Regular price: $28.00
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $28.00
This is yet another fine book that is a light survey of the history of the science, this one focusing on gravity for the layman. There is a bit of Newton, Orbits, Tides, Eclipses, General Relativity, and some String Theory. This survey of science is just fine, expressing the winding road of scientific progress well and covering some interesting aspects of lunar orbits and tides that most people don't know.
The book tries hard to be approachable by non-technical readers. This included some completely fictional vignettes about various scientists. I found these vignettes annoying at best, and they don't really add anything real.
A few other nits....Chown claims total eclipses have only occurred for the last 150 million years and will only occur for the next 150 million years...I am not sure where this comes from. Total eclipses will stop eventually as the moon moves away but it seems they will likely continue for much longer than that, and it seems total eclipses have been happening for billions of years. Although Chown points out the historical fallacy of epicycles to explain the orbits of planets, the author does not so clearly point out our current theories are very much like epicycles.
Chown suggests that the next transformative breakthrough theory of gravity will not be from some lone genius with a deep insight (like Newton or Einstein) but instead a group of scientists. This seems quite unlikely to me. The key will likely be a deep insight making clear several key assumptions of science are wrong. Such insights seem much more likely to occur to a single (anti-social) genius than to a group of scientists.
I did not like the narration much. The narration is clear but I found the accents used for most of the quotes REALLY annoying and there was a over enthusiasm I found tedious.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful