Seven Ideas That Shook the Universe

Seven Ideas That Shook the Universe
by Nathan Spielberg and Bryon D. Anderson

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
0-471-848-16-6 (paper)
YA, C, GA **


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This book was originally developed for use in college courses to satisfy university liberal arts education requirements, but I believe it has much wider applications. For example, it would be of interest to advanced high school students interested in engineering or science as careers or simply interested in the fundamental foundations of science. From a historical perspective, seven concepts are developed that the authors feel changed the evolutionary status of scientific thinking. The concepts are the Copernican approach to astronomy, Newtonian mechanics, the concepts of energy, entropy, the theory of relativity, quantum theory conservation, and principles of symmetries. The writing and development of the book are fluid and well illustrated. While simple, the diagrams are helpful in explaining the concepts in the text. The descriptions of Newton's laws and the concept of relativity are particularly well done. This book should be used to provide a beginning for those who wish to study some of the more advanced ideas in science. It would also benefit those interested in the history of science. I recommend it as general reference reading in beginning science courses and as a means for liberal arts students to broaden their background.

--Reviewed by Robert C. Messina in Science Books and Films, 23/2 (November/December 1987), p. 88.