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Uncovers a singular personality characteristic, motivational factor, or circumstance that, in addition to their extraordinary drive and curiosity, led fifteen eminent scientists to achieve some of the most notable discoveries of the twentieth century.
This guidebook introduces the reader to the visible memorabilia of science and scientists in Budapest - statues, busts, plaques, buildings, and other artefacts. According to the Hungarian-American Nobel laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, this metropolis at the crossroads of Europe has a special atmosphere of respect for science. It has been the venue of numerous scientific achievements and the cradle, literally, of many individuals who in Hungary, and even more beyond its borders, became world-renowned contributors to science and culture. Six of the eight chapters of the book cover the Hungarian Nobel laureates, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the university, the medical school, agricultural sciences, and technology and engineering. One chapter is about selected secondary schools from which seven Nobel laureates (Szent-Gyorgyi, de Hevesy, Wigner, Gabor, Harsanyi, Olah, and Kertesz) and the five "Martians of Science" (von Karman, Szilard, Wigner, von Neumann, and Teller) had graduated. The concluding chapter is devoted to scientist martyrs of the Holocaust. A special feature in surveying Hungarian science is the contributions of scientists that left their homeland before their careers blossomed and made their seminal discoveries elsewhere, especially in Great Britain and the United States. The book covers the memorabilia referring to both emigre scientists and those that remained in Hungary. The discussion is informative and entertaining. The coverage is based on the visible memorabilia, which are not necessarily proportional with achievements. Therefore, there is a caveat that one could not compile a history of science relying solely on the presence of the memorabilia.
If science has the equivalent of a Bloomsbury group, it is the five men born at the turn of the twentieth century in Budapest: Theodore von Karman, Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, John von Neumann, and Edward Teller. From Hungary to Germany to the United States, they remained friends and continued to work together and influence each other throughout their lives. As a result, their work was integral to some of the most important scientific and political developments of the twentieth century. They were an extraordinary group of talents: Wigner won a Nobel Prize in theoretical physics; Szilard was the first to see that a chain reaction based on neutrons was possible, initiated the Manhattan Project, but left physics to try to restrict nuclear arms; von Neumann could solve difficult problems in his head and developed the modern computer for more complex problems; von Karman became the first director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, providing the scientific basis for the U.S. Air Force; and Teller was the father of the hydrogen bomb, whose name is now synonymous with the controversial "Star Wars" initiative of the 1980s. Each was fiercely opinionated, politically active, and fought against all forms of totalitarianism. Istvan Hargittai, as a young Hungarian physical chemist, was able to get to know some of these great men in their later years, and the depth of information and human interest in The Martians of Science is the result of his personal relationships with the subjects, their families, and their contemporaries.
For more than a century, science has cultivated a sober public image for itself. But as bestselling author Michael Brooks explains, the truth is very different: many of our most successful scientists have more in common with libertines than librarians. This thrilling exploration of some of the greatest breakthroughs in science reveals the extreme lengths some scientists go to in order to make their theories public. Fraud, suppressing evidence and unethical or reckless PR games are sometimes necessary to bring the best and most brilliant discoveries to the world's attention. Inspiration can come from the most unorthodox of places, and Brooks introduces us to Nobel laureates who get their ideas through drugs, dreams and hallucinations. Science is a highly competitive and ruthless discipline, and only its most determined and passionate practitioners make headlines - and history. To succeed, knowledge must be pursued by any means: in science, anything goes. 'Brooks is an exemplary science writer' William Leith, Daily Telegraph
Provides over one hundred simple science experiments to do at home, including activities about plants and seeds, water and ice, molds, bacteria, fungus, engineering, food, baking soda and vinegar, the environment, and living things.
What if bacteria turned all the gasoline in Los Angeles into vinegar? Carmageddon doesn't begin to describe it. PETROPLAGUE does. Christina González expected her research to change the world. But not like this. The UCLA graduate student wanted to use biotechnology to free America from its dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Instead, an act of eco-terrorism unleashes her genetically-modified bacteria into the fuel supply of Los Angeles, turning gasoline into vinegar. With the city paralyzed and slipping toward anarchy, Christina must find a way to rein in the microscopic monster she created. But not everyone wants to cure the petroplague—and some will do whatever it takes to spread it. From the La Brea Tar Pits to university laboratories to the wilds of the Angeles National Forest, Christina and her cousin River struggle against enemies seen and unseen to stop the infection before it's too late. ______ "Amy Rogers is the crisp, haunting new voice of science thrillers. If you think global warming is scary, wait till you read PETROPLAGUE." Norb Vonnegut, author of The Gods of Greenwich "PETROPLAGUE is a terrific thriller debut and Amy Rogers really knows her science. From a killer premise--scientists create a bacterium that stops the industrial world in its tracks--PETROPLAGUE ratchets up the tension and danger with every chapter. The tense, tight plot and interesting characters kept me reading late into the night...Amy Rogers is one to watch--I can't wait for her next book." Paul McEuen, author of international bestselling science thriller SPIRAL "PETROPLAGUE has earned a spot in the top five on my best of 2011 list. Amy uses her extensive science background and research connections to create an intense thriller that balances technology with well-defined, likeable, and believable characters." ThrillersRockTwitter book review "Compellingly written, technically literate...an author who knows her way around hydrocarbons--from the lightest methane to the heaviest La Brea tar sands--and who also treats her readers to freshly-drawn characters..." L. A. Starks, amazon reviewer and author of 13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy

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