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  • Published: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409088233
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments

One of the world's finest science journalists tells the story of the ten greatest scientific experiments - which in a moment profoundly changed our understanding of the universe.

George Johnson tells the stories of ten beautiful experiments which changed the world. From Galileo singing to mark time as he measured the pull of gravity and Newton carefully inserting a needle behind his own eye, to Joule packing a thermometer on his honeymoon to take the temperature of waterfalls and Michelson recovering from a dark depression to discover that light moves at the same speed in every direction - these ten dedicated men employed diamonds, dogs, frogs and even their own bodies as they worked to discover the laws of nature and of the universe.

  • Published: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409088233
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

About the author

George Johnson

George Johnson is a science writer for the New York Times. He is a former Alicia Patterson Fellow, a finalist for the prestigious Aventis Prize, and a recipient of the Science Journalism Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Praise for The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments

A delightful read that will stimulate the scientist inside everyone


As a science journalist, Mr. Johnson is a seasoned translator of technical jargon. He also has a sharp eye for human plot, both in and out of the laboratory . . . a certain spirit of wonder breathes through Mr. Johnson's chapters.

New York Sun

Delightful, succinct, elegant.

Roger Penrose

Entertaining, finely crafted... there is a feast of fine science writing in this gem of a book

Sunday Telegraph

In describing these beautifully simple works of genius, Johnson reveals as much about the corporatist nature of modern science as he does about early research

Scotland on Sunday

Johnson has a good feel for detail . . . and an easy touch with larger concepts . . . Johnson's lively book nicely evokes the lost world of the tabletop experiment .

New York Times Book Review

Johnson manages to convey the heart-stopping wonder of discovery

Radio 4, Today programme

Johnson's essays balance human interest and scientific wonder in equal measure, making for a delicious succession of vignettes


Johnson's lively book... finds beauty throughout science - even among dead frogs and drooling dogs


Johnson's mix of the personal, the erudite and crystalline prose is -- like the pull of gravity (see beautiful experiment number 1) -- an irresistible force.

Scientific American

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