Ten Most Beautiful Experiments

Topics: Isaac Newton, Blood, Light Pages: 5 (1932 words) Published: February 19, 2011
Carla Robles
Ten Most Beautiful Experiements
What were those ten beautiful experiments?
Science 110A Lundin
December 02, 2010

What were those ten beautiful experiments?
Science in all of its forms and varieties has surpassed many events that have changed its path and the way many individuals view the art. The experiments behind the many concepts of science seem all together complicated and uninteresting when viewed with the naked eye. But, when the cloth is pulled away from the shun reality we truly see what a beautiful experiment is. In the eye of a scientist, beauty lies in the simplicity and ingenuity of the design, and the unambiguous result that opens a new world of understanding. In George Johnsons’ book, The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments, he explores the difficult experiments and explains them in the simplest form. This book establishes a state of wide-eyed wonder through white light split into a rainbow, locating pulse in our own neck, and allows us to peer through a microscope or fire up a Bunsen burner for the very first time. The ideas of many known figures such as Galileo, Newton, and Pavlov, as well as many unsung heroes such as Harvey, Galvani, Joule, and many more are explored in this simple yet enticing book. The first chapter describes Galileo’s studying motion by focusing on a ball experiment instead of the famed Galileo dropping things from the leaning tower of Pisa. In fact in this book Johnson believes that the whole phenomenon never happened and instead focuses on the science of the matter. Galileo carved a groove down the centre of a board about 20 feet long and 10 inches wide. Then he propped it at an angle and timed how quickly the balls rolled down the track. What he discovered was that the distance the ball travels is proportional to the square of the time that has elapsed. Along the ball's path, he placed cat-gut frets, like those on a lute. As the rolling ball clicked against the frets, Galileo sang a tune, using the upbeats to time the motion. This series of events allowed Galileo to show that heavier objects do not fall faster than light ones and to figure out the math for the acceleration of falling bodies. The second chapter describes how William Harvey showed that one form of blood circulates throughout the body, not two. How did an individual display such a complex finding, Harvey had the help of a snake. He needed to observer the flow of blood at a slower pace than many had tested before. Which gave him the idea to use a reptile since they have colder blood, which made its heart beat more leisurely Harvey sliced open a live snake and, while pinching its or main vein, watched as the heart into which it pumped blood grew paler and smaller. He then pinched the snake’s main artery and saw how obstructing the flow caused the heart to swell. When Harvey released the grip, the heart refilled and sprung back to life. Pinching the heart's main artery had the opposite effect where the space between heart and forceps became gorged with blood, inflating like a balloon. It was the heart, was the driving motor, pushing red blood to the extremities of the body. By completing his radical experiment Harvey proved that blood circulated an idea that was so far-fetched managed to overturn the assertion of Galen. In fact Galen had taught that the body contains two separate vascular systems. The first was a blue "vegetative" fluid, the elixir of nourishment and growth, coursed through the veins. The second was a bright red "vital" fluid travelled through the arteries, activating the muscles and stimulating motion. Invisible spirits, or "pneuma", caused the fluids to slosh back and forth like the tides. The third chapter describes one of the most famed scientists of all time Sir Isaac Newton. He had many discoveries some relating to gravity, calculus, and light spectrums. Newton carefully reviewed what others before him had found and added some observations of his own. In Newton's day,...
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