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The Fairyland of Geometry and Other Essays in Science

Paperback - 17 February 2016
Stover, David (Introduction by)
Newcomb, Simon (Author)
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Description

Simon Newcomb rose from poverty to become one of the most distinguished and widely known scientists of the late 19th century. He was also one of the most accomplished science popularizers of his day, writing on everything from the canals of Mars to the geometry of hyperspace.This new collection of his most enduring work is designed to introduce Newcomb to a new generation - indeed, century - of readers. Among the pieces included are his famous essay on the impossibility of heavier-than-air flight, which remains a compelling example of the pitfalls of technological prognostication; "The Fairyland of Geometry," an introduction to non-Euclidean geometry, then in its infancy; overviews of the state of astronomical knowledge at the start of the 20th century, including a surprisingly modern look at "Life in the Universe"; and the results of his investigations into parapsychology. An overview of Newcomb's career and an afterword placing the essays in the context of scientific advances since Newcomb's time round out the volume.The frontiers of science may have moved on since Newcomb set down his pen for the last time, but the spirit of discovery embodied in these essays remains fresh.This book is part of the Milestones in Science and Discovery series, whose mandate is to bring classic works of popular science back into print for today's readers.

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