Pendulum

Pendulum

Leon Foucault and the Triumph of Science

  • customer reviews
He was neither a mathematician nor a trained physicist and yet Léon Foucault always knew that a mysterious force of nature was among us. Like Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, and others before him, Foucault sensed a dramatic relationship between the rotating skies above and the seemingly motionless ground beneath our feet. But it wasn't until 1851 -- in Paris, inside the Panthéon, and in the company of fellow amateur scientist Napoleon III -- that Foucault swung a pendulum and demonstrated an extraordinary truth about the world: that it turns on its axis.
Pendulum is a fascinating journey through the mind and findings of one of the most important and lesser-known characters in the history of science. Through careful research and lively anecdotes, world-renowned author Amir D. Aczel reveals the astonishing range and breadth of Foucault's discoveries. For, in addition to offering the first unequivocal proof of Earth's rotation, Foucault gave us the modern electric compass and microscope, was a pioneer in photographic technology, and made remarkable deductions about color theory, heat waves, and the speed of light.
At its heart, Pendulum is a story about the illustrious period in France during the Second Empire; the crucial triumph of science over religion; and, most compelling, the life of a struggling, self-made man whose pursuit of knowledge continues to inform our notions about the universe today.
Choose a format:
Buy from us:
  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743464796 | 
  • September 2004
Add to Cart
List Price $19.95
Usually ships within 1 business day

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: A Stunning Discovery in the Cellar

From his journal, we know that he made the discovery at exactly two o'clock in the morning on January 6, 1851. He was down in the cellar of the house he shared with his mother, located at the corner of the rue de Vaugirard and rue d'Assas -- in the heart of the intellectual Left Bank of Paris and within the immediate area in which Gertrude Stein and Picasso would live during the next century. He had been working feverishly in the cellar for weeks, but no one walking on the fashionable street above could suspect that down below an experiment was being prepared -- one that would forever change... see more

More Books from this Author

Explore

CONNECT WITH US

Get a FREE eBook
when you join our mailing list!