The Scientific American claims to be the oldest continuously published periodical in the United States, have launched its first publication in 1845. It has been a mainstay of popular science with in depth articles across a broad spectrum of scientific fields. In this supplement are short articles ranging through such topics as Insanity from Alcohol, Discovery of Ancient Church in Jerusalem, Preparation of Lard for Use in Pharmacy, and The New Russian Torpedo Boat.
The golden section is a line segment sectioned into two according to the golden ratio. The total length a+b is to the longer segment a as a is to the shorter segment b. In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio between the sum of those quantities and the larger one is the same as the ratio between the larger one and the smaller. The golden ratio is a mathematical constant, approximately 1.6180339887....
At least since the Renaissance, many artists and architects have proportioned their works to approximate the golden ratio—especially in the form of the golden rectangle, in which the ratio of the longer side to the shorter is the golden ratio—believing this proportion to be aesthetically pleasing. Mathematicians have studied the golden ratio because of its unique and interesting properties. (From Wikipedia)
A bit of pseudo-science that will baffle, confuse, and amaze! Until the Space Age, there was little every-day, self-evident proof that the earth was a globe, and plenty of people believed in a flat Earth. (Even today, some are still of this opinion.) Here are 100 short arguments for a flat Earth. Some of them can be proven wrong fairly easily; others confound; and others are stated so confusingly that they MUST be true!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Newton's observations on the optical spectrum were widely accepted but Goethe noticed the difference between the scientific explanation and the phenomena as experienced by the human eye. He did not try to explain this, but rather collected and presented data, conducting experiments on the interplay of light and dark. His work was rejected as 'unscientific' by physicists but his color wheel is still used by artists today.
Edwin Abbott Abbott
This is a satirical novel written by Edwin A. Abbott, first published in 1884. Abbott uses a two-dimensional world, with himself as the protagonist, known simply as "A Square", to deride the Victorian aristocracy and its hierarchies. But the book has retained its value throughout the years for its unique portrayal of a two-dimensional world, and how a Sphere introduces the Square to the incomprehensible possibility of a third dimension. Once the square fully understands the third dimension, he suggests to the Sphere that even a fourth, fifth, or sixth dimension could exist. But the Sphere sends the square back to his two-dimensional world, where he cannot convince anyone of the existence of a three dimensional world.
Robert Stawell Ball
Of all the natural sciences there is not one which offers such sublime objects to the attention of the inquirer as does the science of astronomy. From the earliest ages the study of the stars has exercised the same fascination as it possesses at the present day. Among the most primitive peoples, the movements of the sun, the moon, and the stars commanded attention from their supposed influence on human affairs.
From the days of Hipparchus down to the present hour the science of astronomy has steadily grown. One great observer after another has appeared from time to time, to reveal some new phenomenon with regard to the celestial bodies or their movements, while from time to time one commanding intellect after another has arisen to explain the true import of the facts of observations. The history of astronomy thus becomes inseparable from the history of the great men to whose labours its development is due. In the ensuing chapters we have endeavoured to sketch the lives and the work of the great philosophers, by whose labours the science of astronomy has been created. (from the Introduction)
An attempt has been made in these pages to trace the evolution of intellectual thought in the progress of astronomical discovery, and, by recognising the different points of view of the different ages, to give due credit even to the ancients. No one can expect, in a history of astronomy of limited size, to find a treatise on “practical” or on “theoretical astronomy,” nor a complete “descriptive astronomy,” and still less a book on “speculative astronomy.” Something of each of these is essential, however, for tracing the progress of thought and knowledge which it is the object of this History to describe.
United States Army Corps of Engineers
This is the official report, published nearly 11 months after the first and only atomic bombings in history (to date), of a group of military physicians and engineers who accompanied the initial contingent of U.S. soldiers into the destroyed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The report presents a clinical description of the devastation, loss of life and continued suffering of the survivors that resulted from the world's first and only atomic bombings, to date. The appendix is an eyewitness account, contrasting vividly with the dispassionate sang-froid of the report itself, written by a German Jesuit priest who survived the blast at Hiroshima, and whose order assisted in rescue efforts following the catastrophic attack. This recording was completed on the 63rd anniversary of the events.
The Flying Saucers are Real is a book that investigates numerous encounters between USAF fighters, personnel, and other aircraft, and UFOs between 1947 and 1950. Keyhoe contended that the Air Force was actively investigating these cases of close encounter, with a policy of concealing their existence from the public until 1949. He stated that this policy was then replaced by one of cautious, progressive revelation. Keyhoe further stated that Earth had been visited by extraterrestrials for two centuries, with the frequency of these visits increasing sharply after the first atomic weapon test in 1945. Citing anecdotal evidence, he intimated the Air Force may have attained and adapted some aspect of the alien technology: its method of propulsion and perhaps its source of power. He believed the Air Force or the US Government would eventually reveal these technologies to the public when the Soviet Union was no longer a threat.
Donald E. Keyhoe, who relates here his investigation of the flying saucers, writes with twenty-five years of experience in observing aeronautical developments. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. He flew in active service with the Marine Corps, managed the tour of the historic plane in which Bennett and Byrd made their North Pole flight, was aide to Charles Lindbergh after the famous Paris flight, and was chief of information for the Aeronautics Branch, Department of Commerce.
In 1910, when this book was published, the advancement of modern mechanism was still moving at a rapid pace. It must have seemed like very day, new inventions were made to make life easier. Most of these are still very much in use today, such as the lawn-mower, automatic milking machines in the dairy industry, fire engines, and escalators. Learn about how these worked in this volume.
Treatise on Light was published in 1690 and is probably the largest scientific volume on light published before Newton's Opticks. The book explains how light travels (i.e., that it has a certain velocity), and what happens when it hits a surface (refraction and reflection). A large portion of the book is devoted to the double refraction occurring in Iceland chrystal, and all drawn conclusions are proved geometrically.
Christiaan Huygens (1629 - 1695) was a prominent physicist and astronomer. His main discoveries are the centrifugal force, collision laws for bodies and the argument that light consists of waves. He was a contemporary of Galilei and Descartes, and a member of the French Royal Society since 1663.
In the days before telescope photography, astronomers had to draw what they thought they saw through the eyepiece throughout the long dark nights. Sometimes they saw saw more than there really was to see, and a bit over 100 years ago Percival Lowell published books on what he was sure were canals on Mars, signs of intelligent civilization. (In case you too are skeptical, we also have at Librivox a criticism of Lowell's theories in a book published a year later (in 1907) by Alfred Russel Wallace.)
The progress of astronomy from age to age has been far from uniform—rather by leaps and bounds: from the earliest epoch when man's planet earth was the center about which the stupendous cosmos wheeled, for whom it was created, and for whose edification it was maintained—down to the modern age whose discoveries have ascertained that even our stellar universe, the vast region of the solar domain, is but one of the thousands of island universes that tenant the inconceivable immensities of space.So rapid, indeed, has been the progress of astronomy in very recent years that the present is especially favorable for setting forth its salient features; and this book is an attempt to present the wide range of astronomy in readable fashion, as if a story with a definite plot, from its origin with the shepherds of ancient Chaldea down to present-day ascertainment of the actual scale of the universe, and definite measures of the huge volume of supersolar giants among the stars. (Preface)
The end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century marked a new era in the study of physics. It seemed as though everything that was thought to be known was being called into question. This book attempts to summarize some of the most critical discoveries and theories in the decade or so leading up to its publication in a relatively non-technical fashion, and provides insight into our understanding of the world in the midst of the modern physics revolution.
George F. Chambers
Solar eclipses have both frightened and fascinated humankind for thousands of years. At first believed to be caused by angry gods punishing the people on Earth, we now know that a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun and fully or partially covers the Sun. Ever since scientists were able to predict the next solar eclipse, people - at least the less superstitious ones - wanted to go there and see it for themselves.
This book, published in 1899, was written for potential spectators of the total eclipse of the Sun on May 28, 1900. It deals with the science behind solar eclipses and their prediction, and lists a number of known historic eclipses from antiquity to the 19th century. Also included are eclipses mentioned in books, strange customs surrounding the eclipses, and how best to watch one.
This book takes its origin in a course of lectures on the history and progress of Astronomy arranged for Sir Oliver Lodge in the year 1887. The first part of this book is devoted to the biographies and discoveries of well known astronomers like Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo and Newton. In the second part, the biographies take a back seat, while scientific discoveries are discussed more extensively, like the discovery of Asteroids and Neptune, a treatise on the tides and others.
Agnes Mary Clerke
A Popular History of Astronomy during the Nineteenth Century was thought to be Agnes Mary Clerke's greatest work. It covers developments made in the field of astronomy during the nineteenth century and is still used by scholars today who study the history of astrophysics. The book details the career of William Herschel, covers the discovery and development of spectral analysis and progress made on the understanding on sun spots. Margaret Lindsay Huggins, who wrote Clerke's biography, said of the work, "it deserves to live, and it most assuredly will live."
"The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of the world's most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence." (from its Mission Statement). As scientists have explored the world around them, observed and tried to explain natural phenomena, they have been invited to present papers to the Royal Society. Edmond Halley (of Halley's Comet fame) was an eminent member of the society and gathered together some of the most interesting papers of his day. Today, we may see errors in the logic or calculations, based on current knowledge, but these papers are unedited and as presented at the time and show how scientific knowledge was expanding in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries
“The martyrs of Science” gives a brief biography of Galileo, Brahe and Kepler. These three men played a pivotal role in the scientific revolution during the early modern period. This book throws light upon their lives, their scientific achievements, adversities which they faced for their work and how they transformed the lives of the future generations forever. It also provides evidence which establishes that the work carried out by them are original irrespective of the claims by other men who tried in vain to rob them of their honor. The author highlights some of their fallacies which hindered their progress.
The present volume has not been designed as a systematic treatise on astronomy. There are many excellent books of that kind, suitable for serious students as well as the general reader; but they are necessarily somewhat dry and unattractive, because they must aim at completeness. Completeness means detail, and detail means dryness.
But the science of astronomy contains subjects that admit of detached treatment; and as many of these are precisely the ones of greatest general interest, it has seemed well to select several, and describe them in language free from technicalities. It is hoped that the book will thus prove useful to persons who do not wish to give the time required for a study of astronomy as a whole, but who may take pleasure in devoting a half-hour now and then to a detached essay on some special topic.
Earl W. Phelan
Radioisotopes in Medicine is an educational booklet published in 1966 as part of the Understanding the Atom series by the United States Atomic Energy Commission. Written in clear language for the general public, the booklet covers the diagnostic and therapeutic uses of radioactive isotopes like technetium 99m and iodine 131.
C. Jackson Craven
This booklet is part of the "Understanding the Atom Series" published by the Division of Technical Information of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. From an introduction of atomic theory by the ancient Greeks through the development of the fission bomb, the author covers such areas as the discovery of the nucleus, the discovery of isotopes, fission and fusion including a chronology of atomic theory to 1963, and the development of the Atomic Energy Commission.
E. W. Seabrook Hull
This is one of the publications in the “Understanding the Atom” Series from the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission. Topics covered include an overview of the ocean, the role of nuclear energy, research project, oceanic instruments, nuclear powered vessels, desalination, and radiation preservation of seafood.
For many people, the name Caroline Herschel will be unfamiliar, but she was one of the most significant women on the English scientific scene during the late 18th and early 19th century. Sister of the well known William Herschel (he of the discovery of Uranus and its moons and many other significant scientific discoveries), she first worked as his assistant in his astronomical works, and then went on to become a noted astronomer in her own right. She discovered eight new comets in her lifetime, and was the first woman to be paid for her contribution to science, and was awarded a Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, made an Honorary Member of the Royal Astronomical Society, an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy of Science and was presented with a Gold Medal for Science by the King of Prussia on her 96th birthday. This book tells the fascinating story of her life through her letters, and commentary by her nephew's wife. Caroline Herschel was an important woman whose contributions to science should be more widely known.
Walter Kellogg Towers
This is the story of talking at a distance, of sending messages through space. It is the story of great men—Morse, Thomson, Bell, Marconi, and others—and how, with the aid of men like Field, Vail, Catty, Pupin, the scientist, and others in both the technical and commercial fields, they succeeded in flashing both messages and speech around the world, with wires and without wires. It is the story of how the thought of the world has been linked together by those modern wonders of science and of industry—the telegraph, the submarine cable, the telephone, the wireless telegraph, and, most recently, the wireless telephone. (From Preface)
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.