On The Shoulders Of Giants: The Great Works Of Physics And Astronomy

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9780762413485: On The Shoulders Of Giants: The Great Works Of Physics And Astronomy

World-renowned physicist and bestselling author Stephen Hawking presents a revolutionary look at the momentous discoveries that changed our perception of the world with this first-ever compilation of seven classic works on physics and astronomy. His choice of landmark writings by some of the world's great thinkers traces the brilliant evolution of modern science and shows how each figure built upon the genius of his predecessors. On the Shoulders of Giants includes, in their entirety, On the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres by Nicolaus Copernicus; Principia by Sir Isaac Newton; The Principle of Relativity by Albert Einstein; Dialogues Concerning Two Sciences by Galileo Galilei with Alfonso De Salvio; plus Mystery of the Cosmos, Harmony of the World, and Rudolphine Tables by Johannes Kepler. It also includes five critical essays and a biography of each featured physicist, written by Hawking himself.

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About the Author:

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, like Sir Isaac Newton before him, is a Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. He is the author of numerous papers and books, including the phenomenally successful 1988 publication, A Brief History of Time, which remained on the New York Times bestseller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. His recent book, The Universe in a Nutshell, was also a bestseller. Curiously, Hawking was born 300 years to the day after Galileo died.

From Publishers Weekly:

Acclaimed physicist Hawking has collected in this single illuminating volume the classic works of physics and astronomy that in their day revolutionized humankind's perception of the world. Included are Copernicus's On the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres, Galileo's Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences, Kepler's "Harmony of the World," Newton's The Principia and selections from The Principle of Relativity by Einstein. Taken together, these writings document the evolution of our conception of the universe from a pre-Copernican cosmos with a stationary earth at its center to one in which the very weave of time and space are relative. The editor's ability to step back and view the sweep of his subject was first showcased in his bestselling A Brief History of Time and confirmed in his The Universe in a Nutshell. In an essay introducing each work here, he gives a short and sweet biography of its author and an explanation of its significance, as well as the occasional gem, like Galileo's handwritten renunciation of his beliefs before the Inquisition. To read the works themselves is to feel the thrill and mystery of intimacy with oft-cited source documents. Despite the volume's heftiness, Hawking has given these works a setting that is elegantly simple and, in its simplicity, effectively broadening.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Hawking, Stephen
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