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This anthology presents 22 essays and a poem (by John Updike) published during 2001 in various publications, and an introduction by guest editor/science writer Ferris. Among the contributors: Freeman Dyson, Stephen Jay Gould, Tracy Kidder; topics run the gamut.
From the second-century celestial models of Ptolemy to modern-day research institutes and quantum theory, this classic book offers a breathtaking tour of astronomy and the brilliant, eccentric personalities who have shaped it. From the first time mankind had an inkling of the vast space that surrounds us, those who study the universe have had to struggle against political and religious preconceptions. They have included some of the most charismatic, courageous, and idiosyncratic thinkers of all time. In Coming of Age in the Milky Way, Timothy Ferris uses his unique blend of rigorous research and captivating narrative skill to draw us into the lives and minds of these extraordinary figures, creating a landmark work of scientific history.
Selected essays on the theories of Einstein and others in the twentieth century
The bestselling author of Coming of Age in the Milky Way brilliantly synthesizes inner and outer space, brain-mind science and SETI in this penetrating examination of the universe.
For centuries, it was assumed that our universe was static. In the late 1920s, astronomers defeated this assumption with a startling new discovery. From Earth, the light of distant galaxies appeared to be red, meaning that those galaxies were receding from us. This led to the revolutionary realization that the universe is expanding. The Red Limit is the tale of this discovery, its ramifications, and the passionately competitive astronomers who charted the past, present, and future of the cosmos.
In his most important book to date, award-winning author Timothy Ferris--"the best popular science writer in the English language today" (Christian Science Monitor)--makes a passionate case for science as the inspiration behind the rise of liberalism and democracy. Ferris argues that just as the scientific revolution rescued billions from poverty, fear, hunger, and disease, the Enlightenment values it inspired has swelled the number of persons living in free and democratic societies from less than 1 percent of the world population four centuries ago to more than a third today. Ferris deftly investigates the evolution of these scientific and political revolutions, demonstrating that they are inextricably bound. He shows how science was integral to the American Revolution but misinterpreted in the French Revolution; reflects on the history of liberalism, stressing its widely underestimated and mutually beneficial relationship with science; and surveys the forces that have opposed science and liberalism-from communism and fascism to postmodernism and Islamic fundamentalism. A sweeping intellectual history, The Science of Liberty is a stunningly original work that transcends the antiquated concepts of left and right.
In Seeing in the Dark, a poetic love letter to science and to the skies, Timothy Ferris invites us all to become stargazers. He recounts his own experiences as an enthralled lifelong amateur astronomer and reports from around the globe -- from England and Italy to the Florida Keys and the Chilean Andes -- on the revolution that's putting millions in touch with the night sky. In addition, Ferris offers an authoritative and engaging report on what's out there to be seen -- what Saturn, the Ring nebula, the Silver Coin galaxy, and the Virgo supercluster really are and how to find them. The appendix includes star charts, observing lists, and a guide on how to get involved in astronomy.Ferris takes us inside a major revolution sweeping astronomy, as lone amateur astronomers, in global networks linked by the Internet, make important discoveries that are the envy of the professionals. His ability to describe the wonders of the universe is simply magical, and his enthusiasm for his subject is irresistible.
Seeing in the Dark: How Backyard Stargazers Are Probing Deep Space and Guarding Earth from Interplanetary Perilby Timothy Ferris
"Seeing in the Dark" is a poetic love letter to the skies and a stirring report on the revolution now sweeping amateur astronomy, in which backyard stargazers linked globally by the Internet are exploring deep space and making discoveries worthy of professionals. Timothy Ferris invites us all to become stargazers, recounting his lifelong experiences as an enthralled stargazer, and capturing the exquisite experience when ancient starlight strikes the eye and incites the mind.--From book jacket
From the world-acclaimed author of "Coming of Age in the Milky Way" comes this delightfully engrossing, comprehensive, and comprehensible report on how science today envisions the universe as a whole. Timothy Ferris begins "The Whole Shebang" with a succinct account of how we have come to know what we know about the universe. Then he explains the meaning behind the exciting new developments that have put cosmology in the headlines -- including the discovery of planets orbiting stars other than our sun, glimpses through the Hubble Space Telescope of how the universe looked when it was only a fraction of its present age, and the detection of structure in relic radiation from the big bang that may hint at the mechanisms of genesis. Ferris provides a lucid, nontechnical overview of current research and a forecast of where cosmological theory is likely to go in the twenty-first century. A master analogist, he presents accessible explanations of relativity and quantum physics, "inflationary" models indicating that the universe is much larger than had been thought, and "string" theories that portray all matter as made of space.
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