By Bradford Smith, George Blumenthal, Laura Kay

ISBN-10: 0393918785

ISBN-13: 9780393918786

Teaches scholars to imagine like scientists.

Authors Laura Kay and Stacy Palen have built pedagogy that is helping scholars comprehend the method of technology, and the way actual ideas are used to find the origins of the universe. The authors emphasize how we all know what we all know within the figures, textual content, and end-of-chapter material.

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Additional info for 21st Century Astronomy (4th Edition)

Sample text

If you are driving down the highway at 60 kilometers per hour (km/h), a kilometer is how far you travel in a minute. Sixty kilometers is how far you travel in an hour. Six hundred kilometers is how far you travel in 10 hours. So to get a feeling for the difference in size between 600 km and 1 km, you can think about the difference between 10 hours and a single minute. We can think this same way about astronomy, but the speed of a car on the highway is far too slow to be useful. Instead we use the greatest speed in the universe—the speed of light.

The greatest scientific revolution of all was the one that overthrew “authority” and replaced it with rational inquiry and the scientific method. From the perspective of this great scientific revolution, it is clear why science is more than simply a body of facts. Perhaps more than anything, science is a way of thinking about the world. It is a way of relating to nature. It is a search for the relationships that make our world what it is. It is the idea that nature is not capricious, but instead operates by consistent, explicable, inviolate rules.

In a linear graph, each tick mark on the axis represents the same-sized step. 12a means 1 minute has passed. Each step on the vertical axis means the car has traveled 1 km. Data are plotted on the graph, with one dot for each observation—the distance the car had traveled after 20 minutes, for example. Drawing a line through these data indicates the trend of the data. Finding the slope of the line gives 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 0 0 5 10 Time step 15 (c) Number of viruses versus time step (log plot) Log (Number of viruses) ˃ˈ 10,000 1,000 100 10 0 0 5 10 Log (Time step) 15     ʹ ˰ʹʺ Graphs like these show relationships between quantities—in (a), time and distance; in (b) and (c), time and number of viruses.

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21st Century Astronomy (4th Edition) by Bradford Smith, George Blumenthal, Laura Kay


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