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On the Shoulders of Giants

The Great Works of Physics and Astronomy

Stephen Hawking



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01 December 2003
ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS tells a compelling story, using original papers from Einstein, Copernicus, Galilei, Kepler and Newton. Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking explains how these works changed the course of science, ushering astronomy and physics out of the Middle Ages and into the modern world.
By:   Stephen Hawking
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 54mm
Weight:   864g
ISBN:   9780141015712
ISBN 10:   0141015713
Pages:   1280
Publication Date:   01 December 2003
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Language:   Sicilian
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543): his life and work; On the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) - his life and work; Dialogues Concerning Two Sciences . Johannes Kepler (1571-1630): his life and work; Harmony of the World book five. Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727): his life and work; Principia . Albert Einstein (1879-1955): his life and work; selections from The Principle of Relativity .

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge (Newton's old position). He is the author of A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME, which remained on the New York Times bestseller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. Curiously, Hawking was born 300 years to the day after Galileo died.

Reviews for On the Shoulders of Giants: The Great Works of Physics and Astronomy

Showcasing the five most influential works in the history of modern science, this book is a boon to anyone willing to give serious attention to these world-changing texts. Understanding of the often convoluted equations and archaic phrasings they contain is aided by Professor Stephen Hawking's footnotes and his introductions outlining the background to the works in question: Copernicus's On the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres; Galileo's Dialogues Concerning Two Sciences; Book Five of Kepler's Harmony of the World; Principia by Sir Isaac Newton, and selections from Einstein's Principle of Relativity. Hawking's mini-essays link them in terms not only of scientific progression, but through the mirrored obsessions, drives and enlarged personalities of their creators. These precis perform a dual task of establishing their subjects in a scientific time and place, and informing them with a humanity often disregarded in the brighter light of their subsequent achievements. The linkage is fascinating, the texts rewarding, the whole indispensable. Hawking shows massive ideas as feeding on the confirmation, sometime rejection, and ensuing enlargement of that which has gone before, just as Newton did in the phrase that forms the book's title: 'If I have seen farther,' he wrote, 'it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.' The Running Press have seen far enough to plant themselves firmly on the heads of the lot; the result is a body of work that has collectively endured for over 500 years already and should grace the bookshelves and coffee tables of the academically serious and peripherally interested alike. (Kirkus UK)

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