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Elegance in Science

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Elegance in Science

The beauty of simplicity

Format

Hardback

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Elegance in Science by Ian Glynn
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Description

The idea of elegance in science is not necessarily a familiar one, but it is an important one. The use of the term is perhaps most clear-cut in mathematics - the elegant proof - and this is where Ian Glynn begins his exploration. Scientists often share a sense of admiration and excitement on hearing of an elegant solution to a problem, an elegant theory, or an elegant experiment. The idea of elegance may seem strange in a field of endeavour that prides itself in its objectivity, but only if science is regarded as a dull, dry activity of counting and measuring. It is, of course, far more than that, and elegance is a fundamental aspect of the beauty and imagination involved in scientific activity. Ian Glynn, a distinguished scientist, selects historical examples from a range of sciences to draw out the principles of science, including Kepler's Laws, the experiments that demonstrated the nature of heat, and the action of nerves, and of course the several extraordinary episodes that led to Watson and Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA.With a highly readable selection of inspiring episodes highlighting the role of beauty and simplicity in the sciences, the book also relates to important philosophical issues of inference, and Glynn ends by warning us not to rely on beauty and simplicity alone - even the most elegant explanation can be wrong.

Author Biography

Professor Ian Glynn is Emeritus Professor of Physiology, University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. His work on the 'sodium pump' (the molecular machine that quite literally keeps the brains batteries charged) led to his election to the Royal Society and to Honorary Foreign Membership of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has also served as a member of the Medical Research Council, the Agricultural and Food Research Council, and the Countil of the Royal Society.
Release date Australia
April 22nd, 2010
Author
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations
A number of black and white illustrations
Imprint
Oxford University Press
Pages
304
Dimensions
147x223x28
ISBN-13
9780199578627
Product ID
4121808

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