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Music and the Making of Modern Science by Peter Pesic
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Music and the Making of Modern Science

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Music and the Making of Modern Science by Peter Pesic
Paperback $45.00
Sep 13, 2022 | ISBN 9780262543903

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  • Sep 13, 2022 | ISBN 9780262543903

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  • Jul 03, 2014 | ISBN 9780262027274

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Praise

In this magnificent book, trotting from Pythagoras to Max Planck and beyond, Pesic shows us again and again how music informed innovation, and he offers illuminating new insights into nearly three millennia of scientific developments. Pesic’s rigorous analysis of source material allows him to confidently credit music for its critical role in the innovations of Johannes Kepler’s astronomy, Leonhard Euler’s topology, and Planck’s quantized energy. It is a testament to Pesic’s quiver of knowledge that he can so thoroughly examine the work of so many polymaths.—Alexandra Hui, Physics Today

This is a well-argued and well-illustrated text that should be of especial interest to students and scholars (and indeed anyone) with a background in the mathematical and physical sciences or their histories and who are intrigued by the book’s provocative title.

Isis

There is very much to admire in this challenging, thought-provoking and beautifully illustrated book. There is a digital version of the text which allows many of the musical examples to be experienced directly. Many readers will rejoice in these rich accounts of the choreography of music and science – and perhaps see it as evidence not of a one-way street, but as the two-way traffic that connects music and science in history.

Times Literary Supplement

Table Of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Music and the Origins of Ancient Science 9
2 The Dream of Oresme 21
3 Moving the Immovable 35
4 Hearing the Irrational 55
5 Kepler and the Song of the Earth 73
6 Descartes’s Musical Apprenticeship 89
7 Mersenne’s Universal Harmony 103
8 Newton and the Mystery of the Major Sixth 121
9 Euler: The Mathematics of Musical Sadness 133
10 Euler: From Sound to Light 151
11 Young’s Musical Optics 161
12 Electric Sounds 181
13 Hearing the Field 195
14 Helmholtz and the Sirens 217
15 Riemann and the Sound of Space 231
16 Turning the Atoms 245
17 Planck’s Cosmic Harmonium 255
18 Unheard Harmonies 271
Notes 285
References 311
Sources and Illustration Credits 335
Acknowledgments 337
Index 339

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