Weinberg is a theoretical physicist and the author of several books on physics, including Lake Views, Dreams of a Final Theory, Cosmology, and The First Three Minutes. He has received the Nobel Prize in Physics and the National Medal of Science, among many other awards. Steven currently teaches at the University of Texas at Austin.

An award-winning audio engineer for over forty years, Tom Perkins has expanded his skills to narrating and has more than sixty titles to his credit. He learned by working with the world's best voice talent during his career, and he continues to engineer a variety of projects.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Part I Greek Physics

1 Matter and Poetry 3

2 Music and Mathematics 15

3 Motion and Philosophy 22

4 Hellenistic Physics and Technology 31

5 Ancient Science and Religion 44

Part II Greek Astronomy

6 The Uses of Astronomy 55

7 Measuring the Sun, Moon, and Earth 63

8 The Problem of the Planets 77

Part III The Middle Ages

9 The Arabs 103

10 Medieval Europe 124

Part IV The Scientific Revolution

11 The Solar System Solved 147

12 Experiments Begun 189

13 Method Reconsidered 201

14 The Newtonian Synthesis 215

15 Epilogue: The Grand Reduction 256

Acknowledgments 269

Technical Notes 271

Endnotes 367

Bibliography 385

Index 395

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To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
elmas More than 1 year ago
To understand the world we live in is a lifelong and wonderful preoccupation . This book will help us to have an inkling . The author is one of the great minds of our time .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting, but a little too much technical. I am glad I read it.
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