history of science

Tag archives for history of science

Massive by Ian Sample

The physics book generating the most bloggy buzz in the latter part of 2010 would have to be Ian Sample’s Massive: The Missing Particle that Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science, about the as yet undetected particle known as the Higgs boson. Detecting the Hiigs is the most immediate goal of the Large Hadron Collider,…

I finished Jennifer Ouellette’s new book a few weeks ago, shortly after my trip to Alabama, but it’s taken me a long time to get around to reviewing it due to a combination of too much work and being a Bad Person. There’s finally a tiny break in the storm of work, though, so here’s…

Without Experiment, There Is No Theory

A lot of people have been blogging and Twittering about this subway map of science, which puts various branches of science in the place of the lines on the London Underground map, showing connections between them. It’s a huge graphic, but a kind of cool image. I do, however, have a problem with it, which…

Murphy Violation in Science

Over at Unqualified Offerings, Thoreau proposes an an experimental test of Murphy’s Law using the lottery. While amusing, it’s ultimately flawed– Murphy’s Law is something of the form: Anything that can go wrong, will. Accordingly, it can only properly be applied to situations in which there is a reasonable expectation of success, unless something goes…

Over in yesterday’s communications skills post commenter Paul raises a question about priorities: I wonder to what extent good writers, public speakers and communicators are being promoted in science in place of good thinkers – people who can challenge prevailing dogma, invent promising novel approaches to old problems, and who have the intuition needed for…

Voting has closed on the Laser Smackdown poll, with 772 people recording their opinion on the most amazing of the many things that have been done with lasers in the fifty years since the invention of the first working laser (see the Laserfest web site for more on the history and applications of lasers). The…

I made a run to the library last week on one of the days I was home with SteelyKid, as an excuse to get out of the house for a little while. I picked up three books: Counterknowledge, The Devil’s Eye by Jack McDevitt (an Antiquities Dealers Innnnn Spaaaaaace novel, and a good example of…