Download e-book for kindle: Ancient and Modern Physics by Thomas E. Willson

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By Thomas E. Willson

ISBN-10: 1407609815

ISBN-13: 9781407609812

Those basic rules were chanced on and utilized some time past fifty years--in the reminiscence of the residing. they've got revolutionized technological know-how in all its departments. Our textbooks on Chemistry, gentle, warmth, electrical energy and Sound have needed to be completely re-written; and in lots of different departments, particularly in medication and psychology, they've got but to be re-written. Our textbooks are in a transition country, every one new one going a step farther, to make the swap sluggish from the outdated sorts of trust to the hot, in order that even Tyndall's textbook on "Sound" is now so antedated, or antiquated, that it can were written in darkest Africa prior to the pyramids have been equipped, rather than two decades in the past.

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I t has required a million years of history, written and unwritten, for man to see beyond his own shadow and judge the external world according to standards appropriate to it, not those manufactured in his own image. Virtually all this immense stretch of time had passed before man reached the level of intelligence necessary to doubt his own supreme importance. Of the remaining few thousand years, modern science occupies only the last few hundred. Through this period, as we saw in the previous chapter, the 25 THE S C I E N C E O F C H A N C E theory of probability gradually grew out of the rolling of dice and the falling of cards.

This ancient notion of chance, after the time of Descartes, was replaced by the doctrine of determinism, based on exact natural law, of which Newton's law of gravitation became the model. Largely due to the far-reaching successes of this law, . 39 THE S C I E N C E O F C H A N C E the doctrine of determinism remained firmly intrenched until the closing years of the last century, when the discovery of radioactivity, followed by the development of the quantum theory, laid the basis for a growing doubt as to its universal applicability.

When Goethe says that luck and merit are traveling companions, he means not only that the superior person is better able to take advantage of the twists of fortune, but that he appears to have luck with him for that very reason. If we insist on interpreting the role of chance in the world in terms of the experience of one individual, usually oneself, we shall never succeed in understanding it. But we may in that way come nearer to satisfying some of our latent vanities. Apparently there are people who deliberately close their minds to more enlightened views, preferring a flattering error to a neutral truth.

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Ancient and Modern Physics by Thomas E. Willson

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