Eurekas and Euphorias
The Oxford Book of Scientific Anecdotes
By (author) Walter Gratzer
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Eurekas and Euphorias by Walter Gratzer
Book DescriptionThe march of science has never proceeded smoothly. It has been marked through the years by episodes of drama and comedy, of failure as well as triumph, by outrageous strokes of luck, deserved and undeserved, and sometimes by human tragedy. It has seen deep intellectual friendships, as well as ferocious animosities, and once in a while acts of theft and malice, deceit, and even a hoax or two. Scientists come in all shapes: the obsessive and the dilettantish, the genial, the envious, the preternaturally brilliant and the slow-witted who sometimes see further in the end, the open-minded and the intolerant, recluses and arrivistes. From the death of Archimedes at the hands of an irritated Roman soldier to the concoction of a superconducting witches' brew at the very close of the twentieth century, the stories in Eurekas and Euphorias pour out, told with wit and relish by Walter Gratzer. Open this book at random and you may chance on the clumsy chemist who breaks a thermometer in a reaction vat and finds mercury to be the catalyst that starts the modern dyestuff industry; or a famous physicist dissolving his gold Nobel Prize medal in acid to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Nazis, recovering it when the war ends; mathematicians and physicists diverting themselves in prison cells, and even in a madhouse, by creating startling advances in their subject. We witness the careers, sometimes tragic, sometimes carefree, of the great women mathematicians, from Hypatia of Alexandria to Sophie Germain in France and Sonia Kovalevskaya in Russia and Sweden, and then Marie Curie's relentless battle with the French Academy. Here, then, a glorious parade unfolds to delight the reader, with stories to astonish, to instruct, and most especially, to entertain.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780198609407
(197mm x 129mm x 20mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 13-May-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Walter Gratzer
Giant Molecules, Paperback (April 2011)
Macromolecules are a fascinating group of molecules with some remarkable properties, many of which are only just being discovered and exploited by science. Walter Gratzer explores their history, structure, and properties: from DNA to polymers, to their cutting edge uses in nanoarrays and biomimetics.
Terrors of the Table, Paperback (November 2006)
Terrors of the Table tells the absorbing story of our struggle to recognise the connections between diet, health, and disease. Walter Gratzer combines the science of nutrition with a colourful history of the fads and quackery that continue to waylay the unwary when it comes to matters of food and health.
Eurekas and Euphorias, Hardback (September 2002)
This collection of stories shows the human face of science. 'Eurekas and Euphorias' contains around 200 anecdotes illustrating scientists in all their shapes: the obsessive and the dilettantish, the genial, the envious, the preternaturally brilliant and the slow-witted who sometimes see further in the end, the open-minded and more.
Passion for DNA, Paperback (September 2001)» View all books by Walter Gratzer
In 1953, two unknown scientists sparked a worldwide revolution. Studying DNA for clues to the nature of genes, James Watson and Francis Crick deduced its molecular composition and realized that the structure implied how genes were copied from one generation to another.
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Author Biography - Walter Gratzer
Walter Gratzer is a biophysicist at the Randall Centre for Molecular Mechanisms of Cell Function, King's College London. He is known to a wide readership through his book reviews, which are invariably models of clarity and elegance. He edited The Longman Literary Companion to Science (published in the USA as The Literary Companion to Science) and The Bedside Nature, and he is author of The Undergrowth of Science: Delusion, Self-Deception and Human Frailty (OUP, 2000).
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