STUFF ISBN: 9780693944363 First edition 2017, an e-book published, copyright and written by George Graybill.
Sub-titled “The Fortunes, Foibles, and Fiascos of Those Who Sought to Understand Matter”, the author has set forth a humorous account of important historical scientific discoveries made with respect to “MATTER which is just STUFF! Stuff sounds like slang, but it is a perfectly good word…from the German word for matter, stoff.” He proceeds to discuss various advances set forth as postulates, hypotheses, theories and laws, proposed by men as far back as Archimedes and, explaining the differences among the various designations. He also names Democritus as the first atomist (along with similar from India and the Far East) and his disagreements with Plato and Aristotle. Then he wanders into describing the scientific method. He follows with definitions of particles, materials, elements, compounds and then discusses the results of Galileo, Newton, Lavoisier, both Antoine and his wife Marie, and Quaker John Dalton who advanced the cause of atoms. From this point, he moves on to the Kinetic-Molecular Theory and its proponents, the Periodic Table, Atomic Models, Quantum Theory and its Mechanics, Albert Einstein and some of the other amazing people, well-known and others not quite as recognizable but still of importance, who were involved in the early experiments and beyond. Chapter 14, Stranger and Stranger – What the Stuff that Stuff is Made of is Made of, deals further with quarks, leptons classified as fermions after the famous physicist Enrico Fermi, then the importance of the Higgs boson particle and finally Chapter 15, Back where We Started that “looks at some of the most disturbing conclusions and questions regarding stuff.”
Discussion: Simply put, the author has no intention of writing a scientific book. He has produced a primer to introduce the neophyte to science in an easily readable and enjoyable manner. In this endeavor he also has provided an amusingly pleasant read for anyone who enjoys reading humorous presentations on any/all subjects.
5* Amusing examination on development of scientific methodology.