Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens

Author: K. C. Cole
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022600936X
Format: PDF, ePub
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How do we reclaim our innate enchantment with the world? And how can we turn our natural curiosity into a deep, abiding love for knowledge? Frank Oppenheimer, the younger brother of the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, was captivated by these questions, and used his own intellectual inquisitiveness to found the Exploratorium, a powerfully influential museum of human awareness in San Francisco, that encourages play, creativity, and discovery—all in the name of understanding. In this elegant biography, K. C. Cole investigates the man behind the museum with sharp insight and deep sympathy. The Oppenheimers were a family with great wealth and education, and Frank, like his older brother, pursued a career in physics. But while Robert was unceasingly ambitious, and eventually came to be known for his work on the atomic bomb, Frank’s path as a scientist was much less conventional. His brief fling with the Communist Party cost him his position at the University of Minnesota, and he subsequently spent a decade ranching in Colorado before returning to teaching. Once back in the lab, however, Frank found himself moved to create something to make the world meaningful after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was inspired by European science museums, and he developed a dream of teaching Americans about science through participatory museums. Thus was born the magical world of the Exploratorium, forever revolutionizing not only the way we experience museums, but also science education for years to come. Cole has brought this charismatic and dynamic figure to life with vibrant prose and rich insight into Oppenheimer as both a scientist and an individual.

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Out of School Learning

Author: Kylie Peppler
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 1483385205
Format: PDF, Docs
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The SAGE Encyclopedia of Out-of-School Learning documents what the best research has revealed about out-of-school learning: what facilitates or hampers it; where it takes place most effectively; how we can encourage it to develop talents and strengthen communities; and why it matters. Key features include: Approximately 260 articles organized A-to-Z in 2 volumes available in a choice of electronic or print formats. Signed articles, specially commissioned for this work and authored by key figures in the field, conclude with Cross References and Further Readings to guide students to the next step in a research journey. Reader’s Guide groups related articles within broad, thematic areas to make it easy for readers to spot additional relevant articles at a glance. Detailed Index, the Reader’s Guide, and Cross References combine for search-and-browse in the electronic version. Resource Guide points to classic books, journals, and web sites, including those of key associations.

Hawking Incorporated

Author: Hélène Mialet
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226522261
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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These days, the idea of the cyborg is less the stuff of science fiction and more a reality, as we are all, in one way or another, constantly connected, extended, wired, and dispersed in and through technology. One wonders where the individual, the person, the human, and the body are—or, alternatively, where they stop. These are the kinds of questions Hélène Mialet explores in this fascinating volume, as she focuses on a man who is permanently attached to assemblages of machines, devices, and collectivities of people: Stephen Hawking. Drawing on an extensive and in-depth series of interviews with Hawking, his assistants and colleagues, physicists, engineers, writers, journalists, archivists, and artists, Mialet reconstructs the human, material, and machine-based networks that enable Hawking to live and work. She reveals how Hawking—who is often portrayed as the most singular, individual, rational, and bodiless of all—is in fact not only incorporated, materialized, and distributed in a complex nexus of machines and human beings like everyone else, but even more so. Each chapter focuses on a description of the functioning and coordination of different elements or media that create his presence, agency, identity, and competencies. Attentive to Hawking’s daily activities, including his lecturing and scientific writing, Mialet’s ethnographic analysis powerfully reassesses the notion of scientific genius and its associations with human singularity. This book will fascinate anyone interested in Stephen Hawking or an extraordinary life in science.

Reading the Skies

Author: Vladimir Jankovic
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226392165
Format: PDF
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From the time of Aristotle until the late eighteenth century, meteorology meant the study of "meteors"—spectacular objects in the skies beneath the moon, which included everything from shooting stars to hailstorms. In Reading the Skies, Vladimir Jankovic traces the history of this meteorological tradition in Enlightenment Britain, examining its scientific and cultural significance. Jankovic interweaves classical traditions, folk/popular beliefs and practices, and the increasingly quantitative approaches of urban university men to understanding the wonders of the skies. He places special emphasis on the role that detailed meteorological observations played in natural history and chorography, or local geography; in religious and political debates; and in agriculture. Drawing on a number of archival sources, including correspondence and weather diaries, as well as contemporary pamphlets, tracts, and other printed sources reporting prodigious phenomena in the skies, this book will interest historians of science, Britain, and the environment.

The Cosmic Cocktail

Author: Katherine Freese
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780691153353
Format: PDF, ePub
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Blending cutting-edge science with her own behind-the-scenes insights as a leading researcher in the field, acclaimed theoretical physicist Katherine Freese recounts the hunt for dark matter, from the discoveries of visionary scientists like Fritz Zwicky--the Swiss astronomer who coined the term "dark matter" in 1933--to the deluge of data today from underground laboratories, satellites in space, and the Large Hadron Collider.

Physics for Rock Stars

Author: Christine McKinley
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101630094
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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From the host of the History channel’s Brad Meltzer’s Decoded: the laws of the universe like you’ve never experienced them before. This approachable book explains the world of physics with clarity, humor, and a dash of adventure. Physics for Rock Stars is not a weighty treatise on science, but a personal tour of physics from a quirky friend. Anyone who’s ever wondered why nature abhors a vacuum, what causes magnetic attraction, or how to jump off a moving train or do a perfect stage dive will find answers and a few laughs too. No equations, numbers, or tricky concepts—just an inspiring and comical romp through the basics of physics and the beauty of the organized universe.

Ice

Author: Mariana Gosnell
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 0307791467
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Like the adventurer who circled an iceberg to see it on all sides, Mariana Gosnell, former Newsweek reporter and author of Zero Three Bravo, a book about flying a small plane around the United States, explores ice in all its complexity, grandeur, and significance.More brittle than glass, at times stronger than steel, at other times flowing like molasses, ice covers 10 percent of the earth’s land and 7 percent of its oceans. In nature it is found in myriad forms, from the delicate needle ice that crunches underfoot in a winter meadow to the massive, centuries-old ice that forms the world’s glaciers. Scientists theorize that icy comets delivered to Earth the molecules needed to get life started, and ice ages have shaped much of the land as we know it.Here is the whole world of ice, from the freezing of Pleasant Lake in New Hampshire to the breakup of a Vermont river at the onset of spring, from the frozen Antarctic landscape that emperor penguins inhabit to the cold, watery route bowhead whales take between Arctic ice floes. Mariana Gosnell writes about frostbite and about the recently discovered 5,000-year-old body of a man preserved in an Alpine glacier. She discusses the work of scientists who extract cylinders of Greenland ice to study the history of the earth’s climate and try to predict its future. She examines ice in plants, icebergs, icicles, and hail; sea ice and permafrost; ice on Mars and in the rings of Saturn; and several new forms of ice developed in labs. She writes of the many uses humans make of ice, including ice-skating, ice fishing, iceboating, and ice climbing; building ice roads and seeding clouds; making ice castles, ice cubes, and iced desserts. Ice is a sparkling illumination of the natural phenomenon whose ebbs and flows over time have helped form the world we live in. It is a pleasure to read, and important to read—for its natural science and revelations about ice’s influence on our everyday lives, and for what it has to tell us about our environment today and in the future. From the Hardcover edition.

Quantum Dialogue

Author: Mara Beller
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226041824
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"Science is rooted in conversations," wrote Werner Heisenberg, one of the twentieth century's great physicists. In Quantum Dialogue, Mara Beller shows that science is rooted not just in conversation but in disagreement, doubt, and uncertainty. She argues that it is precisely this culture of dialogue and controversy within the scientific community that fuels creativity. Beller draws her argument from her radical new reading of the history of the quantum revolution, especially the development of the Copenhagen interpretation. One of several competing approaches, this version succeeded largely due to the rhetorical skills of Niels Bohr and his colleagues. Using extensive archival research, Beller shows how Bohr and others marketed their views, misrepresenting and dismissing their opponents as "unreasonable" and championing their own not always coherent or well-supported position as "inevitable." Quantum Dialogue, winner of the 1999 Morris D. Forkosch Prize of the Journal of the History of Ideas, will fascinate everyone interested in how stories of "scientific revolutions" are constructed and "scientific consensus" achieved. "[A]n intellectually stimulating piece of work, energised by a distinct point of view."—Dipankar Home, Times Higher Education Supplement "[R]emarkable and original. . . . [Beller's] arguments are thoroughly supported and her conclusions are meticulously argued. . . . This is an important book that all who are interested in the emergence of quantum mechanics will want to read."—William Evenson, History of Physics Newsletter

Fermi Remembered

Author: Enrico Fermi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226121119
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The volume also features extensive university archival material - including correspondence between Fermi and biophysicist Leo Szilard and a letter from Harry Truman - with new introductions that provide context for both the history of physics and the academic tradition at the University of Chicago."--Jacket.

Life on Display

Author: Karen A. Rader
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022607966X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Rich with archival detail and compelling characters, Life on Display uses the history of biological exhibitions to analyze museums’ shifting roles in twentieth-century American science and society. Karen A. Rader and Victoria E. M. Cain chronicle profound changes in these exhibitions—and the institutions that housed them—between 1910 and 1990, ultimately offering new perspectives on the history of museums, science, and science education. Rader and Cain explain why science and natural history museums began to welcome new audiences between the 1900s and the 1920s and chronicle the turmoil that resulted from the introduction of new kinds of biological displays. They describe how these displays of life changed dramatically once again in the 1930s and 1940s, as museums negotiated changing, often conflicting interests of scientists, educators, and visitors. The authors then reveal how museum staffs, facing intense public and scientific scrutiny, experimented with wildly different definitions of life science and life science education from the 1950s through the 1980s. The book concludes with a discussion of the influence that corporate sponsorship and blockbuster economics wielded over science and natural history museums in the century’s last decades. A vivid, entertaining study of the ways science and natural history museums shaped and were shaped by understandings of science and public education in the twentieth-century United States, Life on Display will appeal to historians, sociologists, and ethnographers of American science and culture, as well as museum practitioners and general readers.