Key Images in the History of Science
In this lavishly illustrated book one of the UK's most distinguished scientists tells
the story of science through 200 of the subject's key images.
* Certain key images embody our understanding of life and the universe we inhabit. Some, like Robert Hooke's first microscopic views of the natural world, or the stunning images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, were made possible by our new technical capabilities.
* Others, like the first graph, were breathtakingly simple but perennially useful. Vesalius's haunting pictures of the human anatomy were nothing less than works of art, while the simple diagram now known as Pythagoras' Theorem - proved by the ancient Babylonians, Chinese, Indians and Egyptians long before the Greeks themselves - lay the foundations for modern mathematics.
* Many of these images have shattered our preconceptions about the limits and nature of existence: the first breathtaking pictures of the Earth from space stimulated an environmental consciousness that has grown ever since; the mushroom cloud from atomic and nuclear explosions became the ultimate symbol of death and destruction; the flying saucer came to represent the possibility of extraterrestrial life; while Mercator's flat map of the Earth coordinated an entire world-view.
* Cosmic Imagery takes us on a tour through the most influential images in science. Each holds an important place in the growth of human understanding and carries with it a story that illuminates its origin and meaning. Together they reveal something of the beauty and truth of the universe, and why, so often, a picture is better than a thousand words.
“A captivating pictorial and literary journey through the history of science... a must for every home. It is a book that will repay constant visits, and Bodley Head is to be congratulated on its lavish, robust production.”
“Barrow has found a vivid way to focus our attention on cutting-edge science, and there is an awful lot to learn already from this lusciously produced and captivating book.”
“Barrow highlights the power of pictures in discovering and understanding our universe... [and] true to his reputation for excellence in communicating science... this book is sure to provide enjoyable summer-time reading”
Carlos LourenÃ§o, CERN Courier
“Questions about the meaning of life, the universe... this book can probably answer the lot... spectacularly illustrated.”
The Sunday Express