The Clockwork Universe

The Clockwork Universe

Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World

Book - 2011
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New York Times bestselling author Edward Dolnick brings to light the true story of one of the most pivotal moments in modern intellectual history--when a group of strange, tormented geniuses invented science as we know it, and remade our understanding of the world. Dolnick's earth-changing story of Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the birth of modern science is at once an entertaining romp through the annals of academic history, in the vein of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, and a captivating exploration of a defining time for scientific progress, in the tradition of Richard Holmes' The Age of Wonder.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061719516
Branch Call Number: ANF 509.409032 DOL
Characteristics: xviii, 378 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm


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Aug 06, 2017

The first half is more fun, setting the context for the math and physics. Then you get to the math, which is more fun than it was in high school, but still math.

Aug 28, 2015

A very comprehensive review of 17th century physics in Europe. The author’s premise that it gave birth to the modern world seems correct because it bridges the gap between the medieval world which reached conclusions about the physical world by reasoning about the “why” of things, rather than the “how” and experimentation to find out. Nevertheless, he explains, that even the most accomplished men (and they were all men) of the Royal Society had a firm belief in a supreme being, a designer and creator. But they also deduced that he was a mathematician, which allowed them to try to discover the workings of his universe through mathematics.
This book is very readable even when the author is explaining difficult concepts. But as another reviewer noted, I too find that it jumps around a bit too much even though there is a time line to aid the reader in placing events. I thought the number of short chapters was overdone, and I would have preferred longer ones that covered a specific scientist or scientists working on a particular problem or chapters with the subject of inquiry.

Aug 28, 2015

An interesting historical look at the state of the societies when the worldview changed from the age of mysticism to the scientific method. Not that this paradigm shift happened at once, nor that the participants had any idea the changes that they would wrought on the world. Definitely worth reading if you are interested.

Nov 22, 2011

recom economist

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