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Beautiful Experiments

An Illustrated History of Experimental Science

Featuring more than two hundred color plates, this history of the craft of scientific inquiry is as exquisite as the experiments it documents.
This illustrated history of experimental science is more than just a celebration of the ingenuity that scientists and natural philosophers have used throughout the ages to study—and to change—the world. Here we see in intricate detail experiments that have, in some way or another, exhibited elegance and beauty: in their design, their conception, and their execution. Celebrated science writer Philip Ball invites readers to marvel at and admire the craftsmanship of scientific instruments and apparatus on display, from the earliest microscopes to the giant particle colliders of today. With Ball as our expert guide, we are encouraged to think carefully about what experiments are, what they mean, and how they are used. Ranging across millennia and geographies, Beautiful Experiments not only demonstrates why “experiment” remains a contested notion in how the work of science is done, but also explains how we came to understand how the world functions, what it contains, and where the pursuit of that understanding has brought us today.

240 pages | 200 color plates | 7 1/2 x 9 3/4

History: History of Technology

History of Science

Philosophy of Science

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