The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments

Ten classic science experiments and the stories behind them.

by George Johnson.

Ten classic science experiments and the stories behind them.

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments

The popular science writer George Johnson hit upon a nice idea for a book: describing classic science experiments and telling the stories behind them. It's the sort of thing that Adam Hart-Davis did so well on his TV series Local Heroes, but with a bit more seriousness. The result is a concise, fun book which can easily be read in a few hours.

Here you will find experiments by Galileo, Harvey, Newton, Lavoisier, Galvani, Faraday, Joule, Michelson, Pavlov and Millikan. All excellent choices, although I think I would have been tempted to include Eratosthenes' calculation of the circumference of the Earth and Darwin's worm stone (although I'm a bit biased regarding the latter).

I wish, however, that Johnson had given the book a different title: by describing the experiments as the most beautiful, he has pretty much ruled out the possibility of a sequel.


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