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Look Inside A History of Modern Planetary Physics

A History of Modern Planetary Physics
Transmuted Past

Volume 2. The Age of the Earth and the Evolution of the Elements from Lyell to Patterson


  • Date Published: December 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521101462

£ 33.99

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About the Authors
  • Where did we come from? Before there was life there had to be something to live on - a planet, a solar system. During the past 200 years, astronomers and geologists have developed and tested several different theories about the origin of the solar system and the nature of the Earth. The three volumes that together make up A History of Modern Planetary Physics present a survey of these theories. The age of the Earth has been one of the most disputed numbers in science since the seventeenth century. Transmuted Past follows the development of theories of stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis in the twentieth century and describes radiometric methods for estimating the age of the Earth. Professor Brush also offers perspectives on the changing reputation of planetary science relative to the 'pure' sciences, such as physics, and a comparison of history and geology as ways of studying the past.

    • Presents a comprehensive survey on theories estimating the Earth's age
    • Offers a comparison of styles in scientific and humanistic research
    • Professor Brush's writing style is accessible to non-specialist readers
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '… can be highly recommended as a reference on the history of plantogonies.' Dr K. Regenauer-Lieb, Meteorite

    Review of the hardback: 'These three volumes give a very interesting overview of the historic development of theories beginning with the 17th century and ending in the 1980s, which have led to our present day understanding of the possible processes that have been involved in the formation of our solar system including Earth.' Open University Geological Society Journal

    Review of the hardback: '… a well-written and illustrated product … ' David Oldroyd, Metascience

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521101462
    • length: 148 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 8 mm
    • weight: 0.22kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Earth/History:
    1. Introduction
    2. History and geology as ways of studying the past
    3. Kelvin and geological time
    4. Planetary science: from underground to underdog
    Part II. Time and the Elements:
    5. Cosmic evolution of matter
    6. Geochronology in the 20th century
    7. Stellar evolution and the origin of the elements.

  • Author

    Stephen G. Brush, University of Maryland, College Park

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