The Clockwork Universe is the story of a band of men who lived in a world of dirt and disease but pictured a universe that ran like a perfect machine. A meld of history and science, this book is a group portrait of some of the greatest minds who ever lived as they wrestled with natures most sweeping mysteries. The answers they uncovered still hold the key to how we understand the world.
At the end of the 17th century, an age of religious wars, plague, and the Great Fire of London when most people saw the world as falling apart, these earliest scientists saw a world of perfect order. They declared that, chaotic as it looked, the universe was in fact as intricate and perfectly regulated as a clock. This was the tail end of Shakespeare's century, when the natural and the supernatural still twined around each other. Disease was a punishment ordained by God, astronomy had not yet broken free from astrology, and the sky was filled with omens. It was a time when little was known and everything was new. These brilliant, ambitious, curious men believed in angels, alchemy, and the devil, and they also believed that the universe followed precise, mathematical laws, a contradiction that tormented them and changed the course of history. The Clockwork Universe is the fascinating and compelling story of the bewildered geniuses of the Royal Society, the men who made the modern world.
©2011 Edward Dolnick (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
Nowadays it is easy to forget how Newton's Principia helped usher in the modern age. Fascinating to think he and a few of his contemporaries solved such epic scientific questions while not being able to fully extricate themselves from wacky ideas such as alchemy.
The laws of motion seem quaint now when you consider ideas such as General Relativity and quantum physics, but we had to start somewhere. This is a great story of that adventure.
Special Collections Librarian at the Marion H. Skidmore Library, Digital Director of The Skeptiseum, co-host of The Thirteenth Four podcast.
This was a well written book on a fascinating topic, and I really appreciate that it was narrated in such an easy to listen to manner. It made things more interesting, such as the discussion of the correspondence between Newton and Leibniz. Well done.
Fascinating history of amazing achievement, remarkable scholars and tender egos.
This is particularly interesting for those with a mathematical bent. The stories of the discovery of calculus and of the relationships of structures of the universes to each other are fascinating.
a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.
a history of how the great minds of the 1600 brought us modern physics and mathematics. I would really love to try an dread some of the original texts of the "math-Masters". to think in the 1600's people could calculate the position of the moon in relationship to the earth within inches...
What a wonderful View of the world as it was, and how it shaped the world that is. An astounding perspective that brings a new appreciation for the mind and persona of a remarkable man and his contemporaries that changed it all.
The author provides a great balance between presentation of the human side of the scientists along with their theories and principles that continue to affect the modern world. Is very entertaining, quite insightful, and well worth the time and effort to read. truly time well spent!
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