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Cosmic Imagery: Key Images in the History of Science

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Published by Bodley Head, part of Vintage Publishing

Format: Hardback


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EAN: 9780224075237
Published: 3 Apr 2008


About the book


* Certain key images embody our understanding of life and the universe we inhabit. Some, like Robert Hooke's first microscopic views of the natural world, or the stunning images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, were made possible by our new technical capabilities.
* Others, like the first graph, were breathtakingly simple but perennially useful. Vesalius's haunting pictures of the human anatomy were nothing less than works of art, while the simple diagram now known as Pythagoras' Theorem - proved by the ancient Babylonians, Chinese, Indians and Egyptians long before the Greeks themselves - lay the foundations for modern mathematics.
* Many of these images have shattered our preconceptions about the limits and nature of existence: the first breathtaking pictures of the Earth from space stimulated an environmental consciousness that has grown ever since; the mushroom cloud from atomic and nuclear explosions became the ultimate symbol of death and destruction; the flying saucer came to represent the possibility of extraterrestrial life; while Mercator's flat map of the Earth coordinated an entire world-view.
* Cosmic Imagery takes us on a tour through the most influential images in science. Each holds an important place in the growth of human understanding and carries with it a story that illuminates its origin and meaning. Together they reveal something of the beauty and truth of the universe, and why, so often, a picture is better than a thousand words.

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What the critics say

A captivating pictorial and literary journey through the history of science... a must for every home. It is a book that will repay constant visits, and Bodley Head is to be congratulated on its lavish, robust production.
- Sunday Times

Fantastic brain-food.
- Andrew Graham Dixon

Barrow has found a vivid way to focus our attention on cutting-edge science, and there is an awful lot to learn already from this lusciously produced and captivating book.
- The Times

About the Author

John D. Barrow is Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University, Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the current Gresham Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London. His principal area of scientific research is cosmology, and he is the author of many highly acclaimed books about the nature and significance of modern developments in physics, astronomy, and mathematics, including The Left Hand of Creation; The Origin of the Universe; The Universe that Discovered Itself; The Infinite Book, The Artful Universe Expanded, New Theories of Everything and, most recently, 100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know. He is also the author of the award-winning play Infinities.

John D. Barrow

More about John D. Barrow

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