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Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton

Escrito por James Gleick

Narrado por Allan Corduner


Isaac Newton

Escrito por James Gleick

Narrado por Allan Corduner

avaliações:
4/5 (84 avaliações)
Comprimento:
5 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Apr 26, 2005
ISBN:
9780060846329
Formato:
Audiolivro

Descrição

James Gleick has long been fascinated by the making of science -- how ideas order visible appearances, how equations can give meaning to molecular and stellar phenomena, how theories can transform what we see. In Chaos, he chronicled the emergence of a new way of looking at dynamic systems; in Genius, he portrayed the wondrous dimensions of Richard Feymnan's mind. Now, in Isaac Newton, he gives us the story of the scientist who, above all others, embodied humanity's quest to unveil the hidden forces that constitute the physical world.

In this original, sweeping, and intimate biography, Gleick moves between a comprehensive historical portrait and a dramatic focus on Newton's significant letters and unpublished notebooks to illuminate the real importance of his work in physics, in optics, and in calculus. He makes us see the old intuitive, alchemical universe out of which Newton's mathematics first arose and shows us how Newton's ideas have altered all forms of understanding from history to philosophy. And he gives us a moving account of the conflicting impulses that pulled at this man's heart: his quiet longings, his rage, his secrecy, the extraordinary subtleties of a personality that were mirrored in the invisible forces he first identified as the building blocks of science. More than biography, more than history, more than science, Isaac Newton tells us how, through the mind of one man, we have come to know our place in the cosmos.

Read by Allan Couruner.

Editora:
Lançado em:
Apr 26, 2005
ISBN:
9780060846329
Formato:
Audiolivro

Sobre o autor

Born in New York City in 1954, James Gleick is one of the nation’s preeminent science writers. Upon graduating from Harvard in 1976, he founded Metropolis, a weekly Minneapolis newspaper, and spent the next decade working at the New York Times. Gleick’s prominent works include Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, Isaac Newton, and Chaos: Making a New Science, all of which were shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. His latest book, The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood,was published in March 2011. He lives and works in New York.


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Avaliações de leitores

  • (5/5)
    It wonderful book. I learned so much I did not know about a personal hero.
  • (5/5)
    This book was really great because it gave a lot of information in a little book and i just was well written
  • (4/5)
    Sir Isaac Newton ranks among history's greatest geniuses. For inventing modern physics. For overturning Aristotle's hegemony upon thought. For co-inventing calculus (as an introduction to physics). For being more into theology and alchemy than physics.

    His treasure-trove of personal writings - kept hidden until near the middle of the twentieth century - show this man to be, like Luther before him, the last of the great medievalists who birthed the movement of modernity. With Newton came the Industrial Revolution and a rigid system that Einsteinianism had to loosen. He obsessed over thought after thought, most based on alchemy and Arian/Gnostic theology (not orthodox Trinitarianism), until modern physics was birthed, and with it a deductive mechanism from first "principles."

    He was born the son of an illiterate father whom he never knew. He seemed destined to become a farmer, but instead, privately reckoned physics into being at Cambridge. He never married. He was haunted by lust. He became rich by overseeing the conversion of Britain's Mint. He left no will, was close to none, was a recluse, and wrote brilliantly.

    He was a magician, an alchemist, and a heretical theologian. He dabbled in unreason to give birth to reason. He later became an authoritarian over scientific thought. He feuded with Leibnitz, a feud which in some senses persists to this day. (They both are right in their claims, and humanity is the big loser of the argument. They should be seen as independent co-founders of calculus.)

    His Principia removed Aristotle's impulsivity and set gravity as the central cause of all of motion. He derived calculus to explain its movement in a universal language. He made mathematics the foundational language of humanity.

    It wasn't until Einstein that science returned to solving problems as its fundamental method. Even Darwin proposed a universal system, not a solution. With Einstein, relativity (which was the popular version of the physical laws Einstein proposed, much as mechanism was the popular import of Newtonianism) became in imbibed by Western consciousness. Now, scientists see things through a team spirit relative to one's position in work. Few claim to be systemic masters any longer, as if there were a system to master in the first place.

    The rigid system of Newtonianism stays with us on the outskirts. Every time someone exerts a will to claim overarching knowledge (which is, in Newton's world, power), they claim Newton's authoritarian dark side. Trump, old-school Calvinism, old-school capitalism, moralism. There is right and wrong for Newton. Again, it took an Einstein to relativize everything.

    I think the real Isaac Newton would have liked to know that sage of Princeton Albert Einstein. It's unfortunate that I also dream that Newton would have found much reason to argue with him, much as Newton privately argued with Leibnitz in his own day and Einstein argued with Quantum Mechanics for the second-half of his life. At least Newton was private in his argumentation. He preferred not to argue publicly. That's a character trait we can all learn from, especially in a post-Newtonian, post-Einsteinian world.
  • (5/5)
    This was the best audiobook I heard in a long time
  • (5/5)
    I detailed account of the events that shaped Isaac Newton into the famous scientists he became.
  • (4/5)
    I have learned new interesting things about Isaac Newton
  • (5/5)
    James Gleick is magnificent writer. Unlike alot of other books, this book doesn't lose focus from what's being described. Concepts are precise and engaging. The narrator has done a phenomenal job of adding appropriate emotions to words. I listened to this audiobook during long drives but despite being tired, the book still kept my attention riveted.
  • (4/5)
    Pretty quick read gives a nice insight to Newton's life. I enjoyed it.
  • (4/5)
    As a schoolbook figure, Isaac Newton is most often pictured sitting under an apple tree, about to discover the secrets of gravity. In this short biography, James Gleick reveals the life of a man whose contributions to science and math included far more than the laws of motion for which he is generally famous. Gleick's always-accessible style is hampered somewhat by the need to describe Newton's esoteric thinking processes. After all, the man invented calculus. But readers who stick with the book will discover the amazing story of a scientist obsessively determined to find out how things worked. Working alone, thinking alone, and experimenting alone, Newton often resorted to strange methods, as when he risked his sight to find out how the eye processed images: .... Newton, experimental philosopher, slid a bodkin into his eye socket between eyeball and bone. He pressed with the tip until he saw 'severall white darke & coloured circles'.... Almost as recklessly, he stared with one eye at the sun, reflected in a looking glass, for as long as he could bear.From poor beginnings, Newton rose to prominence and wealth, and Gleick uses contemporary accounts and notebooks to track the genius's arc, much as Newton tracked the paths of comets. Without a single padded sentence or useless fact, Gleick portrays a complicated man whose inspirations required no falling apples
  • (3/5)
    An interesting look into this giant figure of history and puts and all to human face on him. One also realizes the debt modern society owes him.
  • (5/5)
    The Life of Newton, told Gleick style! A lot of his life and way of work (Newton?s) dovetails with Cal Newport?s Deep WorkFascinating! Would have loved it be longer? much longer! :)Go read.
  • (1/5)
    optics
  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    A first rate biography of Isaac Newton. The biography is a relatively short, standard cradle-to-grave account, with significant discussions of Newton's scientific thinking and discoveries, starting with mathematics, then optics, and finally physics -- not counting alchemy, biblical studies, and his role as master of the mint.

    James Gleick puts you directly into Newton's life and world through extensive quotations from letters and other documents, all with the original spellings. In some cases, like Newton's playing with infinite sums, Gleick reproduces a facsimile of the document itself.

    No scientific life I know is as full of bitter rivalries, secrecy, and a continuum from the ultra-rational to the completely irrational. Towards the end of the book Gleick quotes Keynes' apt description of Newton: "Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago."

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (2/5)
    I wanted to like this, but my mind kept wandering. Perhaps I already knew too much, I didn't learn anything new.
  • (4/5)
    This is not as complete a biography as I may have been craving - at times the author veers off into tangential almost poetic asides instead of telling us the who, what and why, but it left me with a feeling of insight into one of our Greatest Ever. (Can't claim to have followed all the mathematical explanations!!:-) His brilliance was astonishing; his prescience concerning posterity particularly touching.
  • (3/5)
    This is one of those "torn between three stars and four" books. I did get a good sense of who Newton was. He was an asshole.

    Gleick gets pretty technical. A lot of this book describes Newton's theories, including calculus, in no small amount of detail. I've been frustrated in the past by biographies that didn't go into enough technical detail about the discoveries of various scientists, so this may be a "Careful what you wish for" situation; I've always been shit at calculus, and much of this book flew right over my head.

    But it does the job. At under 200 pages it's a snappy read, and I understand Newton and his place in history exactly as well as I want to, so: mission accomplished.
  • (4/5)
    For such an interesting figure, I knew remarkably little about Isaac Newton, which is what led me to this book in the first place. In truth, I'm not sure how much there is to know; I assume his personal life is better documented than some of his contemporaries (I'm thinking predominantly of Shakespeare), but by how much, frankly, I'm still unsure.

    Gleick, to be fair, doesn't seem particularly interested in details outside of what Newton accomplished, but he still manages to impart a sense of Newton, the man, in addition to the scientist. His obsessions, idiosyncrasies, and feuds help to flesh out a rather interesting story.

    Gleick does a great job of documenting his subject's accomplishments, presenting them in such a way as to remind us how firmly they've been ensconced in the realm of modern thought. And while I would have appreciated a greater sense of the world in which he lived, if only to provide a better context for what he achieved, Gleick deserves credit for a great biography of both the man and the birth of modern scientific thought.
  • (3/5)
    A different approach than some of the other Newton biographies I've read. Nothing dramatically different, just a little more emphasis on the math discoveries than the more balanced approach the others wrote from. I believe that a biography should be weighted based on the amount of time the character spent on his various activities and not to focus on the ones that are of particular interest to the author.
  • (5/5)
    A first rate biography of Isaac Newton. The biography is a relatively short, standard cradle-to-grave account, with significant discussions of Newton's scientific thinking and discoveries, starting with mathematics, then optics, and finally physics -- not counting alchemy, biblical studies, and his role as master of the mint.James Gleick puts you directly into Newton's life and world through extensive quotations from letters and other documents, all with the original spellings. In some cases, like Newton's playing with infinite sums, Gleick reproduces a facsimile of the document itself.No scientific life I know is as full of bitter rivalries, secrecy, and a continuum from the ultra-rational to the completely irrational. Towards the end of the book Gleick quotes Keynes' apt description of Newton: "Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago."
  • (3/5)
    NEWTON (b. 1643) Galileo was a good scientist, but not a good diplomat. Newton was, I think, definitely unpleasant; I read that he may have been autistic, but the condition was not known at the time (it is not well known now), so let us forget about his character and concentrate on his work. The most astonishing moment of Newton's life for me is when Halley (the man of the comet) came to visit Newton and asked him what was his opinion of the orbit of the planets. Everybody tried circles (because a circle is a perfect shape in philosophy), but it did not work. Newton said it had to be an ellipse. Halley asked why? Newton answered "I have calculated it." The story always blew my mind. That is the major difference between Galileo and Newton: Galileo drew conclusions from observations, Newton had a theory.What about the book? It is short, which is good. I was disappointed. I think that it is because Newton the man is not that well known, and what we know about him, we do not like. And I am not sure the author is at the scientific level to make this enthralling. If you want a short survey, this book is fine. If you want more depth (without being a mathematician) look for Richard Westfall, Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton.
  • (3/5)
    A summary of Isaac Netwon's life and intellectual accomplishments. Well written but rather dull. The technical topics were treated too gingerly and platitudes seemed a little to easy. Its like a well written expanded Wiki page on Netwon. Read if you completely new to the topic or under 16 years old.
  • (4/5)
    Nice read but I have forgotten everything pretty much about it.
  • (5/5)
    Brief and insightful biography of a singular man:James Gleick certainly never lets you get bored. This biography of Sir Isaac Newton - a man who lived an improbable eighty four years and in that time invented much of mathematics, classical physics and optics, postulated gravity, ran the Royal Mint, relentlessly persecuted forgers and secretly devoted a fair bit of his life to alchemy - is done and dusted in under 200 generously margined pages, so being of a short attention span is no barrier. This is a great book: Gleick's prose, while undeniably efficient, is nonetheless possessed of a disarming elegance and his analysis is insightful and engaging: I found myself lowering the book and staring into space pondering its implications a good deal. We tend to think of Newton as the father of the modern enlightenment without concluding that, ergo, the times he inhabited were QED un-enlightened. This makes the amount and scope of a single man's achievement all the more stunning: parameters we take absolutely for granted - such as the measurable and consistent passage of time - for most purposes, just didn't exist: it was by Newton's singular and cantankerous will that we became "enlightened" at all. Science, mathematics philosophy and religion were simply not the carefully compartmentalised and ontologically parsed disciplines they are today: they were merely different aspects of the same tangled skein. Gleick also records how indebted our now "untangled" skein is to Newton's ministrations: were the programmes of Robert Hooke or Gottfried Leibniz - great antagonists of Newton's in their day - to have prevailed, the uncomfortable suspicion is that our scientific landscape now might look very different. Newton's famous deference to the shoulders of giants was in reality uttered in false modesty with reference to a competitor, Hooke, whom he despised. That fact alone ought to trouble the more revisionist historians of science. Indeed, "a slightly naughty thought" occurs to Hermann Bondi: "we may still be so much under the impression of the particular turn he took ... We cannot get it out of our system". Quite. This is a deft and elegant biography. Well recommended.
  • (3/5)
    A solid book on understanding the basic impact Newton had on modern culture. Although the book is small, it contains lots of information from a variety of sources. This book will not give a full appreciation of what Newton achieved but would be a good starting point for those with interest in science history.
  • (3/5)
    Competent, lively & concise biography of perhaps the first Enlightenment man - & certainly "last of the magicians", as JM Keynes later put it. Speaking personally, the c200pp of text gave me quite what I'd wanted: a general survey of Newton, his main ideas, & significance for the century following him. Perhaps a little short on the mathematics side.While at it, I'll add another strictly personal remark: I found Newton sympathetic & congenial, despite his superficial unpleasantness. A scientific dictator? Sure. But also one of the great legislators of humanity, alongside Moses, Numa, Solon or (according to some) America's founding fathers. Of course Newton's primary realm was not society, but nature. Yet like every great lawgiver before him, he was all of a piece: brutally uncompromising & relentlessly selfish wherever the integrity of the rule he had devised was at stake.
  • (4/5)
    A very good read. The book traces the life of Sir Isaac Newton through examining his correspondences and publications and gives an account of his insurmountable contributions to natural philosophy and mathematics. As well, it provides insight into his influences, and portrays what this perhaps most important man in the realm of physics and mathematics was really like. The book is as much a page-turner as a book about history can be. I suppose people with an interest in such things as science and natural history, who I suspect would have certain knowledge of the life of Newton anyway, would find this book worth reading. I am one of those.
  • (3/5)
    No real revelations here, as far as I can see. A pretty short, plain biography which surprised me since I'm a pretty big fan of Gleick.
  • (5/5)
    An absolutely first-rate biography of Isaac Newton by a wonderful science writer. I appreciated this book even more a couple of months ago when I got to hold a first edition of The Principia in my hands at the Crawford Library at the University of Edinburgh. What an experience to open the book and see Newton's own drawing of the limit. The hairs on the back of my neck still tingle to think of it. And my appreciation was so much enhanced by Glick's ability to make Newton come to life on the pages.
  • (5/5)
    Nicely balanced look at Newton’s life and work. A good introduction.(I'm not a big fan of Newton because of his behavior towards Hooke, but Gleick's account does a lot to redeem him.)
  • (4/5)
    Gleick's goal with this book would seem to be to reconcile the marble man who became the god of Western science with the alchemist, the heretic, and the man who waged social war with scorched-earth fervor. Gleick actually succeeds in this, but the new image is not especially attractive and it's hard to say that a great deal of insight is offered into Newton's motivations. Take this as mostly being a study of the birth of the modern scientific community through the filter of Newton's life and achievements.