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Pendulum : Léon Foucault and the triumph of science

Author: Amir D Aczel
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, [2003] ©2003
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : First Atria books hardcover editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
In 1851, struggling, self-taught physicist Lǒn Foucault performed a dramatic demonstration inside the Panthǒn in Paris. By tracking a pendulum's path as it swung repeatedly across the interior of the large ceremonial hall, Foucault offered the first definitive proof -- before an audience that comprised the cream of Parisian society, including the future emperor, Napoleon III -- that the earth revolves on its axis.  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biographies
Biography
History
Named Person: Léon Foucault; Léon Foucault
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Amir D Aczel
ISBN: 0743464788 9780743464789 9780743464796 0743464796
OCLC Number: 52836411
Description: x, 275 pages : illustrations, map ; 23 cm
Contents: A stunning discovery in the cellar --
Ancient logic: Bible and inquisition --
Failed experiments with falling bodies--
A science "irregular" in the age of the engineer --
The meridian of Paris --
"Come see the earth turn" --
Mathematical Bedlam --
A new Bonaparte --
The force of Coriolis --
The Panthéon --
The Gyroscope --
The Coup d'État and the second empire --
An unemployed genius --
The observatory physicist --
Final glory --
A premature end --
The defeat at Sedan --
Aftermath.
Other Titles: Léon Foucault and the triumph of science
Responsibility: Amir D. Aczel.
More information:

Abstract:

In 1851, struggling, self-taught physicist Lǒn Foucault performed a dramatic demonstration inside the Panthǒn in Paris. By tracking a pendulum's path as it swung repeatedly across the interior of the large ceremonial hall, Foucault offered the first definitive proof -- before an audience that comprised the cream of Parisian society, including the future emperor, Napoleon III -- that the earth revolves on its axis. In this book, Amir Aczel has revealed the life of a gifted physicist who had almost no formal education in science, and yet managed to succeed despite the adversity he suffered at the hands of his peers. Foucault gave us the modern electric compass, devised an electric microscope, invented photographic technology, and made remarkable deductions about color theory, heat waves, and the speed of light. Yet until now so little has been known about his life. Pendulum tells of the illustrious period in France during the Second Empire; of Foucault's relationship with Napoleon III, a colorful character in his own right; and -- most notably -- of the crucial triumph of science over religion.

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