How the Great Scientists Reasoned
The Scientific Method in Action
- Gary Tibbetts, Physics Department, General Motors Research Laboratories (Retired), Warren, Michigan, USA
AudienceAppropriate for students and researchers from all disciplines who want to learn more about historical scientific reasoning.
- Published: October 2012
- Imprint: ELSEVIER
- ISBN: 978-0-12-398498-2
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Mankind’s urge to understand.
2. Elements of scientific thinking: Skepticism, careful reasoning, and exhaustive evaluation are all vital.
3. Christopher Columbus discovers the "Indies": It can be disastrous to stubbornly refuse to recognize that you have falsified your own hypothesis.
4. Antoine Lavoisier and Joseph Priestley both tested the befuddling phlogiston theory: Junking a confusing hypothesis may be necessary to clear the way for new and productive science.
5. Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction but failed to unify electromagnetism and gravitation: It’s generally, but not always, productive to simplify and consolidate your hypotheses.
6. Wilhelm Röntgen Intended to study cathode rays but ended up discovering x-rays: Listen carefully when Mother Nature whispers in your ear, as she may lead you to a Nobel Prize.
7. Max Plank, the first superhero of quantum theory, saved the universe from the ultraviolet catastrophe: Assemble two flawed hypotheses into a model which fits experiment exactly and people will listen to you, even if you must revolutionize physics.
8. Albert Einstein attacked the problem "Are atoms real?" from several angles: Solving a centuries-old riddle in seven different ways can finally resolve it.
9. Nils Bohr modeled the hydrogen atom as a quantized system with compelling exactness; but his later career proved that collaboration and developing new talent can become more significant than the groundbreaking research of any individual.
10. Conclusions, status of science, and lessons for our time.