By James D. Stein
Our fascination with numbers starts once we are young ones and maintains all through our lives. we begin counting our hands and feet and turn out balancing checkbooks and calculating possibility. So strong is the allure of numbers that many folks ascribe to them a paranormal value. different numbers transcend the supernatural, operating to give an explanation for our universe and the way it behaves.
In Cosmic Numbers, arithmetic professor James D. Stein strains the invention, evolution, and interrelationships of the numbers that outline our global. we all know in regards to the velocity of sunshine and absolute 0, yet numbers like Boltzmann’s consistent and the Chandrasekhar restrict should not besides recognized, and so they do excess of one may think: They let us know how this global begun and what the longer term holds. even more than a gee-whiz choice of proof and figures, Cosmic Numbers illuminates why specific numbers are so importantboth to the scientist and to the remainder of us.
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Grant advised an obviously disappointed Michelson to go to Annapolis and wait to see if one of the ten at-large candidates might prove unable to accept their own appointment. Michelson waited three days, to no avail. Discouraged and almost broke, he boarded a train to return to Nevada—and as he did, he heard a man call his name. It was a messenger from the White House. Grant had been so impressed by Michelson that, at the eleventh hour, he had decided to create an eleventh at-large appointment for him.
One of the earliest was Thales of Miletus who made the ﬁrst successful prediction of an eclipse of the Sun and also may have produced the ﬁrst proof in geometry when he showed that vertical angles were equal. Thales theorized that all things came from and depended upon water. ” It seems primitive from the standpoint of the twenty-ﬁrst century, but they didn’t do so badly! There are four phases of matter—solid (corresponding to earth), liquid (water), gas (air), and plasma (ﬁre). I wouldn’t want to stretch this too far, but the electromagnetic force on which chemistry depends could be viewed as “love” (opposite electric 29 30 COSMIC NUMBERS charges or magnetic poles attract) and “strife” (like electric charges or magnetic poles repel).
Despite the theoretical success, no one was considering an assault on absolute zero; at this time it would have seemed as distant as the Moon or the stars. This was undoubtedly due to the fact that there was no way to create cold. Creating heat was easy—ﬁnd something ﬂammable and burn it. But only nature could create cold, until an experiment conducted by a scientist who was better known for practically everything else he did. Michael Faraday and the Liquefaction of Gases Michael Faraday was a young man working for a bookbinder when he heard a series of lectures given to the public by the eminent chemist Absolute Zero 47 Sir Humphrey Davy.
Cosmic Numbers: The Numbers That Define Our Universe by James D. Stein