EVERYTHING'S RELATIVE
ebook

EVERYTHING'S RELATIVE (ebook)

Editorial:
WILEY
ISBN:
9780470349267
Formato:
Epublication content package
DRM
Si

Morse invented the telegraph, Bell the telephone, and Edison the light bulb . . . or so we have been led to believe. In a discipline so firmly rooted in empirical data, it’s surprising to discover how the history of science can be so riddled by apocrypha, inaccuracies, and blatant falsehoods. In Everything’s Relative, writer and physicist Tony Rothman sets the record straight once and for all, giving credit where credit is due by debunking centuries of commonly held beliefs embedded throughout science and technology’s illustrious, albeit distorted, history.

Combining a storyteller’s gift with a scientist’s focus, Tony Rothman breaks down many of the most famous "just-so" stories of physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, and technology. Each engaging anecdote clearly reveals how unique discoveries are the exception, rather than the rule. Discoveries almost always take place simultaneously or build upon a predecessor’s breakthrough . . . usually without acknowledging the work of their fellow colleagues whose slighted names have since fallen into obscurity. Who really discovered Neptune? Was it the quiet, self-effacing Brit John Couch Adams or the arrogant, self-promoting French scientist Urbain Le Verrier? Or was Neptune’s discovery just a fantastic coincidence altogether? Everything’s Relative tells the fascinating "truth-is-stranger-than-fiction" story behind this and many other scientific discoveries and breakthroughs, including how:

  • Henry Young, the greatest American scientist after Benjamin Franklin, severed his friendship with Samuel Morse after not receiving proper credit for his key role in inventing the telegraph
  • Thomas Young’s celebrated "double slit" experiment is so laden with ambiguous language, it raises the question: Did Young really act alone in his experiment?
  • Albert Einstein, one of the greatest twentieth-century physicists and a titan of science, misinterpreted his own highly celebrated theory of relativity
  • Neither James Watt, nor Robert Fulton, nor John Fitch, nor Simon Newcomen invented the steam engine–Captain Thomas Savary first invented the prototype for the steam engine back in 1698
  • More than 600 lawsuits were filed against Alexander Graham Bell after he took sole credit for inventing the telephone
  • And much more

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