Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (539.754 L5784b )
Publication Date: 2017-04-18
The authoritative story of Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish, and Kip Thorne's Nobel Prize-winning discovery of gravitational waves--by an eminent theoretical astrophysicist and award-winning writer. With A New Preface In 1916, Einstein predicted the presence of gravitational waves. One century later, we are recording the first sounds from space, evidence of the waves' existence caused by the collision of two black holes. An authoritative account of the headline-making discovery by theoretical astrophysicist and award-winning writer Janna Levin, Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space recounts the fascinating story of the obsessions, aspirations, and trials of the scientists who embarked on an arduous fifty-year endeavor to capture these elusive waves Five decades after the experiment was dreamed up, the team races to intercept a wisp of sound with two colossal machines, hoping to succeed in time for the centenary of Einstein's most radical idea. With unprecendented access to the surprises, disappointments, achievements, and risks in this remarkable story, Janna Levin's absorbing account offers a portrait of modern science that is unlike anything we've seen before.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (577.22 C6136 )
Publication Date: 2014-03-21
An updated and accessible account of what science knows about climate change, incorporating the latest scientific findings and policy initiatives. Most of us are familiar with the term climate change but few of us understand the science behind it. We don't fully comprehend how climate change will affect us, and for that reason we might not consider it as pressing a concern as, say, housing prices or unemployment. This book explains the scientific knowledge about global climate change clearly and concisely in engaging, nontechnical language, describes how it will affect all of us, and suggests how government, business, and citizens can take action against it. This completely revised and updated edition incorporates the latest scientific research and policy initiatives on climate change. It describes recent major legislative actions, analyzes alternative regulatory tools including new uses of taxes and markets, offers increased coverage of China and other developing nations, discusses the role of social media in communicating about climate change, and provides updated assessments of the effects of climate change. The book first explains the basic scientific facts about climate change and its global impact. It discusses the nature of scientific consensus and the strong consensus of mainstream science on climate change. It then explores policy responses and corporate actions in the United States and the rest of the world, discusses how the communication of climate change information by journalists and others can be improved, and addresses issues of environmental justice -- how climate change affects the most vulnerable populations and regions. We can better tackle climate change, this book shows us, if we understand it.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (511.352 F778g )
Publication Date: 2013-03-31
The P-NP problem is the most important open problem in computer science, if not all of mathematics. Simply stated, it asks whether every problem whose solution can be quickly checked by computer can also be quickly solved by computer. The Golden Ticket provides a nontechnical introduction to P-NP, its rich history, and its algorithmic implications for everything we do with computers and beyond. Lance Fortnow traces the history and development of P-NP, giving examples from a variety of disciplines, including economics, physics, and biology. He explores problems that capture the full difficulty of the P-NP dilemma, from discovering the shortest route through all the rides at Disney World to finding large groups of friends on Facebook. The Golden Ticket explores what we truly can and cannot achieve computationally, describing the benefits and unexpected challenges of this compelling problem.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (534 G574s )
Publication Date: 2016-02-10
Sound is integral to how we experience the world, in the form of noise as well as music. But what is sound? What is the physical basis of pitch and harmony? And how are sound waves exploited in musical instruments? In this Very Short Introduction Mike Goldsmith looks at the science of sound and explores sound in different contexts, covering the audible and inaudible, sound underground and underwater, accoustic and electric, and hearing in humans and animals. He also considers the problem of sound out of place- noise and its reduction.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (547 P2753o )
Publication Date: 2017-05-01
Organic chemistry is the chemistry of compounds of carbon. The ability of carbon to link together to form long chain molecules and ring compounds as well as bonding with many other elements has led to a vast array of organic compounds. These compounds are central to life, forming the basis fororganic molecules such as nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. In this Very Short Introduction Graham Patrick covers the whole range of organic compounds and their roles. Beginning with the structures and properties of the basic groups of organic compounds, he goes on to consider organic compounds in the areas of pharmaceuticals, polymers, food and drink,petrochemicals, and nanotechnology. He looks at how new materials, in particular the single layer form of carbon called graphene, are opening up exciting new possibilities for applications, and discusses the particular challenges of working with carbon compounds, many of which are colourless.Patrick also discusses techniques used in the field.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (174.95 On11 )
Publication Date: 2009-04-24
The scientific research enterprise is built on a foundation of trust. Scientists trust that the results reported by others are valid. Society trusts that the results of research reflect an honest attempt by scientists to describe the world accurately and without bias. But this trust will endure only if the scientific community devotes itself to exemplifying and transmitting the values associated with ethical scientific conduct. "On Being a Scientist" was designed to supplement the informal lessons in ethics provided by research supervisors and mentors. The book describes the ethical foundations of scientific practices and some of the personal and professional issues that researchers encounter in their work. It applies to all forms of research--whether in academic, industrial, or governmental settings-and to all scientific disciplines. This third edition of "On Being a Scientist" reflects developments since the publication of the original edition in 1989 and a second edition in 1995. A continuing feature of this edition is the inclusion of a number of hypothetical scenarios offering guidance in thinking about and discussing these scenarios. "On Being a Scientist" is aimed primarily at graduate students and beginning researchers, but its lessons apply to all scientists at all stages of their scientific careers.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (591.68 Sh223h )
Publication Date: 2015-04-05
Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth, Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in "ancient DNA" research, walks readers through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used--today--to resurrect the past. Journeying to far-flung Siberian locales in search of ice age bones and delving into her own research--as well as those of fellow experts such as Svante Pääbo, George Church, and Craig Venter--Shapiro considers de-extinction's practical benefits and ethical challenges. Would de-extinction change the way we live? Is this really cloning? What are the costs and risks? And what is the ultimate goal? Using DNA collected from remains as a genetic blueprint, scientists aim to engineer extinct traits--traits that evolved by natural selection over thousands of years--into living organisms. But rather than viewing de-extinction as a way to restore one particular species, Shapiro argues that the overarching goal should be the revitalization and stabilization of contemporary ecosystems. For example, elephants with genes modified to express mammoth traits could expand into the Arctic, re-establishing lost productivity to the tundra ecosystem. Looking at the very real and compelling science behind an idea once seen as science fiction, How to Clone a Mammoth demonstrates how de-extinction will redefine conservation's future.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (540 At53c )
Publication Date: 2015-05-01
Most people remember chemistry from their schooldays as largely incomprehensible, a subject that was fact-rich but understanding-poor, smelly, and so far removed from the real world of events and pleasures that there seemed little point, except for the most introverted, in coming to terms withits grubby concepts, spells, recipes, and rules. Peter Atkins wants to change all that. In this Very Short Introduction to Chemistry, he encourages us to look at chemistry anew, through a chemist's eyes, in order to understand its central concepts and to see how it contributes not only towards our material comfort, but also to human culture. Atkins shows how chemistry provides theinfrastructure of our world, through the chemical industry, the fuels of heating, power generation, and transport, as well as the fabrics of our clothing and furnishings. By considering the remarkable achievements that chemistry has made, and examining its place between both physics and biology, Atkins presents a fascinating, clear, and rigorous exploration of the world of chemistry - its structure, core concepts, and exciting contributions to new cutting-edgetechnologies. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (538 B6283m )
Publication Date: 2012-07-05
Magnetism is a strange force, mysteriously attracting one object to another apparently through empty space. It has been claimed as a great healer, with magnetic therapies being proposed over the centuries and still popular today. Why are its mysterious important to solve? In this Very Short Introduction, Stephen J. Blundell explains why. For centuries magnetism has been used for various exploits; through compasses it gave us navigation and through motors, generators, and turbines it has given us power. Blundell explores our understanding of electricity and magnetism,from the work of Galvani, Ampere, Faraday, and Tesla, and goes on to explore how Maxwell and Faraday's work led to the unification of electricity and magnetism, thought of as one of the most imaginative developments in theoretical physics. With a discussion of the relationship between magnetism and relativity, quantum magnetism, and its impact on computers and information storage, Blundell shows how magnetism has changed our fundamental understanding of the Universe.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.11 M976s )
Publication Date: 2016-11-15
Long-listed for the 2016 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award "An important book that provides insight into key new developments in our understanding of the nature of space, time and the universe. It will repay careful study." --John Gribbin,The Wall Street Journal "An endlessly surprising foray into the current mother of physics' many knotty mysteries, the solving of which may unveil the weirdness of quantum particles, black holes, and the essential unity of nature." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) What is space? It isn't a question that most of us normally ask. Space is the venue of physics; it's where things exist, where they move and take shape. Yet over the past few decades, physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time: nonlocality-the ability of two particles to act in harmony no matter how far apart they may be. It appears to be almost magical. Einstein grappled with this oddity and couldn't come to terms with it, describing it as "spooky action at a distance." More recently, the mystery has deepened as other forms of nonlocality have been uncovered. This strange occurrence, which has direct connections to black holes, particle collisions, and even the workings of gravity, holds the potential to undermine our most basic understandings of physical reality. If space isn't what we thought it was, then what is it? InSpooky Action at a Distance, George Musser sets out to answer that question, offering a provocative exploration of nonlocality and a celebration of the scientists who are trying to explain it. Musser guides us on an epic journey into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem, astronomers finding galaxies that look statistically identical, and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the big bang. He traces the often contentious debates over nonlocality through major discoveries and disruptions of the twentieth century and shows how scientists faced with the same undisputed experimental evidence develop wildly different explanations for that evidence. Their conclusions challenge our understanding of not only space and time but also the origins of the universe-and they suggest a new grand unified theory of physics. Delightfully readable,Spooky Action at a Distanceis a mind-bending voyage to the frontiers of modern physics that will change the way we think about reality.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.11 M916n )
Publication Date: 2017-09-19
You are reading the word "now" right now. But what does that mean? What makes the ephemeral moment "now" so special? Its enigmatic character has bedeviled philosophers, priests, and modern-day physicists from Augustine to Einstein and beyond. Einstein showed that the flow of time is affected by both velocity and gravity, yet he despaired at his failure to explain the meaning of "now." Equally puzzling: why does time flow? Some physicists have given up trying to understand, and call the flow of time an illusion, but the eminent experimentalist physicist Richard A. Muller protests. He says physics should explain reality, not deny it. In Now, Muller does more than poke holes in past ideas; he crafts his own revolutionary theory, one that makes testable predictions. He begins by laying out--with the refreshing clarity that made Physics for Future Presidents so successful--a firm and remarkably clear explanation of the physics building blocks of his theory: relativity, entropy, entanglement, antimatter, and the Big Bang. With the stage then set, he reveals a startling way forward. Muller's monumental work will spark major debate about the most fundamental assumptions of our universe, and may crack one of physics's longest-standing enigmas.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530 B1465f )
Publication Date: 2014-07-15
In this stunning new volume, Jim Baggott argues that there is no observational or experimental evidence for many of the ideas of modern theoretical physics: super-symmetric particles, superstrings, the multiverse, the holographic principle, or the anthropic cosmological principle. These theories are not only untrue, it is not even science. It is fairy-tale physics: fantastical, bizarre and often outrageous, perhaps even confidence-trickery. This book provides a much-needed antidote. Informed, comprehensive, and balanced, it offers lay readers the latest ideas about the nature of physical reality while clearly distinguishing between fact and fantasy. With its engaging portraits of many central figures of modern physics, including Paul Davies, John Barrow, Brian Greene, Stephen Hawking, and Leonard Susskind, it promises to be essential reading for all readers interested in what we know and don't know about the nature of the universe and reality itself.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.12 R2139q )
Publication Date: 2017-07-05
Around 1900, physicists started to discover particles like electrons, protons, and neutrons, and with these discoveries they believed they could predict the internal behavior of the atom. However, once their predictions were compared to the results of experiments in the real world, it becameclear that the principles of classical physics and mechanics were far from capable of explaining phenomena on the atomic scale. With this realization came the advent of quantum physics, one of the most important intellectual movements in human history.Today, quantum physics is everywhere: it explains how our computers work, how radios transmit sound, and allows scientists to predict accurately the behavior of nearly every particle in nature. Its application led to the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson, and continues to be fundamental in theinvestigation of the broadest and most expansive questions related to our world and the universe. However, while the field and principles of quantum physics are known to have nearly limitless applications, the reasons why this is the case are far less understood. In Quantum Physics: What EveryoneNeeds to Know, Michael Raymer distills the basic principles of such an abstract field, and addresses the many ways quantum physics is a key factor in today's scientific climate and beyond. The book tackles questions as broad as the definition of a quantum state and as specific and timely as why theBritish government plans to spend 270 million GBP on quantum technology research in the next five years. Raymer's list of topics is diverse, and showcases the sheer range of questions and ideas in which quantum physics is involved. From applications like data encryption and micro-circuitry toprinciples and concepts like Absolute Zero and Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle, Quantum Physics: What Everyone Needs to Know is wide-reaching introduction to a nearly ubiquitous scientific topic.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (541.388 EL53i )
Publication Date: 2016-08-01
An isotope is a variant form of a chemical element, containing a different number of neutrons in its nucleus. Most elements exist as several isotopes. Many are stable while others are radioactive, and some may only exist fleetingly before decaying into other elements.In this Very Short Introduction, Rob Ellam explains how isotopes have proved enormously important across all the sciences and in archaeology. Radioactive isotopes may be familiar from their use in nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and in medicine, as well as in carbon dating. They have been central toestablishing the age of the Earth and the origins of the solar system. Combining previous and new research, Ellam provides an overview of the nature of stable and radioactive isotopes, and considers their wide range of modern applications. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (539.2 J7688s )
Publication Date: 2017-08-22
More than ever before, radiation is a part of our modern daily lives. We own radiation-emitting phones, regularly get diagnostic x-rays, such as mammograms, and submit to full-body security scans at airports. We worry and debate about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the safety of nuclear power plants. But how much do we really know about radiation? And what are its actual dangers? An accessible blend of narrative history and science, Strange Glow describes mankind's extraordinary, thorny relationship with radiation, including the hard-won lessons of how radiation helps and harms our health. Timothy Jorgensen explores how our knowledge of and experiences with radiation in the last century can lead us to smarter personal decisions about radiation exposures today. Jorgensen introduces key figures in the story of radiation--from Wilhelm Roentgen, the discoverer of x-rays, and pioneering radioactivity researchers Marie and Pierre Curie, to Thomas Edison and the victims of the recent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Tracing the most important events in the evolution of radiation, Jorgensen explains exactly what radiation is, how it produces certain health consequences, and how we can protect ourselves from harm. He also considers a range of practical scenarios such as the risks of radon in our basements, radiation levels in the fish we eat, questions about cell-phone use, and radiation's link to cancer. Jorgensen empowers us to make informed choices while offering a clearer understanding of broader societal issues. Investigating radiation's benefits and risks, Strange Glow takes a remarkable look at how, for better or worse, radiation has transformed our society.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (531.09 B4561z )
Publication Date: 2015-08-04
From the speed of light to moving mountains--and everything in between--ZOOM explores how the universe and its objects move. If you sit as still as you can in a quiet room, you might be able to convince yourself that nothing is moving. But air currents are still wafting around you. Blood rushes through your veins. The atoms in your chair jiggle furiously. In fact, the planet you are sitting on is whizzing through space thirty-five times faster than the speed of sound. Natural motion dominates our lives and the intricate mechanics of the world around us. In ZOOM, Bob Berman explores how motion shapes every aspect of the universe, literally from the ground up. With an entertaining style and a gift for distilling the wondrous, Berman spans astronomy, geology, biology, meteorology, and the history of science, uncovering how clouds stay aloft, how the Earth's rotation curves a home run's flight, and why a mosquito's familiar whine resembles a telephone's dial tone. For readers who love to get smarter without realizing it, ZOOM bursts with science writing at its best.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.11 B4394w )
Publication Date: 2016-03-22
It is commonly assumed that if the Sun suddenly turned into a black hole, it would suck Earth and the rest of the planets into oblivion. Yet, as prominent author and astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett points out, black holes don't suck. With that simple idea in mind, Bennett begins an entertaining introduction to Einstein's theories of relativity, describing the amazing phenomena readers would actually experience if they took a trip to a black hole. The theory of relativity reveals the speed of light as the cosmic speed limit, the mind-bending ideas of time dilation and curvature of spacetime, and what may be the most famous equation in history: E = mc2. Indeed, the theory of relativity shapes much of our modern understanding of the universe. It is not "just a theory"--every major prediction of relativity has been tested to exquisite precision, and its practical applications include the Global Positioning System (GPS). Amply illustrated and written in clear, accessible prose, Bennett's book proves anyone can grasp the basics of Einstein's ideas. His intuitive, nonmathematical approach gives a wide audience its first real taste of how relativity works and why it is so important to science and the way we view ourselves as human beings.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.83 L243v )
Publication Date: 2016-06-21
The Earth teems with life: in its oceans, forests, skies and cities. Yet there's a black hole at the heart of biology. We do not know why complex life is the way it is, or, for that matter, how life first began. In The Vital Question, award-winning author and biochemist Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a solution to conundrums that have puzzled generations of scientists.For two and a half billion years, from the very origins of life, single-celled organisms such as bacteria evolved without changing their basic form. Then, on just one occasion in four billion years, they made the jump to complexity. All complex life, from mushrooms to man, shares puzzling features, such as sex, which are unknown in bacteria. How and why did this radical transformation happen?The answer, Lane argues, lies in energy: all life on Earth lives off a voltage with the strength of a lightning bolt. Building on the pillars of evolutionary theory, Lane's hypothesis draws on cutting-edge research into the link between energy and cell biology, in order to deliver a compelling account of evolution from the very origins of life to the emergence of multicellular organisms, while offering deep insights into our own lives and deaths.Both rigorous and enchanting, The Vital Question provides a solution to life's vital question: why are we as we are, and indeed, why are we here at all?
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.12 L5882q )
Publication Date: 2016-07-12
Metaphysicians should pay attention to quantum mechanics. Why? Not because it provides definitive answers to many metaphysical questions - the theory itself is remarkably silent on the nature of the physical world, and the various interpretations of the theory on offer present conflictingontological pictures. Rather, quantum mechanics is essential to the metaphysician because it reshapes standard metaphysical debates and opens up unforeseen new metaphysical possibilities. Even if quantum mechanics provides few clear answers, there are good reasons to think that any adequateunderstanding of the quantum world will result in a radical reshaping of our classical world-view in some way or other. Whatever the world is like at the atomic scale, it is almost certainly not the swarm of particles pushed around by forces that is often presupposed. This book guides readers through the theory of quantum mechanics and its implications for metaphysics in a clear and accessible way. The theory and its various interpretations are presented with a minimum of technicality. The consequences of these interpretations for metaphysical debates concerningrealism, indeterminacy, causation, determinism, holism, and individuality (among other topics) are explored in detail, stressing the novel form that the debates take given the empirical facts in the quantum domain. While quantum mechanics may not deliver unconditional pronouncements on these issues,the range of possibilities consistent with our knowledge of the empirical world is relatively small-and each possibility is metaphysically revisionary in some way. This book will appeal to researchers, students, and anybody else interested in how science informs our world-view.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (508.092 Au29t )
Publication Date: 2015-03-01
Birds were "the objects of my greatest delight," wrote John James Audubon (1785-1851), founder of modern ornithology and one of the world's greatest bird painters. His masterpiece, The Birds of America depicts almost five hundred North American bird species, each image--lifelike and life size--rendered in vibrant color. Audubon was also an explorer, a woodsman, a hunter, an entertaining and prolific writer, and an energetic self-promoter. Through talent and dogged determination, he rose from backwoods obscurity to international fame. In This Strange Wilderness, award-winning author Nancy Plain brings together the amazing story of this American icon's career and the beautiful images that are his legacy. Before Audubon, no one had seen, drawn, or written so much about the animals of this largely uncharted young country. Aware that the wilderness and its wildlife were changing even as he watched, Audubon remained committed almost to the end of his life "to search out the things which have been hidden since the creation of this wondrous world." This Strange Wilderness details his art and writing, transporting the reader back to the frontiers of early nineteenth-century America.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (539.72 L4987b )
Publication Date: 2013-10-08
"Two leading physicists discuss the importance of the Higgs Boson, the future of particle physics, and the mysteries of the universe yet to be unraveled. n July 4, 2012, the long-sought Higgs Boson--aka "the God Particle"--was discovered at the world's largest particle accelerator, the LHC, in Geneva, Switzerland. On March 14, 2013, physicists at CERN confirmed it. This elusive subatomic particle forms a field that permeates the entire universe, creating the masses of the elementary particles that are the basic building blocks of everything in the known world--from viruses to elephants, from atoms to quasars. Starting where Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman's bestseller The God Particle left off, this incisive new book explains what's next. Lederman and Hill discuss key questions that will occupy physicists for years to come: * Why were scientists convinced that something like the "God Particle" had to exist? * What new particles, forces, and laws of physics lie beyond the "God Particle"? * What powerful new accelerators are now needed for the US to recapture a leadership role in science and to reach &qu
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (539.72 G175n )
Publication Date: 2005-07-26
This newly updated edition of a well-known work explores a pair of modern science's most fundamental discoveries: the asymmetric DNA helix and the overthrow of parity (left-right symmetry) in particle physics. Absorbing and thought-provoking, The New Ambidextrous Universe was written by Martin Gardner, one of Dover's most popular authors,.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (509.04 Ag15s )
Publication Date: 2013-10-07
A compelling history of science from 1900 to the present day, this is the first book to survey modern developments in science during a century of unprecedented change, conflict and uncertainty. The scope is global. Science's claim to access universal truths about the natural world made it an irresistible resource for industrial empires, ideological programs, and environmental campaigners during this period. Science has been at the heart of twentieth century history - from Einstein's new physics to the Manhattan Project, from eugenics to the Human Genome Project, or from the wonders of penicillin to the promises of biotechnology. For some science would only thrive if autonomous and kept separate from the political world, while for others science was the best guide to a planned and better future. Science was both a routine, if essential, part of an orderly society, and the disruptive source of bewildering transformation. Jon Agar draws on a wave of recent scholarship that explores science from interdisciplinary perspectives to offer a readable synthesis that will be ideal for anyone curious about the profound place of science in the modern world.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (303.483 Ot88f )
Publication Date: 2011-10-11
"Whenever the people are well informed," Thomas Jefferson wrote, "they can be trusted with their own government." But what happens in a world dominated by complex science? Are the people still well-enough informed to be trusted with their own government? And with less than 2 percent of Congress with any professional background in science, how can our government be trusted to lead us in the right direction? Will the media save us? Don't count on it. In early 2008, of the 2,975 questions asked the candidates for president just six mentioned the words "global warming" or "climate change," the greatest policy challenge facing America. To put that in perspective, three questions mentioned UFOs. Today the world's major unsolved challenges all revolve around science. By the 2012 election cycle, at a time when science is influencing every aspect of modern life, antiscience views from climate-change denial to creationism to vaccine refusal have become mainstream. Faced with the daunting challenges of an environment under siege, an exploding population, a falling economy and an education system slipping behind, our elected leaders are hard at work ... passing resolutions that say climate change is not real and astrology can control the weather. Shawn Lawrence Otto has written a behind-the-scenes look at how the government, our politics, and the media prevent us from finding the real solutions we need.Fool Me Twice is the clever, outraged, and frightening account of America's relationship with science--a relationship that is on the rocks at the very time we need it most.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.24 L5445m )
Publication Date: 2013-10-29
In the mid-1990s, astronomers made history when they began to find planets orbiting stars in the Milky Way. More than eight hundred planets have been found since then, yet none of them is anything like Earth and none could support life. Now, armed with more powerful technology, planet hunters are racing to find a true twin of Earth. Science writer Michael Lemonick has unique access to these exoplaneteers, as they call themselves, andMirror Earth unveils their passionate quest. Unlike competitors in other races, Geoff Marcy, Bill Borucki, David Charbonneau, Sara Seager, and others actually consult and cooperate with one another. But only one will be the first to find Earth's twin.Mirror Earthtells the story of their competition.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (581.467 F945s )
Publication Date: 2016-04-05
From the magnificence of a towering redwood to the simple elegance of a tiny dandelion, seed-bearing plants abound on planet Earth. The sheer diversity of plants thriving today is largely thanks to the evolution of the seed, as this made plants resilient to environmental changes by enabling them to await optimum conditions for growth before springing to life. In a time of declining biodiversity, studying seeds is now helping scientists preserve this plant diversity for future generations. With Seeds, Carolyn Fry offers a celebration of these vital but unassuming packages of life. She begins with a sweeping tour through human history, designed to help us understand why we should appreciate and respect these floral parcels. Wheat, corn, and rice, she reminds us, supply the foundations of meals eaten by people around the world. Countless medicines, oils, clothing materials, and building supplies are available only because of the versatility and variety of seed-bearing plants. Fry then provides a comprehensive history of the evolution of seeds, explaining the myriad ways that they have adapted, survived, and thrived across the globe. Delving deeper into the science of seeds, she reveals the fascinating processes of dormancy, reproduction, germination, and dispersal, and showcases the estimable work conservationists are doing today to gather and bank seeds in order to prevent species from going extinct. Enriched by a stunning array of full-color images, Seeds offers a comprehensive exploration of some of the most enduring and essential players in the natural world.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.11 Ev26t )
Publication Date: 2011-12-15
To see video demonstrations of key concepts from the book, please visit this website: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/sites/timewarp.index.html. Sci-fi makes it look so easy. Receive a distress call from Alpha Centauri? No problem: punch the warp drive and you're there in minutes. Facing a catastrophe that can't be averted? Just pop back in the timestream and stop it before it starts. But for those of us not lucky enough to live in a science-fictional universe, are these ideas merely flights of fancy--or could it really be possible to travel through time or take shortcuts between stars? Cutting-edge physics may not be able to answer those questions yet, but it does offer up some tantalizing possibilities. In Time Travel and Warp Drives, Allen Everett and Thomas A. Roman take readers on a clear, concise tour of our current understanding of the nature of time and space--and whether or not we might be able to bend them to our will. Using no math beyond high school algebra, the authors lay out an approachable explanation of Einstein's special relativity, then move through the fundamental differences between traveling forward and backward in time and the surprising theoretical connection between going back in time and traveling faster than the speed of light. They survey a variety of possible time machines and warp drives, including wormholes and warp bubbles, and, in a dizzyingly creative chapter, imagine the paradoxes that could plague a world where time travel was possible--killing your own grandfather is only one of them! Written with a light touch and an irrepressible love of the fun of sci-fi scenarios--but firmly rooted in the most up-to-date science, Time Travel and Warp Drives will be a delightful discovery for any science buff or armchair chrononaut.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (500 P625n )
Publication Date: 2010-05-15
Recent polls suggest that fewer than 40 percent of Americans believe in Darwin's theory of evolution, despite it being one of science's best-established findings. More and more parents are refusing to vaccinate their children for fear it causes autism, though this link can been consistently disproved. And about 40 percent of Americans believe that the threat of global warming is exaggerated, despite near consensus in the scientific community that manmade climate change is real. Why do people believe bunk? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices? Noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in this entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and--borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham--the nonsense on stilts. Presenting case studies on a number of controversial topics, Pigliucci cuts through the ambiguity surrounding science to look more closely at how science is conducted, how it is disseminated, how it is interpreted, and what it means to our society. The result is in many ways a "taxonomy of bunk" that explores the intersection of science and culture at large. No one--not the public intellectuals in the culture wars between defenders and detractors of science nor the believers of pseudoscience themselves--is spared Pigliucci's incisive analysis. In the end, Nonsense on Stilts is a timely reminder of the need to maintain a line between expertise and assumption. Broad in scope and implication, it is also ultimately a captivating guide for the intelligent citizen who wishes to make up her own mind while navigating the perilous debates that will affect the future of our planet.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (551.5 Ev26b )
Publication Date: 2015-04-09
Air is vital to human existence--it protects us from radiation, maintains climate and weather patterns, disperses seeds and pollen, and serves as an alternative energy source. Despite all of this, air remains neglected in environmental policy, with its ownerless, borderless nature making it difficult to campaign and legislate. Breathing Space is the first book to properly integrate air into the wider environmental discourse. Mark Everard assesses the atmosphere’s structure and its role within our overall environment and argues persuasively for the necessity of governments’ and activists’ recognition of air as a vital resource, as well as the dire need for more effective worldwide policies on air regulation. This work is long overdue and a must-read for scholars, environmental activists, and anyone interested environmental policy.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.11 F4137p )
Publication Date: 2015-03-24
How did one elegant theory incite a scientific revolution? Physicists have been exploring, debating, and questioning the general theory of relativity ever since Albert Einstein first presented it in 1915. Their work has uncovered a number of the universe's more surprising secrets, and many believe further wonders remain hidden within the theory's tangle of equations, waiting to be exposed. In this sweeping narrative of science and culture, astrophysicist Pedro Ferreira brings general relativity to life through the story of the brilliant physicists, mathematicians, and astronomers who have taken up its challenge. For these scientists, the theory has been both a treasure trove and an enigma, fueling a century of intellectual struggle and triumph.. Einstein's theory, which explains the relationships among gravity, space, and time, is possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement of modern physics, yet studying it has always been a controversial endeavor. Relativists were the target of persecution in Hitler's Germany, hounded in Stalin's Russia, and disdained in 1950s America. Even today, PhD students are warned that specializing in general relativity will make them unemployable. Despite these pitfalls, general relativity has flourished, delivering key insights into our understanding of the origin of time and the evolution of all the stars and galaxies in the cosmos. Its adherents have revealed what lies at the farthest reaches of the universe, shed light on the smallest scales of existence, and explained how the fabric of reality emerges. Dark matter, dark energy, black holes, and string theory are all progeny of Einstein's theory. We are in the midst of a momentous transformation in modern physics. As scientists look farther and more clearly into space than ever before,The Perfect Theory reveals the greater relevance of general relativity, showing us where it started, where it has led, and where it can still take us.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509 B7916f )
Publication Date: 2013-06-25
But the truth is scientists will do anything--take drugs, follow mystical visions, lie, and even cheat--to make a discovery. In Free Radicals, physicist and journalist Michael Brooks seamlessly weaves together true stories of the "mad, bad and dangerous" (The Times) men and women who have revolutionized the scientific world into a fast-paced and thrilling exploration of the real process behind discovery. Brooks also traces the cover-up back to its source: the scientific establishment's reaction to the public fear of science after World War II. He argues that it its high time for science to come clean about just how bold and daring scientists really are.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (520 K1246h )
Publication Date: 2009-08-09
Did you know that as you read these words showers of high-speed particles from exploding stars are raining down on you? As you gaze into the starry sky, you might feel isolated from the Universe around you--but you're not. This book reveals the startling ways life on Earth is touched by our cosmic environment, and demonstrates why without such contact, life itself wouldn't be possible. Heaven's Touch embarks on an unforgettable journey across the cosmos, beginning in near space with a look at the gentle ebb and flow of lunar and solar tides. Acclaimed astronomer James Kaler describes their subtle effects on our world and also explores the Sun's more potent influences, such as solar storms that cause auroras, give comets their tails, and knock out power grids on Earth. He ventures across the Solar System to consider how the planets can act to produce climate change, even global disaster. Kaler shows how Jupiter's gravity can throw asteroids toward potentially devastating collision with Earth, and how even our whole Galaxy might hurl comet storms at us. He then takes us into deepest space to describe the cosmic rays launched at us from exploding stars, and considers not just how these exploders might harm us, but how they also join together in the creation of stars and how they serve to populate the Universe with the very building blocks of life. Informative and entertaining, Heaven's Touch reveals how intimately connected we really are with the dynamic Universe in which we live.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.01 Is5h )
Publication Date: 2016-03-03
In 1687 Isaac Newton ushered in a new scientific era in which laws of nature could be used to predict the movements of matter with almost perfect precision. Newton's physics also posed a profound challenge to our self-understanding, however, for the very same laws that keep airplanes in theair and rivers flowing downhill tell us that it is in principle possible to predict what each of us will do every second of our entire lives, given the early conditions of the universe. Can it really be that even while you toss and turn late at night in the throes of an important decision and it seems like the scales of fate hang in the balance, that your decision is a foregone conclusion? Can it really be that everything you have done and everything you ever will do is determinedby facts that were in place long before you were born? This problem is one of the staples of philosophical discussion. It is discussed by everyone from freshman in their first philosophy class, to theoretical physicists in bars after conferences. And yet there is no topic that remains moreunsettling, and less well understood. If you want to get behind the facade, past the bare statement of determinism, and really try to understand what physics is telling us in its own terms, read this book. The problem of free will raises all kinds of questions. What does it mean to make a decision, and what does it mean to say that ouractions are determined? What are laws of nature? What are causes? What sorts of things are we, when viewed through the lenses of physics, and how do we fit into the natural order? Ismael provides a deeply informed account of what physics tells us about ourselves. The result is a vision that isabstract, alien, illuminating, and-Ismael argues-affirmative of most of what we all believe about our own freedom. Written in a jargon-free style, How Physics Makes Us Free provides an accessible and innovative take on a central question of human existence.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.1 B2792b )
Publication Date: 2012-06-11
Einstein's theory of general relativity opens the door for the study of other possible universes--and weird universes at that. The Book of Universes gives us a stunning tour of these potential universes, introducing us to the brilliant physicists and mathematicians who first revealed these startling possibilities. John D. Barrow then explains the latest insights that physics and astronomy have to offer about our own universe, showing how they lead to the concept of the "multiverse"--the universe of all possible universes.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (507.1 Es656n )
Publication Date: 2011-09-09
The role of science in society, along with its nature and development, are commonly misunderstood by students in the social sciences and humanities, and even those studying in the field. Fernando Espinoza shines light on these misconceptions to give readers a deeper understanding of science and its effect and influence upon society, through historical, philosophical, and sociological perspectives. This book incorporates the mandates by national organizations such as the National Research Council and National Science Teachers Association and is a useful text for required courses of general education majors and science courses for preservice teachers.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (501 P254i )
Publication Date: 2014-08-05
A unique approach to the philosophy of science that focuses on the liveliest and most important controversies surrounding science Is science more rational or objective than any other intellectual endeavor? Are scientific theories accurate depictions of reality or just useful devices for manipulating the environment? These core questions are the focus of this unique approach to the philosophy of science. Unlike standard textbooks, this book does not attempt a comprehensive review of the entire field, but makes a selection of the most vibrant debates and issues. The author tackles such stimulating questions as: Can science meet the challenges of skeptics? Should science address questions traditionally reserved for philosophy and religion? Further, does science leave room for human values, free will, and moral responsibility? Written in an accessible, jargon-free style, the text succinctly presents complex ideas in an easily understandable fashion. By using numerous examples taken from diverse areas such as evolutionary theory, paleontology, and astronomy, the author piques readers' curiosity in current scientific controversies. Concise bibliographic essays at the end of each chapter invite readers to sample ideas different from the ones offered in the text and to explore the range of opinions on each topic. Rigorous yet highly readable, this excellent invitation to the philosophy of science makes a convincing case that understanding the nature of science is essential for understanding life itself.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (520 G133h )
Publication Date: 2012-09-07
Just over four hundred years ago, in 1610, Galileo published the Siderius nuncius, or Starry Messenger, a "hurried little masterpiece" in John Heilbron's words. Presenting to the world his remarkable observations using the recently invented telescope - of the craters of the moon, and thesatellites of Jupiter, observations that forced changes to perceptions of the perfection of the heavens and the centrality of the Earth - the appearance of the little book is regarded as one of the greatest moments in the history of science. It was also a point of change in the life of Galileohimself, propelling him from professor to prophet. But this is not the biography of a mathematician. Certainly he spent the first half of his career as a professor of mathematics and has been called "the divine mathematician". Yet he was no more (or less) a mathematician than he was a musician, artist, writer, philosopher, or gadgeteer. This freshlively new biography of the "father of science" paints a rounded picture of Galileo, and places him firmly within the rich texture of late Renaissance Florence, Pisa, and Padua, amid debates on the merits of Ariosto and Tasso, and the geometry of Dante's Inferno - debates in which the young Galileoplayed an active role. Galileo's character and career followed complex paths, moving from the creative but cautious humanist professor to a "knight errant, quixotic and fearless", with increasing enemies, and leading ultimately and inevitably to a clash with a pope who was a former friend.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (534 G574 )
Publication Date: 2014-02-06
Noise is a widely recognized problem and health concern in the modern world. Given the importance of managing noise levels and developing suitable "soundscapes" in contexts such as industry, schools, or public spaces, this is an area of active research for acousticians. But noise, in the senseof dissonance, can also be used positively; composers have employed it from Baroque music to Rock feedback; medicine harnesses it to shatter kidney stones and treat cancer; and even the military uses it in (real and rumoured) weapons. Mike Goldsmith looks back at the long history of the battle between people and noise - a battle that has changed our lives and moulded our societies. He investigates how increasing noise levels relate to human progress, from the clatter of wheels on cobbles to the sound of heavy machinery; heexplains how our scientific understanding of sound and hearing has developed; and he looks at noise in nature, including the remarkable ways in which some animals, such as shrimps, use noise as a weapon or to catch prey. He concludes by turning to the future, discussing the noise sources which arelikely to dominate it and the ways in which new science and new ideas may change the way our future will sound.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.8875 B159w )
Publication Date: 2014-08-31
Emitting no radiation or any other kind of information, black holes mark the edge of the universe--both physically and in our scientific understanding. Yet astronomers have found clear evidence for the existence of black holes, employing the same tools and techniques used to explore other celestial objects. In this sophisticated introduction, leading astronomer Charles Bailyn goes behind the theory and physics of black holes to describe how astronomers are observing these enigmatic objects and developing a remarkably detailed picture of what they look like and how they interact with their surroundings. Accessible to undergraduates and others with some knowledge of introductory college-level physics, this book presents the techniques used to identify and measure the mass and spin of celestial black holes. These key measurements demonstrate the existence of two kinds of black holes, those with masses a few times that of a typical star, and those with masses comparable to whole galaxies--supermassive black holes. The book provides a detailed account of the nature, formation, and growth of both kinds of black holes. The book also describes the possibility of observing theoretically predicted phenomena such as gravitational waves, wormholes, and Hawking radiation. A cutting-edge introduction to a subject that was once on the border between physics and science fiction, this book shows how black holes are becoming routine objects of empirical scientific study.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (507.6 G8845q )
Publication Date: 2010-11-04
G#65533;ran Grimvall is determined to help mere mortals understand how scientists get to the kernel of perplexing problems. Entertaining and enlightening, his latest book uses examples from sports, literature, and nature--as well as from the varied worlds of science--to illustrate how scientists make sense of and explain the world around us. Grimvall's fun-to-read essays and easy-to-follow examples detail how order-of-magnitude estimation, extreme cases, dimensional analysis, and other modeling methods work. They also reveal how nonscientists absorb these concepts and use them at home, school, and work. Grimvall's simple, elegant explanations will help you tap into your inner scientist. Read this book and enjoy your own "Aha!" moment.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (501.9 R743f )
Publication Date: 2014-11-14
Scientific breakthroughs have had far-reaching social and physical effects on modern civilization, yet until recently, there have been relatively few investigations into the nature of scientific creativity itself. Flight from Wonder reports the findings from an empirical study of 42 Nobellaureates in science from the United States and Europe concerning the creative processes that yield scientific innovation. To this end, Albert Rothenberg designed an interview scheme to delineate the content and sequences of processes that lead scientists to specific creative achievements. Heconducted interviews with Nobel laureates in the fields of medicine, physiology, physics, and chemistry while carrying out matching interviews with a control group consisting of twelve accomplished engineers on the faculty of a leading engineering university. Rothenberg's results demonstrate that the Nobel laureates perform three distinct cognitive creative processes to achieve key formulations and discoveries; the detailed nature and structure of these findings were reviewed and corroborated by each of the Nobel laureates. To supplement his findings,Rothenberg engages with autobiographical accounts and work-in-progress manuscripts pertaining to the creative discoveries of outstanding scientists of the past including Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Max Planck, Neils Bohr, Hideki Yukawa, and James Watson. The book will interest students andgeneral science readers fascinated by the development of scientific inquiry and innovation.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (629.4354 P993 )
Publication Date: 2012-04-24
In the next decade, NASA, by itself and in collaboration with the European Space Agency, is planning a minimum of four separate missions to Mars. Clearly, exciting times are ahead for Mars exploration. This is an insider's look into the amazing projects now being developed here and abroad to visit the legendary red planet. Drawing on his contacts at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the author provides stunning insights into the history of Mars exploration and the difficulties and dangers of traveling there. After an entertaining survey of the human fascination with Mars over the centuries, the author offers an introduction to the geography, geology, and water processes of the planet. He then briefly describes the many successful missions by NASA and others to that distant world. But failure and frustration also get their due. As the author makes clear, going to Mars is not, and never will be, easy. Later in the book, he describes in detail what each upcoming mission will involve. In the second half of the book, he offers the reader a glimpse inside the world of Earth-based "Mars analogs," places on Earth where scientists are conducting research in hostile environments that are eerily "Martian." Finally, he constructs a probable scenario of a crewed expedition to Mars, so that readers can see how earlier robotic missions and human Earth simulations will fit together. All this is punctuated by numerous firsthand interviews with some of the finest Mars explorers of our day, including Stephen Squyres (Mars Exploration Rover), Bruce Murray (former director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory), and Peter Smith (chief of the Mars Phoenix Lander and the upcoming OSIRIS-REx missions). These stellar individuals give us an insider's view of the difficulties and rewards of roaming the red planet. The author's infectious enthusiasm and firsthand knowledge of the international space industry combine to make a uniquely appealing and accessible book about Mars.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (500 F9898 )
Publication Date: 2011-08-09
In this fascinating collection of writings that introduce the very latest theories and discoveries in science, editor Max Brockman presents the work of some of today's brightest and most innovative young researchers. Future Science features eighteen young scientists, most of whom are presenting their work and ideas to a general audience for the first time. Included in this collection are * William McEwan, a virologist, discussing his research into the biology of antiviral immunity * Naomi Eisenberger, a neuroscientist, wondering how social rejection affects us physically * Jon Kleinberg, a computer scientist, showing what massive datasets can teach us about society and ourselves * Anthony Aguirre, a physicist, who gives readers a tantalizing glimpse of infinity "Future Science shares with the world a delightful secret that we academics have been keeping--that despite all the hysteria about how electronic media are dumbing down the next generation, a tidal wave of talent has been flooding into science, making their elders feel like the dumb ones. . . . It has a wealth of new and exciting ideas, and will help shake up our notions regarding the age, sex, color, and topic clich#65533;s of the current public perception of science." --Steven Pinker, author of The Stuff of Thought
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (501 Or78t )
Publication Date: 2012-11-27
In this sweeping book, applied mathematician and popular author David Orrell questions the promises and pitfalls of associating beauty with truth, showing how ideas of mathematical elegance have inspired--and have sometimes misled--scientists attempting to understand nature. Orrell shows how the ancient Greeks constructed a concept of the world based on musical harmony; later thinkers replaced this model with a program, based on Newton's "rational mechanics," to reduce the universe to a few simple equations. He then turns to current physical theories, such as supersymmetric string theory--again influenced by deep aesthetic principles. The book sheds new light on historical investigations and also recent research, including the examinations ongoing at the Large Hadron Collider. Finally, broadening his discussion to other fields of research, including economics, architecture, and health, Orrell questions whether these aesthetic principles reflect an accurate way to explain and understand the structure of our world.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (618.3042 G819e )
Publication Date: 2016-05-30
Within twenty, maybe forty, years most people in developed countries will stop having sex for the purpose of reproduction. Instead, prospective parents will be told as much as they wish to know about the genetic makeup of dozens of embryos, and they will pick one or two for implantation, gestation, and birth. And it will be safe, lawful, and free. In this work of prophetic scholarship, Henry T. Greely explains the revolutionary biological technologies that make this future a seeming inevitability and sets out the deep ethical and legal challenges humanity faces as a result. Developments in genetics and stem cell research are giving rise to new techniques that will vastly improve preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and in vitro fertilization (IVF), making sexless reproduction not just possible but cheap and easy--what Greely coins "easy PGD." The first child born using PGD is now 25 years old, and thousands more are born each year. Advanced by economic, social, legal, and political forces, the emerging science has made the concerns that were once the stuff of science fiction into real problems that our children and grandchildren will face routinely. Deeply informed by Greely's command of both science and law, The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction is a book for parents, citizens, and all those, born and unborn, who will face the consequences of a new era of human reproduction.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.0973 C2732s )
Publication Date: 2013-09-02
As the twentieth century ended, computers, the Internet, and nanotechnology were central to modern American life. Yet the physical advances underlying these applications are poorly understood and under appreciated by US citizens. In this book, the author views physics through America's engagement with the political events of a tumultuous century.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (620.11 M6972s )
Publication Date: 2012-04-10
Life would not exist without sensitive, or soft, matter. All biological structures depend on it, including red blood globules, lung fluid, and membranes. So do industrial emulsions, gels, plastics, liquid crystals, and granular materials. What makes sensitive matter so fascinating is its inherent versatility. Shape-shifting at the slightest provocation, whether a change in composition or environment, it leads a fugitive existence. Physicist Michel Mitov brings drama to molecular gastronomy (as when two irreconcilable materials are mixed to achieve the miracle of mayonnaise) and offers answers to everyday questions, such as how does paint dry on canvas, why does shampoo foam better when you "repeat," and what allows for the controlled release of drugs? Along the way we meet a futurist cook, a scientist with a runaway imagination, and a penniless inventor named Goodyear who added sulfur to latex, quite possibly by accident, and created durable rubber. As Mitov demonstrates, even religious ritual is a lesson in the surprising science of sensitive matter. Thrice yearly, the reliquary of St. Januarius is carried down cobblestone streets from the Cathedral to the Church of St. Clare in Naples. If all goes as hoped--and since 1389 it often has--the dried blood contained in the reliquary's largest vial liquefies on reaching its destination, and Neapolitans are given a reaffirming symbol of renewal.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509 B2106c )
Publication Date: 2013-04-03
With the recent landing of the Mars rover Curiosity, it seems safe to assume that the idea of being curious is alive and well in modern science--that it's not merely encouraged but is seen as an essential component of the scientific mission. Yet there was a time when curiosity was condemned. Neither Pandora nor Eve could resist the dangerous allure of unanswered questions, and all knowledge wasn't equal--for millennia it was believed that there were some things we should not try to know. In the late sixteenth century this attitude began to change dramatically, and in Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything, Philip Ball investigates how curiosity first became sanctioned--when it changed from a vice to a virtue and how it became permissible to ask any and every question about the world. Looking closely at the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, Ball vividly brings to life the age when modern science began, a time that spans the lives of Galileo and Isaac Newton. In this entertaining and illuminating account of the rise of science as we know it, Ball tells of scientists both legendary and lesser known, from Copernicus and Kepler to Robert Boyle, as well as the inventions and technologies that were inspired by curiosity itself, such as the telescope and the microscope. The so-called Scientific Revolution is often told as a story of great geniuses illuminating the world with flashes of inspiration. But Curiosity reveals a more complex story, in which the liberation--and subsequent taming--of curiosity was linked to magic, religion, literature, travel, trade, and empire. Ball also asks what has become of curiosity today: how it functions in science, how it is spun and packaged for consumption, how well it is being sustained, and how the changing shape of science influences the kinds of questions it may continue to ask. Though proverbial wisdom tell us that it was through curiosity that our innocence was lost, that has not deterred us. Instead, it has been completely the contrary: today we spend vast sums trying to reconstruct the first instants of creation in particle accelerators, out of a pure desire to know. Ball refuses to let us take this desire for granted, and this book is a perfect homage to such an inquisitive attitude.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509 T716s )
Publication Date: 2011-12-15
In Science in World History, James Trefil presents a comprehensive, thematic survey of the history of science from its roots in different cultures around the world through to the present day. He explores crucial milestones in scientific development and at the same time examines the enormous social and intellectual changes they initiated. Opening with a discussion of the key elements of modern scientific enterprise, the book goes on to explore the earliest scientific activities, moving through Greece and Alexandria, science in the Muslim world, and then on to Isaac Newton, atomic theory and the major developments of the nineteenth century. After examining the most recent scientific activities across the world, the book concludes by identifying future directions for the field. Suitable for introductory courses and ideal for students new to the subject, this concise and lively study reconsiders the history of science from the perspective of world and comparative history.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.2 C3557f )
Publication Date: 2017-05-02
The birth and evolution of our solar system is a tantalizing mystery that may one day provide answers to the question of human origins. From Dust to Life tells the remarkable story of how the celestial objects that make up the solar system arose from common beginnings billions of years ago, and how scientists and philosophers have sought to unravel this mystery down through the centuries, piecing together the clues that enabled them to deduce the solar system's layout, its age, and the most likely way it formed. Drawing on the history of astronomy and the latest findings in astrophysics and the planetary sciences, John Chambers and Jacqueline Mitton offer the most up-to-date and authoritative treatment of the subject available. They examine how the evolving universe set the stage for the appearance of our Sun, and how the nebulous cloud of gas and dust that accompanied the young Sun eventually became the planets, comets, moons, and asteroids that exist today. They explore how each of the planets acquired its unique characteristics, why some are rocky and others gaseous, and why one planet in particular--our Earth--provided an almost perfect haven for the emergence of life. From Dust to Life is a must-read for anyone who desires to know more about how the solar system came to be. This enticing book takes readers to the very frontiers of modern research, engaging with the latest controversies and debates. It reveals how ongoing discoveries of far-distant extrasolar planets and planetary systems are transforming our understanding of our own solar system's astonishing history and its possible fate.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (507.1 T1533e )
Publication Date: 2012-08-15
Math and science hold powerful places in contemporary society. However, effective math and science education is not equally available to all students, with some of the poorest students. This title demonstrates that educational inequality is augmented by a consistent failure to integrate student history, and social needs into the core curriculum.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.88 L253L )
Publication Date: 2013-03-25
In this well-illustrated text, Kenneth R. Lang explains the life cycle of stars, from the dense molecular clouds that are stellar nurseries to the enigmatic nebulae some stars leave behind in their violent ends. Free of mathematical equations and technical jargon, Lang's lively and accessible text provides physical insights into how stars such as our Sun are born, what fuels them and keeps them bright, how they evolve and the processes by which they eventually die. The book demonstrates the sheer scope and variety of stellar phenomena in the context of the universe as a whole. Boxed focus elements enhance and amplify the discussion for readers looking for more depth. Featuring more than 150 figures, including color plates, The Life and Death of Stars is a modern and up-to-date account of stars written for a broad audience, from armchair astronomers and popular science readers to students and teachers of science.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.113 Sa565r )
Publication Date: 2013-11-25
Written in an informal and engaging style, this volume traces the discoveries that led to our understanding of the size and structure of the Milky Way, and the conclusive evidence for a massive black hole at its center. Robert H. Sanders, an astronomer who witnessed many of these developments, describes how we parted the veil of interstellar dust to probe the strange phenomena within. We now know that the most luminous objects in the Universe - quasars and radio galaxies - are powered by massive black holes at their hearts. But how did black holes emerge from being a mathematical peculiarity, a theoretical consequence of Einstein's theory of gravity, to become part of the modern paradigm that explains active galactic nuclei and galaxy evolution in normal galaxies such as the Milky Way? This story, aimed at non-specialist readers and students and historians of astronomy, will both inform and entertain.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.1 H265i )
Publication Date: 2013-11-18
Astrophysicist and scholar Martin Harwit examines how our understanding of the cosmos advanced rapidly during the twentieth century and identifies the factors contributing to this progress. Astronomy, whose tools were largely imported from physics and engineering, benefited mid-century from the US policy of coupling basic research with practical national priorities. This strategy, initially developed for military and industrial purposes, provided astronomy with powerful tools yielding access - at virtually no cost - to radio, infrared, X-ray, and gamma-ray observations. Today, astronomers are investigating the new frontiers of dark matter and dark energy, critical to understanding the cosmos but of indeterminate socio-economic promise. Harwit addresses these current challenges in view of competing national priorities and proposes alternative new approaches in search of the true Universe. This is an engaging read for astrophysicists, policy makers, historians, and sociologists of science looking to learn and apply lessons from the past in gaining deeper cosmological insight.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (577.44 T145 )
Publication Date: 2014-06-01
The tallgrass prairie of the early 1800s, a beautiful and seemingly endless landscape of wildflowers and grasses, is now a tiny remnant of its former expanse. As a literary landscape, with much of the American environmental imagination focused on a mainstream notion of more spectacular examples of wild beauty, tallgrass is even more neglected. Prairie author and advocate John T. Price wondered what it would take to restore tallgrass prairie to its rightful place at the center of our collective identity. The answer to that question is his Tallgrass Prairie Reader, a first-of-its-kind collection of literature from and about the tallgrass bioregion. Focusing on autobiographical nonfiction in a wide variety of forms, voices, and approachesincluding adventure narrative, spiritual reflection, childhood memoir, Native American perspectives, literary natural history, humor, travel writing and reportagehe honors the ecological diversity of tallgrass itself and provides a range of models for nature writers and students. The chronological arrangement allows readers to experience tallgrass through the eyes and imaginations of forty-two authors from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Writings by very early explorers are followed by works of nineteenth-century authors that reflect the fear, awe, reverence, and thrill of adventure rampant at the time. After 1900, following the destruction of the majority of tallgrass, much of the writing became nostalgic, elegiac, and mythic. A new environmental consciousness asserted itself midcentury, as personal responses to tallgrass were increasingly influenced by larger ecological perspectives. Preservation and restorationinformed by hard scienceemerged as major themes. Early twenty-first-century writings demonstrate an awareness of tallgrass environmental history and the need for citizens, including writers, to remember and to help save our once magnificent prairies.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (551.50922 M7859w )
Publication Date: 2016-06-21
By the 1800s, a century of feverish discovery had launched the major branches of science. Physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy made the natural world explicable through experiment, observation, and categorization. And yet one scientific field remained in its infancy. Despite millennia of observation, mankind still had no understanding of the forces behind the weather. A century after the death of Newton, the laws that governed the heavens were entirely unknown, and weather forecasting was the stuff of folklore and superstition. Peter Moore'sThe Weather Experiment is the account of a group of naturalists, engineers, and artists who conquered the elements. It describes their travels and experiments, their breakthroughs and bankruptcies, with picaresque vigor. It takes readers from Irish bogs to a thunderstorm in Guanabara Bay to the basket of a hydrogen balloon 8,500 feet over Paris. And it captures the particular bent of mind--combining the Romantic love of Nature and the Enlightenment love of Reason--that allowed humanity to finally decipher the skies.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (535.1 B2106i )
Publication Date: 2016-02-25
If offered the chance--by cloak, spell, or superpower--to be invisible, who wouldn't want to give it a try? We are drawn to the idea of stealthy voyeurism and the ability to conceal our own acts, but as desirable as it may seem, invisibility is also dangerous. It is not just an optical phenomenon, but a condition full of ethical questions. As esteemed science writer Philip Ball reveals in this book, the story of invisibility is not so much a matter of how it might be achieved but of why we want it and what we would do with it. In this lively look at a timeless idea, Ball provides the first comprehensive history of our fascination with the unseen. This sweeping narrative moves from medieval spell books to the latest nanotechnology, from fairy tales to telecommunications, from camouflage to ghosts to the dawn of nuclear physics and the discovery of dark energy. Along the way, Invisible tells little-known stories about medieval priests who blamed their misdeeds on spirits; the Cock Lane ghost, which intrigued both Samuel Johnson and Charles Dickens; the attempts by Victorian scientist William Crookes to detect forces using tiny windmills; novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton's belief that he was unseen when in his dressing gown; and military efforts to enlist magicians to hide tanks and ships during WWII. Bringing in such voices as Plato and Shakespeare, Ball provides not only a scientific history but a cultural one--showing how our simultaneous desire for and suspicion of the invisible has fueled invention and the imagination for centuries. In this unusual and clever book, Ball shows that our fantasies about being unseen--and seeing the unseen--reveal surprising truths about who we are.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (551.6978 In47w )
Publication Date: 2015-02-12
The West without Water documents the tumultuous climate of the American West over twenty millennia, with tales of past droughts and deluges and predictions about the impacts of future climate change on water resources. Looking at the region's current water crisis from the perspective of its climate history, the authors ask the central question of what is "normal" climate for the West, and whether the relatively benign climate of the past century will continue into the future. The West without Water merges climate and paleoclimate research from a wide variety of sources as it introduces readers to key discoveries in cracking the secrets of the region's climatic past. It demonstrates that extended droughts and catastrophic floods have plagued the West with regularity over the past two millennia and recounts the most disastrous flood in the history of California and the West, which occurred in 1861-62. The authors show that, while the West may have temporarily buffered itself from such harsh climatic swings by creating artificial environments and human landscapes, our modern civilization may be ill-prepared for the future climate changes that are predicted to beset the region. They warn that it is time to face the realities of the past and prepare for a future in which fresh water may be less reliable.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (628.0287 M8467p )
Publication Date: 2017-05-02
The risks of global warming are pressing and potentially vast. The difficulty of doing without fossil fuels is daunting, possibly even insurmountable. So there is an urgent need to rethink our responses to the crisis. To meet that need, a small but increasingly influential group of scientists is exploring proposals for planned human intervention in the climate system: a stratospheric veil against the sun, the cultivation of photosynthetic plankton, fleets of unmanned ships seeding the clouds. These are the technologies of geoengineering--and as Oliver Morton argues in this visionary book, it would be as irresponsible to ignore them as it would be foolish to see them as a simple solution to the problem. The Planet Remade explores the history, politics, and cutting-edge science of geoengineering. Morton weighs both the promise and perils of these controversial strategies and puts them in the broadest possible context. The past century's changes to the planet--to the clouds and the soils, to the winds and the seas, to the great cycles of nitrogen and carbon--have been far more profound than most of us realize. Appreciating those changes clarifies not just the scale of what needs to be done about global warming, but also our relationship to nature. Climate change is not just one of the twenty-first century's defining political challenges. Morton untangles the implications of our failure to meet the challenge of climate change and reintroduces the hope that we might. He addresses the deep fear that comes with seeing humans as a force of nature, and asks what it might mean--and what it might require of us--to try and use that force for good.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.24 J6335h )
Publication Date: 2015-12-29
Alien worlds have long been a staple of science fiction. But today, thanks to modern astronomical instrumentation and the achievements of many enterprising observational astronomers, the existence of planets outside our solar system--also known as exoplanets--has moved into the realm of science fact. With planet hunters finding ever smaller, more Earth-like worlds, our understanding of the cosmos is forever changed, yet the question of how astronomers make these discoveries often goes unanswered. How Do You Find an Exoplanet? is an authoritative primer on the four key techniques that today's planet hunters use to detect the feeble signals of planets orbiting distant stars. John Johnson provides you with an insider's perspective on this exciting cutting-edge science, showing how astronomers detect the wobble of stars caused by the gravitational tug of an orbiting planet, the slight diminution of light caused by a planet eclipsing its star, and the bending of space-time by stars and their planets, and how astronomers even directly take pictures of planets next to their bright central stars. Accessible to anyone with a basic foundation in college-level physics, How Do You Find an Exoplanet? sheds new light on the prospect of finding life outside our solar system, how surprising new observations suggest that we may not fully understand how planets form, and much more.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.18 K8688u )
Publication Date: 2013-01-01
Bestselling author and acclaimed physicist Lawrence Krauss offers a paradigm-shifting view of how everything that exists came to be in the first place. “Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing?” One of the few prominent scientists today to have crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With a new preface about the significance of the discovery of the Higgs particle, A Universe from Nothing uses Krauss’s characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations to take us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end. Provocative, challenging, and delightfully readable, this is a game-changing look at the most basic underpinning of existence and a powerful antidote to outmoded philosophical, religious, and scientific thinking.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (500 H338s )
Publication Date: 2009-06-02
Knowledge of the basic ideas and principles of science is fundamental to cultural literacy. But most books on science are often too obscure or too specialized to do the general reader much good. Science Matters is a rare exception-a science book for the general reader that is informative enough to be a popular textbook for introductory courses in high school and college, and yet well-written enough to appeal to general readers uncomfortable with scientific jargon and complicated mathematics. And now, revised and expanded for the first time in nearly two decades, it is up-to-date, so that readers can enjoy Hazen and Trefil's refreshingly accessible explanations of the most recent developments in science, from particle physics to biotechnology.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509.1767 AL105h )
Publication Date: 2012-03-27
A myth-shattering view of the Islamic world's myriad scientific innovations and the role they played in sparking the European Renaissance. Many of the innovations that we think of as hallmarks of Western science had their roots in the Arab world of the middle ages, a period when much of Western Christendom lay in intellectual darkness. Jim al- Khalili, a leading British-Iraqi physicist, resurrects this lost chapter of history, and given current East-West tensions, his book could not be timelier. With transporting detail, al-Khalili places readers in the hothouses of the Arabic Enlightenment, shows how they led to Europe's cultural awakening, and poses the question: Why did the Islamic world enter its own dark age after such a dazzling flowering?
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530 Su823t )
Publication Date: 2014-04-22
A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2013 If you ever regretted not taking physics in college--or simply want to know how to think like a physicist--this is the book for you. In this bestselling introduction, physicist Leonard Susskind and hacker-scientist George Hrabovsky offer a first course in physics and associated math for the ardent amateur. Challenging, lucid, and concise, The Theoretical Minimum provides a tool kit for amateur scientists to learn physics at their own pace.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (567.9 P2814p )
Publication Date: 2016-11-01
The best-selling Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs remains the must-have book for anyone who loves dinosaurs, from amateur enthusiasts to professional paleontologists. Now extensively revised and expanded, this dazzlingly illustrated large-format edition features some 100 new dinosaur species and 200 new and updated illustrations, bringing readers up to the minute on the latest discoveries and research that are radically transforming what we know about dinosaurs and their world. Written and illustrated by acclaimed dinosaur expert Gregory Paul, this stunningly beautiful book includes detailed species accounts of all the major dinosaur groups as well as nearly 700 color and black-and-white images--skeletal drawings, "life" studies, scenic views, and other illustrations that depict the full range of dinosaurs, from small feathered creatures to whale-sized supersauropods. Paul's extensively revised introduction delves into dinosaur history and biology, the extinction of nonavian dinosaurs, the origin of birds, and the history of dinosaur paleontology, as well as giving a taste of what it might be like to travel back in time to the era when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Now extensively revised and expanded Covers nearly 750 dinosaur species, including scores of newly discovered ones Provides startling new perspectives on the famed Brontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Features nearly 700 color and black-and-white drawings and figures, including life studies, scenic views, and skull and muscle drawings Includes color paleo-distribution maps and a color time line Describes anatomy, physiology, locomotion, reproduction, and growth of dinosaurs, as well as the origin of birds and the extinction of nonavian dinosaurs
Call Number: Valley City State University Reference Room (R 598.176 R2511w )
Publication Date: 2016-02-16
This is the ultimate guide for anyone who wants to identify the ducks, geese, and swans of North America, Europe, and Asia. With 72 stunning color plates (that include more than 920 drawings), over 650 superb photos, and in-depth descriptions, this book brings together the most current information on 84 species of Eurasian and North American waterfowl, and on more than 100 hybrids. The guide delves into taxonomy, identification features, determination of age and sex, geographic variations, measurements, voice, molt, and hybridization. In addition, the status of each species is treated with up-to-date details on distribution, population size, habitats, and life cycle. Color plates and photos are accompanied by informative captions and 85 distribution maps are also provided. Taken together, this is an unrivaled, must-have reference for any birder with an interest in the world's waterfowl. A guide to the 84 species of ducks, geese, and swans of Europe, Asia, and North America 72 color plates with more than 920 illustrations of most plumages and subspecies, both in flight and standing More than 650 color photos Details on taxonomy, identification features, determination of age and sex, geographic variations, measurements, voice, molt, hybridization, habitat and life cycle, range and populations, and status in captivity 85 distribution maps Descriptions and illustrations of more than 100 hybrids regularly encountered in the wild
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.1 W4335h )
Publication Date: 2012-10-28
Astronomers have determined that our universe is 13.7 billion years old. How exactly did they come to this precise conclusion? How Old Is the Universe? tells the incredible story of how astronomers solved one of the most compelling mysteries in science and, along the way, introduces readers to fundamental concepts and cutting-edge advances in modern astronomy. The age of our universe poses a deceptively simple question, and its answer carries profound implications for science, religion, and philosophy. David Weintraub traces the centuries-old quest by astronomers to fathom the secrets of the nighttime sky. Describing the achievements of the visionaries whose discoveries collectively unveiled a fundamental mystery, he shows how many independent lines of inquiry and much painstakingly gathered evidence, when fitted together like pieces in a cosmic puzzle, led to the long-sought answer. Astronomers don't believe the universe is 13.7 billion years old--they know it. You will too after reading this book. By focusing on one of the most crucial questions about the universe and challenging readers to understand the answer, Weintraub familiarizes readers with the ideas and phenomena at the heart of modern astronomy, including red giants and white dwarfs, cepheid variable stars and supernovae, clusters of galaxies, gravitational lensing, dark matter, dark energy and the accelerating universe--and much more. Offering a unique historical approach to astronomy, How Old Is the Universe? sheds light on the inner workings of scientific inquiry and reveals how astronomers grapple with deep questions about the physical nature of our universe.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.7 G584n )
Publication Date: 2014-02-17
How did the Sun evolve, and what will it become? What is the origin of its light and heat? How does solar activity affect the atmospheric conditions that make life on Earth possible? These are the questions at the heart of solar physics, and at the core of this book. The Sun is the only star near enough to study in sufficient detail to provide rigorous tests of our theories and help us understand the more distant and exotic objects throughout the cosmos. Having observed the Sun using both ground-based and spaceborne instruments, the authors bring their extensive personal experience to this story revealing what we have discovered about phenomena from eclipses to neutrinos, space weather, and global warming. This second edition is updated throughout, and features results from the current spacecraft that are aloft, especially NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, for which one of the authors designed some of the telescopes.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.2 G652p )
Publication Date: 2013-08-14
Properly analyzed, the collective mythological and religious writings of humanity reveal that around 1500 BC, a comet swept perilously close to Earth, triggering widespread natural disasters and threatening the destruction of all life before settling into solar orbit as Venus, our nearest planetary neighbor. Sound implausible? Well, from 1950 until the late 1970s, a huge number of people begged to differ, as they devoured Immanuel Velikovsky's major best-seller, Worlds in Collision, insisting that perhaps this polymathic thinker held the key to a new science and a new history. Scientists, on the other hand, assaulted Velikovsky's book, his followers, and his press mercilessly from the get-go. In The Pseudoscience Wars, Michael D. Gordin resurrects the largely forgotten figure of Velikovsky and uses his strange career and surprisingly influential writings to explore the changing definitions of the line that separates legitimate scientific inquiry from what is deemed bunk, and to show how vital this question remains to us today. Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished material from Velikovsky's personal archives, Gordin presents a behind-the-scenes history of the writer's career, from his initial burst of success through his growing influence on the counterculture, heated public battles with such luminaries as Carl Sagan, and eventual eclipse. Along the way, he offers fascinating glimpses into the histories and effects of other fringe doctrines, including creationism, Lysenkoism, parapsychology, and more--all of which have surprising connections to Velikovsky's theories. Science today is hardly universally secure, and scientists seem themselves beset by critics, denialists, and those they label "pseudoscientists"--as seen all too clearly in battles over evolution and climate change. The Pseudoscience Wars simultaneously reveals the surprising Cold War roots of our contemporary dilemma and points readers to a different approach to drawing the line between knowledge and nonsense.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (507.2 N373c )
Publication Date: 2014-12-30
Every day we hear about some fascinating new discovery. Yet anemic progress toward addressing the greatest risks to humankind - clean energy, emerging infections, and cancer - warns us that science may not be meeting its potential. Indeed, there is evidence that advances are slowing. Scienceis costly and can hurt people; thus it must be pursued with caution. Yet, excessive caution stifles the very thing that powers inventiveness: creation. In her boldest book yet, Roberta Ness argues that the system of funding agencies, universities, and industries designed to promote innovation hascome to impede it.The Creativity Crisis strips away the scientific enterprise's veil of mystique to reveal the gritty underbelly of university research. America's economic belt-tightening discourages long-term, risky investments in revolutionary advances and elevates short-term projects with assured outcomes. Thepursuit of basic research insights, with the greatest power to transform but little ability to enrich, is being abandoned. The social nature of academia today also contributes to the descent of revolutionary discovery. In academia, which tends to be insular, hierarchical, and tradition-bound,research ideas are "owned" and the owners gain enormous clout to decide what is accepted. Communalism is antithetical to idea ownership. Thus science has not embraced the Web-based democratic sharing of ideas called crowdsourcing, one of the greatest tools for creativity and social change in ourage. A final battleground between creation and caution is within the sphere of ethics. Scientists are typically altruistic but sometimes have all-too-human inclinations toward avarice and conceit. The most original thinkers are most likely to flout convention. This tendency can pull them across thelines of acceptable behavior. Caution is a necessary check on the destructive potential of amoral creation. Yet, when every individual and institution is considered a priori to be a threat, adventuresome invention is squelched. Creation and caution in science should be in balance, but they are not. For possibilities to unlock, the ecosystem in which science is done must be fundamentally rebalanced.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (539.754 C587g )
Publication Date: 2012-05-22
A history of gravity, and a study of its importance and relevance to our lives, as well as its influence on other areas of science. Physicists will tell you that four forces control the universe. Of these, gravity may the most obvious, but it is also the most mysterious. Newton managed to predict the force of gravity but couldn't explain how it worked at a distance. Einstein picked up on the simple premise that gravity and acceleration are interchangeable to devise his mind-bending general relativity, showing how matter warps space and time. Not only did this explain how gravity worked - and how apparently simple gravitation has four separate components - but it predicted everything from black holes to gravity's effect on time. Whether it's the reality of anti-gravity or the unexpected discovery that a ball and a laser beam drop at the same rate, gravity is the force that fascinates.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (660.6 P6597b )
Publication Date: 2017-03-14
Fareed Zakaria GPS Book of the Week Weaving together vivid storytelling and groundbreaking science, The Body Builders explores the current revolution in human augmentation, which is helping us to triumph over the limitations and constraints we have long accepted as an inevitable part of being human For millennia, humans have tried--and often failed--to master nature and transcend our limits. But this has started to change. The new scientific frontier is the human body: the greatest engineers of our generation have turned their sights inward, and their work is beginning to revolutionize mankind. In The Body Builders, Adam Piore takes us on a fascinating journey into the field of bioengineering--which can be used to reverse engineer, rebuild, and augment human beings--and paints a vivid portrait of the people at its center. Chronicling the ways new technology has retooled our physical expectations and mental processes, Piore visits people who have regrown parts of their fingers and legs in the wake of terrible traumas, tries on a muscle suit that allows him to lift ninety pounds with his fingertips, dips into the race to create "Viagra for the brain," and shadows the doctors trying to give mute patients the ability to communicate telepathically. As science continues to lay bare the mysteries of human performance, it is helping us to see--and exist--above our expectations. The Body Builders will take readers beyond the headlines and the hype to introduce them to the inner workings and the outer reaches of our bodies and minds, and explore how new developments are changing, and will forever change, what is possible for humankind.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (537 F745f )
Publication Date: 2014-03-11
The story of two brilliant nineteenth-century scientists who discovered the electromagnetic field, laying the groundwork for the amazing technological and theoretical breakthroughs of the twentieth century Two of the boldest and most creative scientists of all time were Michael Faraday (1791-1867) and James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879). This is the story of how these two men - separated in age by forty years - discovered the existence of the electromagnetic field and devised a radically new theory which overturned the strictly mechanical view of the world that had prevailed since Newton's time. The authors, veteran science writers with special expertise in physics and engineering, have created a lively narrative that interweaves rich biographical detail from each man's life with clear explanations of their scientific accomplishments. Faraday was an autodidact, who overcame class prejudice and a lack of mathematical training to become renowned for his acute powers of experimental observation, technological skills, and prodigious scientific imagination. James Clerk Maxwell was highly regarded as one of the most brilliant mathematical physicists of the age. He made an enormous number of advances in his own right. But when he translated Faraday's ideas into mathematical language, thus creating field theory, this unified framework of electricity, magnetism and light became the basis for much of later, 20th-century physics. Faraday's and Maxwell's collaborative efforts gave rise to many of the technological innovations we take for granted today - from electric power generation to television, and much more. Told with panache, warmth, and clarity, this captivating story of their greatest work - in which each played an equal part - and their inspiring lives will bring new appreciation to these giants of science.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (530.01 W6435b )
Publication Date: 2016-07-12
Does the universe embody beautiful ideas? Artists as well as scientists throughout human history have pondered this "beautiful question." With Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek as your guide, embark on a voyage of related discoveries, from Plato and Pythagoras up to the present. Wilczek's groundbreaking work in quantum physics was inspired by his intuition to look for a deeper order of beauty in nature. This is the deep logic of the universe--and it is no accident that it is also at the heart of what we find aesthetically pleasing and inspiring. Wilczek is hardly alone among great scientists in charting his course using beauty as his compass. As he reveals in A Beautiful Question, this has been the heart of scientific pursuit from Pythagoras and the ancient belief in the music of the spheres to Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, and into the deep waters of twentieth-century physics. Wilczek brings us right to the edge of knowledge today, where the core insights of even the craziest quantum ideas apply principles we all understand. The equations for atoms and light are almost the same ones that govern musical instruments and sound; the subatomic particles that are responsible for most of our mass are determined by simple geometric symmetries. Gorgeously illustrated, A Beautiful Question is a mind-shifting book that braids the age-old quest for beauty and the age-old quest for truth into a thrilling synthesis. It is a dazzling and important work from one of our best thinkers, whose humor and infectious sense of wonder animate every page. Yes: The world is a work of art, and its deepest truths are ones we already feel, as if they were somehow written in our souls. Praise for A Beautiful Question: "An expertly curated tour across 2,500 years of philosophy and physics . . . [Frank Wilczek] has accomplished a rare feat: Writing a book of profound humanity based on questions aimed directly at the eternal." --The Wall Street Journal "Both a brilliant exploration of largely uncharted territories and a refreshingly idiosyncratic guide to developments in particle physics." --Nature "Inspiring and remarkably accessible . . . Wilczek's language is lyrical and almost mystical. . . . Whatever the answer Nature will ultimately give us, we have the pleasure of engaging with an enlightened and humble mind." --The Chronicle of Higher Education
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.1126 K258r )
Publication Date: 2014-10-15
What's in the dark? Countless generations have gazed up at the night sky and asked this question--the same question that cosmologists ask themselves as they study the universe. The answer turns out to be surprising and rich. The space between stars is filled with an exotic substance called "dark matter" that exerts gravity but does not emit, absorb, or reflect light. The space between galaxies is rife with "dark energy" that creates a sort of cosmic antigravity causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate. Together, dark matter and dark energy account for 95 percent of the content of the universe. News reporters and science journalists routinely talk about these findings using terms that they assume we have a working knowledge of, but do you really understand how astronomers arrive at their findings or what it all means? Cosmologists face a conundrum: how can we study substances we cannot see, let alone manipulate? A powerful approach is to observe objects whose motion is influenced by gravity. Einstein predicted that gravity can act like a lens to bend light. Today we see hundreds of cases of this--instances where the gravity of a distant galaxy distorts our view of a more distant object, creating multiple images or spectacular arcs on the sky. Gravitational lensing is now a key part of the international quest to understand the invisible substance that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the universe together. A Ray of Light in a Sea of Dark Matter offers readers a concise, accessible explanation of how astronomers probe dark matter. Readers quickly gain an understanding of what might be out there, how scientists arrive at their findings, and why this research is important to us. Engaging and insightful, Charles Keeton gives everyone an opportunity to be an active learner and listener in our ever-expanding universe. Watch a video with Charles Keeton: Watch video now. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc3byXNS1G0).
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.12 Im75h )
Publication Date: 2013-01-14
In this vibrant, eye-opening tour of milestones in the history of our universe, Chris Impey guides us through space and time, leading us from the familiar sights of the night sky to the dazzlingly strange aftermath of the Big Bang. What if we could look into space and see not only our place in the universe but also how we came to be here? As it happens, we can. Because it takes time for light to travel, we see more and more distant regions of the universe as they were in the successively greater past. Impey uses this concept--"look-back time"--to take us on an intergalactic tour that is simultaneously out in space and back in time. Performing a type of cosmic archaeology, Impey brilliantly describes the astronomical clues that scientists have used to solve fascinating mysteries about the origins and development of our universe. The milestones on this journey range from the nearby to the remote: we travel from the Moon, Jupiter, and the black hole at the heart of our galaxy all the way to the first star, the first ray of light, and even the strange, roiling conditions of the infant universe, an intense and volatile environment in which matter was created from pure energy. Impey gives us breathtaking visual descriptions and also explains what each landmark can reveal about the universe and its history. His lucid, wonderfully engaging scientific discussions bring us to the brink of modern cosmology and physics, illuminating such mind-bending concepts as invisible dimensions, timelessness, and multiple universes. A dynamic and unforgettable portrait of the cosmos, How It Began will reward its readers with a deeper understanding of the universe we inhabit as well as a renewed sense of wonder at its beauty and mystery.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (551.5632 EL78L )
Publication Date: 2015-10-15
Few phenomena inspire more awe than lightning. Streaking across the sky, it daunts us with its power and amazes us with its beauty. In Lightning, Derek M. Elsom explores this natural phenomenon and traces the long history of our study of it. From early civilizations' assumptions that it was the work of gods, through eighteenth-century scientific analyses (and, yes, Ben Franklin's kite), Elsom tells about our efforts to understand and explain lightning. He explores the many surprising folklore beliefs about lightning protection and contrasts these with today's scientific approaches. Alongside scientific explorations, he also tracks the path of lightning through our culture, from myths and legends to art and design. In addition, Elsom offers handy tips for avoiding getting struck by lightning. Beautifully illustrated with stunning photographs and artistic renderings, this striking book will appeal equally to weather buffs and folklorists, scientists and artists.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (500 B3979d )
Publication Date: 2013-01-08
In this groundbreaking book, Adrian Bejan takes the recurring patterns in nature--trees, tributaries, air passages, neural networks, and lightning bolts--and reveals how a single principle of physics, the constructal law, accounts for the evolution of these and many other designs in our world. Everything--from biological life to inanimate systems--generates shape and structure and evolves in a sequence of ever-improving designs in order to facilitate flow. River basins, cardiovascular systems, and bolts of lightning are very efficient flow systems to move a current--of water, blood, or electricity. Likewise, the more complex architecture of animals evolve to cover greater distance per unit of useful energy, or increase their flow across the land. Such designs also appear in human organizations, like the hierarchical "flowcharts" or reporting structures in corporations and political bodies. All are governed by the same principle, known as the constructal law, and configure and reconfigure themselves over time to flow more efficiently. Written in an easy style that achieves clarity without sacrificing complexity, Design in Nature is a paradigm-shifting book that will fundamentally transform our understanding of the world around us.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (500 T3493 )
Publication Date: 2013-01-22
In This Explains Everything, John Brockman, founder and publisher of Edge.org, asked experts in numerous fields and disciplines to come up with their favorite explanations for everyday occurrences. Why do we recognize patterns? Is there such a thing as positive stress? Are we genetically programmed to be in conflict with each other? Those are just some of the 150 questions that the world's best scientific minds answer with elegant simplicity. With contributions from Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, Nassim Taleb, Brian Eno, Steven Pinker, and more, everything is explained in fun, uncomplicated terms that make the most complex concepts easy to comprehend.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (660.2988 C8601L )
Publication Date: 2015-10-07
After World War II, the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) began mass-producing radioisotopes, sending out nearly 64,000 shipments of radioactive materials to scientists and physicians by 1955. Even as the atomic bomb became the focus of Cold War anxiety, radioisotopes represented the government's efforts to harness the power of the atom for peace--advancing medicine, domestic energy, and foreign relations. In Life Atomic, Angela N. H. Creager tells the story of how these radioisotopes, which were simultaneously scientific tools and political icons, transformed biomedicine and ecology. Government-produced radioisotopes provided physicians with new tools for diagnosis and therapy, specifically cancer therapy, and enabled biologists to trace molecular transformations. Yet the government's attempt to present radioisotopes as marvelous dividends of the atomic age was undercut in the 1950s by the fallout debates, as scientists and citizens recognized the hazards of low-level radiation. Creager reveals that growing consciousness of the danger of radioactivity did not reduce the demand for radioisotopes at hospitals and laboratories, but it did change their popular representation from a therapeutic agent to an environmental poison. She then demonstrates how, by the late twentieth century, public fear of radioactivity overshadowed any appreciation of the positive consequences of the AEC's provision of radioisotopes for research and medicine.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.18 F8511 )
Publication Date: 2012-09-11
Now in paperback, “a phenomenal blend of science and cultural history” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), About Time gives readers a peek into the cutting edge of cosmology, showing how it is intimately wedded to the texture of our daily lives. Our universe’s “beginning” is at an end. What does this have to do with us, here on Earth? Everything. Our lives are about to be dramatically shaken—as altered as they were by the invention of the clock, the steam engine, the railroad, the radio and the Internet. In About Time, astrophysicist Adam Frank allows us a peek into the cutting edge of cosmology, explaining how the texture of our lives changes along with our understanding of the universe’s origin. Since we awoke to self-consciousness fifty thousand years ago, our lived experience of time, from hunting and gathering to the invention of cell phones and electronic calendars, has been transformed and rebuilt many times. But the latest theories in cosmology—time with no beginning, parallel universes, eternal inflation—are about to send us in a new direction. Time is both our grandest and most intimate conception of the universe. Frank tells the story of humanity’s deepest question—when and how did everything begin?—alongside the story of how human beings have experienced time, looking at the way our engagement with the world has allowed us to discover the nature of the universe and how those discoveries inform our daily experience. This astounding book will change the way we think about time and how it affects our lives.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.1 Os78h )
Publication Date: 2015-05-26
Heart of Darkness describes the incredible saga of humankind's quest to unravel the deepest secrets of the universe. Over the past thirty years, scientists have learned that two little-understood components--dark matter and dark energy--comprise most of the known cosmos, explain the growth of all cosmic structure, and hold the key to the universe's fate. The story of how evidence for the so-called "Lambda-Cold Dark Matter" model of cosmology has been gathered by generations of scientists throughout the world is told here by one of the pioneers of the field, Jeremiah Ostriker, and his coauthor Simon Mitton. From humankind's early attempts to comprehend Earth's place in the solar system, to astronomers' exploration of the Milky Way galaxy and the realm of the nebulae beyond, to the detection of the primordial fluctuations of energy from which all subsequent structure developed, this book explains the physics and the history of how the current model of our universe arose and has passed every test hurled at it by the skeptics. Throughout this rich story, an essential theme is emphasized: how three aspects of rational inquiry--the application of direct measurement and observation, the introduction of mathematical modeling, and the requirement that hypotheses should be testable and verifiable--guide scientific progress and underpin our modern cosmological paradigm. This monumental puzzle is far from complete, however, as scientists confront the mysteries of the ultimate causes of cosmic structure formation and the real nature and origin of dark matter and dark energy.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (577.630977 Eg13d )
Publication Date: 2017-03-07
The Great Lakes--Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior--hold 20 percent of the world's supply of surface fresh water and provide sustenance, work and recreation for tens of millions of Americans. But they are under threat as never before, and their problems are spreading across the continent. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is prize-winning reporter Dan Egan's compulsively readable portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come.For thousands of years the pristine Great Lakes were separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the roaring Niagara Falls and from the Mississippi River basin by a "sub-continental divide." Beginning in the late 1800s, these barriers were circumvented to attract oceangoing freighters from the Atlantic and to allow Chicago's sewage to float out to the Mississippi. These were engineering marvels in their time--and the changes in Chicago arrested a deadly cycle of waterborne illnesses--but they have had horrendous unforeseen consequences. Egan provides a chilling account of how sea lamprey, zebra and quagga mussels and other invaders have made their way into the lakes, decimating native species and largely destroying the age-old ecosystem. And because the lakes are no longer isolated, the invaders now threaten water intake pipes, hydroelectric dams and other infrastructure across the country.Egan also explores why outbreaks of toxic algae stemming from the overapplication of farm fertilizer have left massive biological "dead zones" that threaten the supply of fresh water. He examines fluctuations in the levels of the lakes caused by manmade climate change and overzealous dredging of shipping channels. And he reports on the chronic threats to siphon off Great Lakes water to slake drier regions of America or to be sold abroad.In an age when dire problems like the Flint water crisis or the California drought bring ever more attention to the indispensability of safe, clean, easily available water, The Death and the Life of the Great Lakes is a powerful paean to what is arguably our most precious resource, an urgent examination of what threatens it and a convincing call to arms about the relatively simple things we need to do to protect it.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (578.62 T3749w )
Publication Date: 2014-09-09
Where do camels belong? In the Arab world is the obvious answer. But they are relative newcomers there. They evolved and lived for tens of millions of years in North America, while today they retain their greatest diversity in South America and have their only wild populations in Australia. This is a classic example of the problems that underlie the issues of natural and invasive species, a hot issue right now, as the flip side of biodiversity. But do we need to fear invaders? And indeed, can we control them, and do we choose the right targets? In Where Do Camels Belong? Ken Thompson puts forward a fascinating array of narratives on invasive and natural plants and animals to explore what he sees as the crucial question -- why only a minority of introduced species succeed, and why so few of them go on to cause trouble. He discusses, too, whether fear of invasive species could be getting in the way of conserving biodiversity, and especially of responding to the threat of climate change. This is a timely, instructive and controversial book that delivers unexpected answers.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (501 So391 )
Publication Date: 2000-09-01
In May 1996 physicist Alan Sokal published an essay in the fashionable academic journal Social Text. The essay quoted hip theorists like Jacques Lacan, Donna Haraway, and Gilles Deleuze. The prose was thick with the jargon of poststructuralism. And the point the essay tried to make was counterintuitive: gravity, Sokal argued, was a fiction that society had agreed upon, and science needed to be liberated from its ideological blinders. When Sokal revealed in the pages of Lingua Franca that he had written the article as a parody, the story hit the front page of the New York Times. It set off a national debate still raging today: Are scholars in the humanities trapped in a jargon-ridden Wonderland? Are scientists deluded in thinking their work is objective? Are literature professors suffering from science envy? Was Sokal's joke funny? Was the Enlightenment such a bad thing after all? And isn't it a little bit true that the meaning of gravity is contingent upon your cultural perspective? Collected here for the first time are Sokal's original essay on "quantum gravity," his essay revealing the hoax, the newspaper articles that broke the story, and the angry op-eds, letters, and e-mail exchanges sparked by the hoax from intellectuals across the country, including Stanley Fish, George F. Will, Michael B#65533;rub#65533;, and Katha Pollitt. Also included are extended essays in which a wide range of scholars ponder the long-term lessons of the hoax.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (507.12 Sh928e )
Publication Date: 2013-10-11
Within every science classroom there are students waiting to be inspired. All these students need is the right motivation. That's exactly what this one-of-a kind guide will help you provide. And along the way, you'll quickly learn that the motivational tools that are most effective with adolescent boys don't always work with adolescent girls--and vice versa. At the heart of Enhancing Adolescents' Motivation for Science is a collection of research-proven strategies on how best to motivate students in science--and once students are motivated, scientific literacy soon follows. Across chapters, Shumow and Schmidt: * Detail key motivational constructs specific to science with illustrative vignettes * Address gender differences that influence how girls and boys are motivated * Describe how to make science learning relevant, accessible, and enjoyable * Reduce science anxiety and build student confidence, especially among girls * Offer motivational strategies that are consistent with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Much more than a professional book, Enhancing Adolescents' Motivation for Science also includes a companion website packed with video clips, links, and tutorials. All in all, there's no better resource for fuelling the student motivation so central to science literacy.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.01 T988a )
Publication Date: 2017-05-02
What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There's no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (573.8 T98 )
Publication Date: 1995-12-01
Most cultures ostracize people who do not fit within their norms. They pressure abnormal people to change their appearance, fix what bothers other, or stay out of sight--a pressure Leslie Fiedler has named "The Tyranny of the Normal." This anthology examines the experiences of those who live outside social norms for attractiveness, size, and shape; it also explores the reactions of "normal" people to those who seem grotesque. Among the questions raised are who decided what is normal and abnormal; who has the right or authority to decide what efforts, if any, should be made to normalize someone; and who should pay for it--be it plastic surgery or the manipulation of human genes. The first section includes essays and articles written by health care professionals about the treatment of those with eating disorders or physical deformities. Part two contains more than 40 stories, poems, and plays about three main groups of abnormalities: weight, including obesity and anorexia nervosa; height, particularly dwarfism; and deformity or disfigurement. Major writers from Kafka and Poe to Welty and Morrison explore the conflicts of their characters as they struggle with self-image and otherness. One of the purposes of this anthology is to encourage those working or living with others outside the norms to be more inclusive and understanding. They will find this insightful collection a valuable resource.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (501 H2197s )
Publication Date: 1998-02-22
Is Science Multicultural? explores what the last three decades of European/American, feminist, and postcolonial science and technology studies can learn from each other. Sandra Harding introduces and discusses an array of postcolonial science studies, and their implications for "northern" science. All three science studies strains have developed in the context of post-World War II science and technology projects. They illustrate how technoscientific projects mean different things to different groups. The meaning attached by the culture of the West may not be shared or may be diametrically opposite in the cultures in other parts of the world. All, however, would agree that scientific projects--modern science included--are "local knowledge systems." The interests and discursive resources that the various science studies bring groups to their projects, and the ways that they organize the production of their kind of science studies, are distinctively culturally-local also. While their projects may be unintentionally converging, they also conflict in fundamental respects. How is this inevitable cultural-situatedness of knowledge both an invaluable resource as well as a limitation on the advance of knowledge about nature? What are the distinctive resources that the feminist and postcolonial science theorists offer in thinking about the history of modern science; the diversity of "scientific" traditions in non-European as well as in European cultures; and the directions that might be taken by less androcentric and Eurocentric scientific projects? How might modern sciences' projects be linked more firmly to the prodemocratic yearnings that are so widely voiced in contemporary life? Carefully balancing poststructuralist and conventional epistemological resources, this study concludes by proposing new directions for thinking about objectivity, method, and reflexivity in light of the new understandings developed in the post-World War II world.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (629.225 Am64b )
Publication Date: 2016-04-26
The first history of the bulldozer and its transformation from military weapon to essential tool for creating the post-World War II American landscape Although the decades following World War II stand out as an era of rapid growth and construction in the United States, those years were equally significant for large-scale destruction. In order to clear space for new suburban tract housing, an ambitious system of interstate highways, and extensive urban renewal development, wrecking companies demolished buildings while earthmoving contractors leveled land at an unprecedented pace and scale. In this pioneering history, Francesca Russello Ammon explores how postwar America came to equate this destruction with progress. The bulldozer functioned as both the means and the metaphor for this work. As the machine transformed from a wartime weapon into an instrument of postwar planning, it helped realize a landscape-altering "culture of clearance." In the hands of the military, planners, politicians, engineers, construction workers, and even children's book authors, the bulldozer became an American icon. Yet social and environmental injustices emerged as clearance projects continued unabated. This awareness spurred environmental, preservationist, and citizen participation efforts that have helped to slow, though not entirely stop, the momentum of the postwar bulldozer.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (631 H569d )
Publication Date: 2016-04-26
With very few people engaged in agriculture today, it is no surprise that most Americans have little understanding of the challenges that modern farmers face. This book provides readers a glimpse into life on a modern Missouri farm where a variety of grains, grass seed, corn, and cattle are produced. All of the conversations, events, and descriptions are drawn from the author's experience working alongside and observing this father and son family farm operation during the course of a year. Farming today is technologically complex and requires a broad set of skills that range from soil conservation, animal husbandry, and mechanics to knowledge of financial markets and computer technology. The focus on skills, in addition to the size of the financial risks, and the number of unexpected challenges along the way provides readers with a new perspective and appreciation for modern farm life.
Our relationship with the ocean is undergoing a profound transformation. Whereas just three decades ago nearly everything we ate from the sea was wild, rampant overfishing combined with an unprecedented bio-tech revolution has brought us to a point where wild and farmed fish occupy equal parts of a complex and confusing marketplace. We stand at the edge of a cataclysm; there is a distinct possibility that our children's children will never eat a wild fish that has swum freely in the sea. In Four Fish, award-winning writer and lifelong fisherman Paul Greenberg takes us on a culinary journey, exploring the history of the fish that dominate our menus---salmon, sea bass, cod and tuna-and examining where each stands at this critical moment in time. He visits Norwegian mega farms that use genetic techniques once pioneered on sheep to grow millions of pounds of salmon a year. He travels to the ancestral river of the Yupik Eskimos to see the only Fair Trade certified fishing company in the world. He investigates the way PCBs and mercury find their way into seafood; discovers how Mediterranean sea bass went global; Challenges the author of Cod to taste the difference between a farmed and a wild cod; and almost sinks to the bottom of the South Pacific while searching for an alternative to endangered bluefin tuna. Fish, Greenberg reveals, are the last truly wild food - for now. By examining the forces that get fish to our dinner tables, he shows how we can start to heal the oceans and fight for a world where healthy and sustainable seafood is the rule rather than the exception.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (363.73874 W469c )
Publication Date: 2012-01-24
Struggles over drinking water, new outbreaks of mass violence, ethnic cleansing, civil wars in the earth's poorest countries, endless flows of refugees: these are the new conflicts and forces shaping the world of the 21st century. They no longer hinge on ideological rivalries between great powers but rather on issues of class, religion and resources. The genocides of the last century have taught us how quickly social problems can spill over into radical and deadly solutions. Rich countries are already developing strategies to garner resources and keep 'climate refugees' at bay. In this major book Harald Welzer shows how climate change and violence go hand in hand. Climate change has far-reaching consequences for the living conditions of peoples around the world: inhabitable spaces shrink, scarce resources become scarcer, injustices grow deeper, not only between North and South but also between generations, storing up material for new social tensions and giving rise to violent conflicts, civil wars and massive refugee flows. Climate change poses major new challenges in terms of security, responsibility and justice, but as Welzer makes disturbingly clear, very little is being done to confront them. The paperback edition includes a new Preface that brings the book up to date and addresses the most recent developments and trends.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (304.62 H234h )
Publication Date: 2016-10-01
Predicting the shape of our future populations is vital for installing the infrastructure, welfare, and provisions necessary for society to survive. There are many opportunities and challenges that will come with the changes in our populations over the 21st century. In this new addition to the21st Century Challenges series, Sarah Harper works to dispel myths such as the fear of unstoppable global growth resulting in a population explosion, or that climate change will lead to the mass movement of environmental refugees; and instead considers the future shape of our populations in light ofdemographic trends in fertility, mortality, and migration, and their national and global impact.How Population Change Will Transform Our World looks at population trends by region to highlight the key issues facing us in the coming decades, including the demographic inertia in Europe, demographic dividend in Asia, high fertility and mortality in Africa, the youth bulge in the Middle East, andthe balancing act of migration in the Americas. Harper concludes with an analysis of global challenges we must plan for such as the impact of climate change and urbanization, and the difficulty of feeding 10 billion people, and considers ways in which we can prepare for, and mitigate against, thesechallenges.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (332.6 H237c )
Publication Date: 2016-09-12
How do the one percent hold on to their wealth? And how do they keep getting richer, despite financial crises and the myriad of taxes on income, capital gains, and inheritance? Capital without Borders takes a novel approach to these questions by looking at professionals who specialize in protecting the fortunes of the world's richest people: wealth managers. Brooke Harrington spent nearly eight years studying this little-known group--including two years training to become a wealth manager herself. She then "followed the money" to the eighteen most popular tax havens in the world, interviewing practitioners to understand how they helped their high-net-worth clients avoid taxes, creditors, and disgruntled heirs--all while staying just within the letter of the law. Capital without Borders reveals how wealth managers use offshore banks, shell corporations, and trusts to shield billions in private wealth not only from taxation but from all manner of legal obligations. And it shows how practitioners justify their work, despite evidence that it erodes government authority and contributes to global inequality. Harrington's research offers the first glimpse into the tactics and mentality of a secretive profession that controls astonishingly large flows of capital around the world. Based on sixty-five practitioner interviews--conducted in the traditional financial centers of Europe and the Americas as well as the up-and-coming tax havens of Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific--Capital without Borders gives voice for the first time to an elite that has worked quietly and unobtrusively to enrich the one percent.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (546 Sce75t )
Publication Date: 2013-06-20
In 1913, English physicist Henry Moseley established an elegant method for "counting" the elements based on atomic number, ranging them from hydrogen (#1) to uranium (#92). It soon became clear, however, that seven elements were mysteriously missing from the line up - seven elements unknown toscience. In his well researched and engagingly narrative, Eric Scerri presents the intriguing stories of these seven elements - protactinium, hafnium, rhenium, technetium, francium, astatine and promethium. The book follows the historical order of discovery, roughly spanning the two world wars, beginningwith the isolation of protactinium in 1917 and ending with that of promethium in 1945. For each element, Scerri traces the research that preceded the discovery, the pivotal experiments, the personalities of the chemists involved, the chemical nature of the new element, and its applications inscience and technology. We learn for instance that alloys of hafnium- w hose name derives from the Latin name for Copenhagen (hafnia) - have some of the highest boiling points on record and are used for the nozzles in rocket thrusters such as the Apollo Lunar Modules. Scerri also tells the personal tales of researchersovercoming great obstacles. We see how Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn - the pair who later proposed the theory of atomic fission -were struggling to isolate element 91 when World War I intervened, Hahn was drafted into the German army's poison gas unit, and Meitner was forced to press on alone againstdaunting odds. The book concludes by examining how and where the twenty-five new elements have taken their places in the periodic table in the last half century. A Tale of Seven Elements paints a fascinating picture of chemical research - the wrong turns, missed opportunities, bitterly disputed claims, serendipitous findings, accusations of dishonesty - all leading finally to the thrill of discovery.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (539.754 C6921g )
Publication Date: 2017-01-27
A fascinating account, written in real time, of the unfolding of a scientific discovery: the first detection of gravitational waves. Scientists have been trying to confirm the existence of gravitational waves for fifty years. Then, in September 2015, came a "very interesting event" (as the cautious subject line in a physicist's email read) that proved to be the first detection of gravitational waves. In Gravity's Kiss, Harry Collins -- who has been watching the science of gravitational wave detection for forty-three of those fifty years and has written three previous books about it -- offers a final, fascinating account, written in real time, of the unfolding of one of the most remarkable scientific discoveries ever made. Predicted by Einstein in his theory of general relativity, gravitational waves carry energy from the collision or explosion of stars. Dying binary stars, for example, rotate faster and faster around each other until they merge, emitting a burst of gravitational waves. It is only with the development of extraordinarily sensitive, highly sophisticated detectors that physicists can now confirm Einstein's prediction. This is the story that Collins tells. Collins, a sociologist of science who has been embedded in the gravitational wave community since 1972, traces the detection, the analysis, the confirmation, and the public presentation and the reception of the discovery -- from the first email to the final published paper and the response of professionals and the public. Collins shows that science today is collaborative, far-flung (with the physical location of the participants hardly mattering), and sometimes secretive, but still one of the few institutions that has integrity built into it.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530 R769s )
Publication Date: 2016-03-01
Instant New York Times Bestseller "Short and resonant. . . . The essays in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics arrive like shots of espresso."--The New York Times "A startling and illustrative distillation of centuries of science."--The Economist "Lean, lucid and enchanting."--New Scientist The international bestseller that reveals all the beauty of modern physics in seven short and enlightening lessons Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is a book about the joy of discovery. Carlo Rovelli brings a playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics, offering surprising--and surprisingly easy to grasp--explanations of Einstein's general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. He takes us to the frontiers of our knowledge: to the most minute reaches of the fabric of space, back to the origins of the cosmos, and into the workings of our minds. "Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world," Rovelli writes. "And it's breathtaking."
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530 C997s )
Publication Date: 2017-01-10
Take a look up at the stars on a clear night and you get a sense that the universe is vast and untouchable, full of mysteries beyond comprehension. But did you know that the key to unveiling the secrets of the cosmos is as close as the nearest toaster? Our home here on Earth is messy, mutable, and full of humdrum things that we touch and modify without much thought every day. But these familiar surroundings are just the place to look if you're interested in what makes the universe tick. In Storm in a Teacup, Helen Czerski provides the tools to alter the way we see everything around us by linking ordinary objects and occurrences, like popcorn popping, coffee stains, and fridge magnets, to big ideas like climate change, the energy crisis, or innovative medical testing. She guides us through the principles of gases ("Explosions in the kitchen are generally considered a bad idea. But just occasionally a small one can produce something delicious"); gravity (drop some raisins in a bottle of carbonated lemonade and watch the whoosh of bubbles and the dancing raisins at the bottom bumping into each other); size (Czerski explains the action of the water molecules that cause the crime-scene stain left by a puddle of dried coffee); and time (why it takes so long for ketchup to come out of a bottle). Along the way, she provides answers to vexing questions: How does water travel from the roots of a redwood tree to its crown? How do ducks keep their feet warm when walking on ice? Why does milk, when added to tea, look like billowing storm clouds? In an engaging voice at once warm and witty, Czerski shares her stunning breadth of knowledge to lift the veil of familiarity from the ordinary. You may never look at your toaster the same way.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.12 M9176q )
Publication Date: 2017-05-16
Quantum mechanics allows a remarkably accurate description of nature and powerful predictive capabilities. At the same time, the analyses of quantum systems and their interpretation lead to many surprises, for example, the ability to detect the characteristics of an object without ever touching it in any way, via "interaction-free measurement," or the teleportation of an atomic state over large distances, and to somewhat strange world views like Everett'smany-universes theory. The results can seem bizarre. Quantum mechanics usually involves complicated mathematics, yet most texts for general audiences avoid all mathematics, leading thereader to miss out on a deep understanding of the subject. This book assumes that someone with just a background in high-school level algebra and trigonometry mathematics can learn so much more about quantum mechanics. A wide range of readers including not only university science students, but a general audience interested in science, even those at the high-school level, can understand even the most bizarre behavior of the quantum world.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.12 H6535t )
Publication Date: 2017-01-05
Everybody has heard that we live in a world made of atoms. But far more fundamentally, we live in a universe made of quanta. Many things are not made of atoms: light, radio waves, electric current, magnetic fields, Earth's gravitational field, not to mention exotica such a neutron stars, blackholes, dark energy, and dark matter. But everything, including atoms, is made of highly unified or "coherent" bundles of energy called "quanta" that (like everything else) obey certain rules. In the case of the quantum, these rules are called "quantum physics." This is a book about quanta and theirunexpected, some would say peculiar, behavior--tales, if you will, of the quantum.The quantum has developed the reputation of being capricious, bewildering, even impossible to understand. The peculiar habits of quanta are certainly not what we would have expected to find at the foundation of physical reality, but these habits are not necessarily bewildering and not at allimpossible or paradoxical. This book explains those habits - the quantum rules - in everyday language, without mathematics or unnecessary technicalities. While most popular books about quantum physics follow the topic's scientific history from 1900 to today, this book follows the phenomena:wave-particle duality, fundamental randomness, quantum states, superpositions (being in two places at once), entanglement, non-locality, Schrodinger's cat, and quantum jumps, and presents the history and the scientists only to the extent that they illuminate the phenomena.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (549.32 R421p )
Publication Date: 2015-05-01
Most people have heard of pyrite, the brassy yellow mineral sometimes known as fool's gold. Pyrite behaves like stone and shines like metal, and its dual nature makes it a source of both metals and sulfur. Despite being the most common sulfide mineral on the earth's surface, pyrite's brightcrystals have attracted the attention of many different cultures, and its nearly identical visual appearance to gold has led to tales of fraud, trickery, and claims of alchemy. Pyrite occupies a unique place in human history: it became an integral part of mining culture in America during the 19thcentury, and it has a presence in ancient Sumerian texts, Greek philosophy, and medieval poetry, becoming a symbol for anything overvalued. In Pyrite, geochemist and author David Rickard blends basic science and historical narrative to describe the many unique ways pyrite is integral to our world. He explains the basic science of oxidation, showing us why the mineral looks like gold, and inspects death zones of present oceans wherepyrite-related hydrogen sulfide destroys oxygen in the waters. Rickard analyzes pyrite's role in manufacturing sulfuric acid and discusses the significant appearance of the mineral in literature, history, and the development of societies. The mineral's influence extends from human evolution andculture, through science and industry, to our understanding of ancient, modern, and future earth environments. Energetic and accessible, Pyrite is the first book to show readers the history and science of a mineral that helped make the modern world.
by Allan Franklin
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (539.72 F8541s )
Publication Date: 2013-12-20
In Shifting Standards, Allan Franklin provides an overview of notable experiments in particle physics. Using papers published in Physical Review, the journal of the American Physical Society, as his basis, Franklin details the experiments themselves, their data collection, the events witnessed, and the interpretation of results. From these papers, he distills the dramatic changes to particle physics experimentation from 1894 through 2009. Franklin develops a framework for his analysis, viewing each example according to exclusion and selection of data; possible experimenter bias; details of the experimental apparatus; size of the data set, apparatus, and number of authors; rates of data taking along with analysis and reduction; distinction between ideal and actual experiments; historical accounts of previous experiments; and personal comments and style. From Millikan's tabletop oil-drop experiment to the Compact Muon Solenoid apparatus measuring approximately 4,000 cubic meters (not including accelerators) and employing over 2,000 authors, Franklin's study follows the decade-by-decade evolution of scale and standards in particle physics experimentation. As he shows, where once there were only one or two collaborators, now it literally takes a village. Similar changes are seen in data collection: in 1909 Millikan's data set took 175 oil drops, of which he used 23 to determine the value of e, the charge of the electron; in contrast, the 1988-1992 E791 experiment using the Collider Detector at Fermilab, investigating the hadroproduction of charm quarks, recorded 20 billion events. As we also see, data collection took a quantum leap in the 1950s with the use of computers. Events are now recorded at rates as of a few hundred per second, and analysis rates have progressed similarly. Employing his epistemology of experimentation, Franklin deconstructs each example to view the arguments offered and the correctness of the results. Overall, he finds that despite the metamorphosis of the process, the role of experimentation has remained remarkably consistent through the years: to test theories and provide factual basis for scientific knowledge, to encourage new theories, and to reveal new phenomenon.
by Donald R. Prothero
Publication Date: 2017-08-22
Donald R. Prothero's Evolution is an entertaining and rigorous history of the transitional forms and series found in the fossil record. Its engaging narrative of scientific discovery and well-grounded analysis has led to the book's widespread adoption in courses that teach the nature and value of fossil evidence for evolution. Evolution tackles systematics and cladistics, rock dating, neo-Darwinism, and macroevolution. It includes extensive coverage of the primordial soup, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, and the transformation from early hominid to modern human. The book also details the many alleged "missing links" in the fossil record, including some of the most recent discoveries that flesh out the fossil timeline and the evolutionary process. In this second edition, Prothero describes new transitional fossils from various periods, vividly depicting such bizarre creatures as the Odontochelys, or the "turtle on the half shell"; fossil snakes with legs; and the "Frogamander," a new example of amphibian transition. Prothero's discussion of intelligent design arguments includes more historical examples and careful examination of the "experiments" and observations that are exploited by creationists seeking to undermine sound science education. With new perspectives, Prothero reframes creationism as a case study in denialism and pseudoscience rather than a field with its own intellectual dynamism. The first edition was hailed as an exemplary exploration of the fossil evidence for evolution, and this second edition will be welcome in the libraries of scholars, teachers, and general readers who stand up for sound science in this post-truth era.
Internationally renowned, award-winning theoretical physicist, New York Times bestselling author of A Universe from Nothing, and passionate advocate for reason, Lawrence Krauss tells the dramatic story of the discovery of the hidden world of reality--a grand poetic vision of nature--and how we find our place within it. In the beginning there was light. But more than this, there was gravity. After that, all hell broke loose... In A Universe from Nothing, Krauss revealed how our entire universe could arise from nothing. Now, he reveals what that something--reality--is. And, reality is not what we think or sense--it's weird, wild, and counterintuitive; it's hidden beneath everyday experience; and its inner workings seem even stranger than the idea that something can come from nothing. In a landmark, unprecedented work of scientific history, Krauss leads us to the furthest reaches of space and time, to scales so small they are invisible to microscopes, to the birth and rebirth of light, and into the natural forces that govern our existence. His unique blend of rigorous research and engaging storytelling invites us into the lives and minds of the remarkable, creative scientists who have helped to unravel the unexpected fabric of reality--with reason rather than superstition and dogma. Krauss has himself been an active participant in this effort, and he knows many of them well. The Greatest Story challenges us to re-envision ourselves and our place within the universe, as it appears that "God" does play dice with the universe. In the incisive style of his scintillating essays for The New Yorker, Krauss celebrates the greatest intellectual adventure ever undertaken--to understand why we are here in a universe where fact is stranger than fiction.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (535.6 W884c )
Publication Date: 2016-01-01
"This slender work is packed with an enormous amount of information related to the science of colour. The best part of the material is the array of pictures and diagrams, many of which are in colour, that help to complement the text. The book has something for the physicist, chemist, biologist, engineer, and lay reader. Summing up: Highly recommended." CHOICE Connect "The text is nicely written in a colloquial and essayistic style, without any mathematical treatment and without references, however with solid historical and scientific foundation. This book can be recommended without constraint to any interested reader, in particular since it does not require any special previous knowledge, but gives an easily accessible account of the topic and keeps exactly to the subjects the title suggests." Contemporary Physics Colour makes our lives more interesting -- how dull it would be in a black-and-white world It pleases us aesthetically, entertains us and is useful to us. This unique book aims to describe the scientific nature of colour and light, and how we see it, in an accessible and easily understandable style. The evolution of the eye, science of colour and technical visual systems are all broken down into readable chapters, with clear images and illustrations provided for reference. The book then goes on to discuss the innate tendency of humankind to produce artistic works as conceived, realised and augmented through the use of colour. Focussing on broad forms of artistic entertainment -- painting with pigments and dyes, colour and light in photography and cinematography, light displays and colour in television -- this book then delivers a comprehensive review of what colour means and has meant in the creative arts.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.12 Sca71q )
Publication Date: 2016-05-30
Quantum physics is often perceived as a weird and abstract theory, which physicists must use in order to make correct predictions. But many recent experiments have shown that the weirdness of the theory simply mirrors the weirdness of phenomena: it is Nature itself, and not only ourdescription of it, that behaves in an astonishing way. This book selects those, among these typical quantum phenomena, whose rigorous description requires neither the formalism, nor an important background in physics.The first part of the book deals with the phenomenon of single-particle interference, covering the historical questions of wave-particle duality, objective randomness and the boundary between the quantum and the classical world, but also the recent idea of quantum cryptography. The second partintroduces the modern theme of entanglement, by presenting two-particle interference phenomena and discussing Bell's inequalities. A concise review of the main interpretations of quantum physics is provided.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (507.1 C6721L )
Publication Date: 2017-02-08
Most teachers learned about science from traditional textbooks stressing scientific conclusions without discussing how scientists created those conclusions, leaving them ill equipped to face new science standards. If you′re a time-strapped teacher worried about the instructional shifts the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) require, this book is here to help. Each chapter walks teachers through time-tested, inquiry-based classroom activities and case studies of what real scientists do to illustrate such ideas as: what makes up scientific questioning, the differences between hypotheses, theories, and laws, inductive and deductive reasoning, common procedures for scientific experimentation and more.