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The ABC's of Science by Mussardo; Giuseppe

Sold By Ria Christie Books

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Science; with its inherent tension between the known and the unknown; is an inexhaustible mine of great stories. Collected here are twenty-six among the most enchanting tales; one for each letter of the alphabet: the main characters are scientists of the highest caliber most of whom; however; are unknown to the general public. This book goes from A to Z. The letter A stands for Abel; the great Norwegian mathematician; here involved in an elliptic thriller about a fundamental theorem of mathematics; while the letter Z refers to Absolute Zero; the ultimate and lowest temperature limit; - 273;15 degrees Celsius; a value that is tremendously cooler than the most remote corner of the Universe: the race to reach this final outpost of coldness is not yet complete; but; similarly to the history books of polar explorations at the beginning of the 20th century; its pages record successes; failures; fierce rivalries and tragic desperations. In between the A and the Z; the other letters of the alphabet are similar to the various stages of a very fascinating journey along the paths of science; a journey in the company of a very unique set of characters as eccentric and peculiar as those in Ulysses by James Joyce: the French astronomer who lost everything; even his mind; to chase the transits of Venus; the caustic Austrian scientist who; perfectly at ease with both the laws of psychoanalysis and quantum mechanics; revealed the hidden secrets of dreams and the periodic table of chemical elements; the young Indian astrophysicist who was the first to understand how a star dies; suffering the ferocious opposition of his mentor for this discovery. Or the Hungarian physicist who struggled with his melancholy in the shadows of the desert of Los Alamos; or the French scholar who was forced to hide her femininity behind a false identity so as to publish fundamental theorems on prime numbers. And so on and so forth. Twenty-six stories; which reveal the most authentic atmosphere of science and the lives of some of its main players: each story can be read in quite a short period of time -- basically the time it takes to get on and off the train between two metro stations. Largely independent from one another; these twenty-six stories make the book a harmonious polyphony of several voices: the reader can invent his/her own very personal order for the chapters simply by ordering the sequence of letters differently. For an elementary law of Mathematics; this can give rise to an astronomically large number of possible books -- all the same; but - then again - all different. This book is therefore the ideal companion for an infinite number of real or metaphoric journeys.

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