Brilliant Blunders From Darwin To Einstein Colossal Mistakes By Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding Book PDF, EPUB Download & Read Online Free

Brilliant Blunders

Brilliant Blunders

Author: Mario Livio
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439192375
Pages: 352
Year: 2014-05-27
We all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. And that includes five of the greatest scientists in history -- Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, Albert Einstein. But the mistakes that these great scientists made helped science to advance. Indeed, as Mario Livio explains in this fascinating book, science thrives on error; it advances when erroneous ideas are disproven. All five scientists were great geniuses and fascinating human beings. Their blunders were part of their genius and part of the scientific process. Livio brilliantly analyses their errors to show where they were wrong and right, but what makes his book so enjoyable to read is Livio's analysis of the psychology of these towering figures. Along the way the reader learns an enormous amount about the evolution of life on earth and in the universe, but from an unusual vantage point -- the mistakes of great scientists rather than the achievements that made them famous.
Brilliant Blunders

Brilliant Blunders

Author: Mario Livio
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439192383
Pages: 352
Year: 2013-05-14
Drawing on the lives of five great scientists, this “scholarly, insightful, and beautifully written book” (Martin Rees, author of From Here to Infinity) illuminates the path to scientific discovery. Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein all made groundbreaking contributions to their fields—but each also stumbled badly. Darwin’s theory of natural selection shouldn’t have worked, according to the prevailing beliefs of his time. Lord Kelvin gravely miscalculated the age of the earth. Linus Pauling, the world’s premier chemist, constructed an erroneous model for DNA in his haste to beat the competition to publication. Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle dismissed the idea of a “Big Bang” origin to the universe (ironically, the caustic name he gave to this event endured long after his erroneous objections were disproven). And Albert Einstein speculated incorrectly about the forces of the universe—and that speculation opened the door to brilliant conceptual leaps. As Mario Livio luminously explains in this “thoughtful meditation on the course of science itself” (The New York Times Book Review), these five scientists expanded our knowledge of life on earth, the evolution of the earth, and the evolution of the universe, despite and because of their errors. “Thoughtful, well-researched, and beautifully written” (The Washington Post), Brilliant Blunders is a wonderfully insightful examination of the psychology of five fascinating scientists—and the mistakes as well as the achievements that made them famous.
Brilliant Blunders

Brilliant Blunders

Author: Mario Livio
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439192367
Pages: 341
Year: 2013-05-14
Draws on the careers of five renowned scientists including Charles Darwin, William Thomson, Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle and Albert Einstein to reveal the important roles of their mistakes in advancing science, from Pauling's error in his model of DNA molecule structure to Hoyle's dismissal of the "Big Bang" theory.
Is God a Mathematician?

Is God a Mathematician?

Author: Mario Livio
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416594434
Pages: 320
Year: 2011-02-22
Bestselling author and astrophysicist Mario Livio examines the lives and theories of history’s greatest mathematicians to ask how—if mathematics is an abstract construction of the human mind—it can so perfectly explain the physical world. Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner once wondered about “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in the formulation of the laws of nature. Is God a Mathematician? investigates why mathematics is as powerful as it is. From ancient times to the present, scientists and philosophers have marveled at how such a seemingly abstract discipline could so perfectly explain the natural world. More than that—mathematics has often made predictions, for example, about subatomic particles or cosmic phenomena that were unknown at the time, but later were proven to be true. Is mathematics ultimately invented or discovered? If, as Einstein insisted, mathematics is “a product of human thought that is independent of experience,” how can it so accurately describe and even predict the world around us? Physicist and author Mario Livio brilliantly explores mathematical ideas from Pythagoras to the present day as he shows us how intriguing questions and ingenious answers have led to ever deeper insights into our world. This fascinating book will interest anyone curious about the human mind, the scientific world, and the relationship between them.
The Equation that Couldn't Be Solved

The Equation that Couldn't Be Solved

Author: Mario Livio
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743274628
Pages: 368
Year: 2005-09-19
What do Bach's compositions, Rubik's Cube, the way we choose our mates, and the physics of subatomic particles have in common? All are governed by the laws of symmetry, which elegantly unify scientific and artistic principles. Yet the mathematical language of symmetry-known as group theory-did not emerge from the study of symmetry at all, but from an equation that couldn't be solved. For thousands of years mathematicians solved progressively more difficult algebraic equations, until they encountered the quintic equation, which resisted solution for three centuries. Working independently, two great prodigies ultimately proved that the quintic cannot be solved by a simple formula. These geniuses, a Norwegian named Niels Henrik Abel and a romantic Frenchman named Évariste Galois, both died tragically young. Their incredible labor, however, produced the origins of group theory. The first extensive, popular account of the mathematics of symmetry and order, The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved is told not through abstract formulas but in a beautifully written and dramatic account of the lives and work of some of the greatest and most intriguing mathematicians in history.
Why?

Why?

Author: Mario Livio
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476792127
Pages: 272
Year: 2017-07-11
Astrophysicist and author Mario Livio investigates perhaps the most human of all our characteristics—curiosity—in this “lively, expert, and definitely not dumbed-down account” (Kirkus Reviews) as he explores our innate desire to know why. Experiments demonstrate that people are more distracted when they overhear a phone conversation—where they can know only one side of the dialogue—than when they overhear two people talking and know both sides. Why does half a conversation make us more curious than a whole conversation? “Have you ever wondered why we wonder why? Mario Livio has, and he takes you on a fascinating quest to understand the origin and mechanisms of our curiosity. I thoroughly recommend it.” (Adam Riess, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, 2011). Curiosity is not only at the heart of mystery and suspense novels, it is also essential to other creative endeavors, from painting to sculpture to music. It is the principal driver of basic scientific research. Even so, there is still no definitive scientific consensus about why we humans are so curious, or about the mechanisms in our brain that are responsible for curiosity. In the ever-fascinating Why? Livio interviewed scientists in several fields to explore the nature of curiosity. He examined the lives of two of history’s most curious geniuses, Leonardo da Vinci and Richard Feynman. He also talked to people with boundless curiosity: a superstar rock guitarist who is also an astrophysicist; an astronaut with degrees in computer science, biology, literature, and medicine. What drives these people to be curious about so many subjects? An astrophysicist who has written about mathematics, biology, and now psychology and neuroscience, Livio has firsthand knowledge of his subject which he explores in a lucid, entertaining way that will captivate anyone who is curious about curiosity.
The Scientists

The Scientists

Author: John R. Gribbin
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 0812967887
Pages: 646
Year: 2004
Creates a history of human scientific achievement as revealed by the lives and individual accomplishments of such scientists as Andreas Vesalius, Nicholaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Charles Darwin, Galileo, and Gregor Mendel.
The Ten Commandments for Business Failure

The Ten Commandments for Business Failure

Author: Donald R. Keough
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101535253
Pages: 208
Year: 2011-06-28
Don Keough—a former top executive at Coca-Cola and now chairman of the elite investment banking firm Allen & Company—has witnessed plenty of failures in his sixty-year career (including New Coke). He has also been friends with some of the most successful people in business history, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Rupert Murdoch, and Peter Drucker. Now this elder statesman reveals how great enterprises get into trouble. Even the smartest executives can fall into the trap of believing in their own infallibility. When that happens, more bad decisions are sure to follow. This light-hearted “how-not-to” book includes anecdotes from Keough's long career as well as other infamous failures. His commandments for failure include: Quit Taking Risks; Be Inflexible; Assume Infallibility; Put All Your Faith in Experts; Send Mixed Messages; and Be Afraid of the Future. As he writes, “After a lifetime in business I've never been able to develop a step-by-step formula that will guarantee success. What I could do, however, was talk about how to lose. I guarantee that anyone who follows my formula will be a highly successful loser.”
Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius

Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius

Author: Hans C. Ohanian
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393070425
Pages: 416
Year: 2009-11-09
“A thought-provoking critique of Einstein’s tantalizing combination of brilliance and blunder.”—Andrew Robinson, New Scientist Although Einstein was the greatest genius of the twentieth century, many of his groundbreaking discoveries were blighted by mistakes, ranging from serious errors in mathematics to bad misconceptions in physics and failures to grasp the subtleties of his own creations. This forensic biography dissects Einstein’s scientific mistakes and places them in the context of his turbulent life and times. In lively, accessible prose, Hans C. Ohanian paints a fresh, insightful portrait of the real Einstein at work, in contrast to the uncritical celebrity worship found in many biographies. Of the approximately 180 original scientific papers that Einstein published in his lifetime, about 40 are infested with mistakes. For instance, Einstein’s first mathematical proof of the famous formula E = mc2 was incomplete and only approximately valid; he struggled with this problem for many years, but he never found a complete proof (better mathematicians did). Einstein was often lured by irrational and mystical inspirations, but his extraordinary intuition about physics permitted him to discover profound truths despite—and sometimes because of—the mistakes he made along the way. He was a sleepwalker: his intuition told him where he needed to go, and he somehow managed to get there without quite knowing how. As this book persuasively argues, the defining hallmark of Einstein’s genius was not any special mathematical ability but an uncanny talent to use his mistakes as stepping stones to formulate his revolutionary theories.
The Science of Monsters

The Science of Monsters

Author: Matt Kaplan
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 145166799X
Pages: 244
Year: 2013-10-08
"Previously published as Medusa's gaze and vampire's bite by Scribner"--Title page verso.
Scatter, Adapt, and Remember

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember

Author: Annalee Newitz
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385535929
Pages: 320
Year: 2013-05-14
In its 4.5 billion–year history, life on Earth has been almost erased at least half a dozen times: shattered by asteroid impacts, entombed in ice, smothered by methane, and torn apart by unfathomably powerful megavolcanoes. And we know that another global disaster is eventually headed our way. Can we survive it? How? As a species, Homo sapiens is at a crossroads. Study of our planet’s turbulent past suggests that we are overdue for a catastrophic disaster, whether caused by nature or by human interference. It’s a frightening prospect, as each of the Earth’s past major disasters—from meteor strikes to bombardment by cosmic radiation—resulted in a mass extinction, where more than 75 percent of the planet’s species died out. But in Scatter, Adapt, and Remember, Annalee Newitz, science journalist and editor of the science Web site io9.com explains that although global disaster is all but inevitable, our chances of long-term species survival are better than ever. Life on Earth has come close to annihilation—humans have, more than once, narrowly avoided extinction just during the last million years—but every single time a few creatures survived, evolving to adapt to the harshest of conditions. This brilliantly speculative work of popular science focuses on humanity’s long history of dodging the bullet, as well as on new threats that we may face in years to come. Most important, it explores how scientific breakthroughs today will help us avoid disasters tomorrow. From simulating tsunamis to studying central Turkey’s ancient underground cities; from cultivating cyanobacteria for “living cities” to designing space elevators to make space colonies cost-effective; from using math to stop pandemics to studying the remarkable survival strategies of gray whales, scientists and researchers the world over are discovering the keys to long-term resilience and learning how humans can choose life over death. Newitz’s remarkable and fascinating journey through the science of mass extinctions is a powerful argument about human ingenuity and our ability to change. In a world populated by doomsday preppers and media commentators obsessively forecasting our demise, Scatter, Adapt, and Remember is a compelling voice of hope. It leads us away from apocalyptic thinking into a future where we live to build a better world—on this planet and perhaps on others. Readers of this book will be equipped scientifically, intellectually, and emotionally to face whatever the future holds.
Celestial Sleuth

Celestial Sleuth

Author: Donald W. Olson
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461484030
Pages: 355
Year: 2013-10-02
For a general audience interested in solving mysteries in art, history, and literature using the methods of science, 'forensic astronomy' is a thrilling new field of exploration. Astronomical calculations are the basis of the studies, which have the advantage of bringing to readers both evocative images and a better understanding of the skies. Weather facts, volcano studies, topography, tides, historical letters and diaries, famous paintings, military records, and the friendly assistance of experts in related fields add variety, depth, and interest to the work. The chosen topics are selected for their wide public recognition and intrigue, involving artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, and Ansel Adams; historical events such as the Battle of Marathon, the death of Julius Caesar, the American Revolution, and World War II; and literary authors such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Joyce, and Mary Shelley. This book sets out to answer these mysteries indicated with the means and expertise of astronomy, opening the door to a richer experience of human culture and its relationship with nature. Each subject is carefully analyzed. As an example using the study of sky paintings by Vincent van Gogh, the analytical method would include: - computer calculations of historical skies above France in the 19th century - finding and quoting the clues found in translations of original letters by Van Gogh - making site visits to France to determine the precise locations when Van Gogh set up his easel and what celestial objects are depicted. For each historical event influenced by astronomy, there would be a different kind of mystery to be solved. As an example: - How can the phase of the Moon and time of moonrise help to explain a turning point of the American Civil War - the fatal wounding of Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville in 1863? For each literary reference to astronomy, it was determined which celestial objects were being described and making an argument that the author is describing an actual event. For example, what was the date of the moonlit scene when Mary Shelley first had the idea for her novel “Frankenstein?” These and more fun riddles will enchant and delight the fan of art and astronomy.
Dancing Naked in the Mind Field

Dancing Naked in the Mind Field

Author: Kary Mullis
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307772780
Pages: 240
Year: 2010-11-17
Here is a multidimensional playland of ideas from the world's most eccentric Nobel-Prize winning scientist. Kary Mullis is legendary for his invention of PCR, which redefined the world of DNA, genetics, and forensic science. He is also a surfer, a veteran of Berkeley in the sixties, and perhaps the only Nobel laureate to describe a possible encounter with aliens. A scientist of boundless curiosity, he refuses to accept any proposition based on secondhand or hearsay evidence, and always looks for the "money trail" when scientists make announcements. Mullis writes with passion and humor about a wide range of topics: from global warming to the O. J. Simpson trial, from poisonous spiders to HIV, from scientific method to astrology. Dancing Naked in the Mind Field challenges us to question the authority of scientific dogma even as it reveals the workings of an uncannily original scientific mind. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics

Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics

Author: Alfred S. Posamentier, Ingmar Lehmann
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616147482
Pages: 296
Year: 2013-08-13
Two veteran math educators demonstrate how some "magnificent mistakes" had profound consequences for our understanding of mathematics' key concepts. In the nineteenth century, English mathematician William Shanks spent fifteen years calculating the value of pi, setting a record for the number of decimal places. Later, his calculation was reproduced using large wooden numerals to decorate the cupola of a hall in the Palais de la Découverte in Paris. However, in 1946, with the aid of a mechanical desk calculator that ran for seventy hours, it was discovered that there was a mistake in the 528th decimal place. Today, supercomputers have determined the value of pi to trillions of decimal places. This is just one of the amusing and intriguing stories about mistakes in mathematics in this layperson's guide to mathematical principles. In another example, the authors show that when we "prove" that every triangle is isosceles, we are violating a concept not even known to Euclid - that of "betweenness." And if we disregard the time-honored Pythagorean theorem, this is a misuse of the concept of infinity. Even using correct procedures can sometimes lead to absurd - but enlightening - results. Requiring no more than high-school-level math competency, this playful excursion through the nuances of math will give you a better grasp of this fundamental, all-important science. From the Hardcover edition.
Wrinkles in Time

Wrinkles in Time

Author: George Smoot, Keay Davidson
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061344443
Pages: 352
Year: 2007-09-18
Astrophysicist George Smoot spent decades pursuing the origin of the cosmos, "the holy grail of science," a relentless hunt that led him from the rain forests of Brazil to the frozen wastes of Antarctica. In his search he struggled against time, the elements, and the forces of ignorance and bureaucratic insanity. Finally, after years of research, Smoot and his dedicated team of Berkeley researchers succeeded in proving the unprovable—uncovering, inarguably and for all time, the secrets of the creation of the universe. Wrinkles in Time describes this startling discovery that would usher in a new scientific age—and win Smoot the Nobel Prize in Physics.