Asimov’s New Guide to Science by Isaac Asimov

By Isaac Asimov

Asimov tells the tales at the back of the technological know-how: the lads and girls who made the $64000 discoveries and the way they did it. starting from Galilei, Achimedes, Newton and Einstein, he is taking the main advanced options and explains it in this type of approach first-time reader at the topic feels convinced on his/her figuring out.

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In line with this concept of purity, we take almost ridiculous precautions to make sure that the contestants in the Olympic games are free of any taint of professionalism. The Greek rationalization for the “cult of uselessness” may similarly have been based on a feeling that to allow mundane knowledge (such liS the distance from Athens to Corinth) to intrude on abstract thought was 10 allow imperfection to enter the Eden of true philosophy. Whatever the rationalization, the Greek thinkers were severely limited by their attitude.

Eratosthenes worked out the answer (in Greek units), and, as nearly as we can judge, his figures in our units came out at about 8,000 miles for the diameter and 25,000 miles for the circumference of the earth. These figures, as it happens, are just about right. Unfortunately, this accurate value for the size of the earth did not prevail. C. another Greek astronomer, Posidonius of Aparnea, repeated Eratosthenes’ work but reached the conclusion that the earth was but 18,000 miles in circumference.

To gain a satisfactory appreciation of the developments in a field of science, it is not essential to have a total understand ing of the science. After all, no one feels that one must be capable of writing a great work of literature in order to appreciate Shakespeare. To listen to a Beethoven symphony with pleasure does not require the listener to be capable of composing an equivalent symphony. By the same token, one can appreciate and take pleasure in the achievements of science even though one does not oneself have a bent for creative work in science.

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