作者 安伯托•艾可 Umberto Eco
Pendulum: Leon Foucault and the Triumph of Science (
by Amir D. Aczel)
A quick biography of Foucault and his eponymous pendulum, as well as his royal benefactor, Napoleon III. About once a century, the crazy amateur scientist challenging the established scientific thought is actually correct. Foucault is 19th century France's one. Despite being the first to prove that the Earth rotates on its axis with not one but two simple, elegant experiments (the other is the gyroscope), the French scientific community refused to accept the self-taught Foucault as a member of the French scientific community until a royal decree by the scientifically minded emperor Napoleon III placed him in the French Academy of Sciences.
Aczel's short but well written account of the life of Foucault spends almost as much time on the life of Napoleon III and his rise to power, as the two's fates seem to be intertwined. A thoroughly enjoyable book.
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10/18/2010 11:43 AM