In 2008 at a workshop in Venice, 100 parole per la scienza, 100 senior high school students from all over Italy compiled a list of 100 words or phrases they considered necessary for understanding science today. Many eminent scientists and educators helped the students in their task. The workshop was organised by the San Paolo Fondazione per la Scuola and Fondazione Venezia.
With some minor changes, the 100 words or phrases included in this book come from the list compiled at this workshop.
Science in 100 Words presents short, simple and sparkling explanations of these important scientific concepts. Each concept is first described in exactly 100 words and then explained in detail.
In explaining science simply and succinctly, the book heeds Einstein’s advice: ‘Most of the fundamental ideas in science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.’ At the same time, it is also guided by another of the great man’s aphorism: ‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’
To make explanations simple and accessible to those without a background in science, the use of formulas and equations has been kept to a minimum. But explanations of some scientific concepts demand exact scientific notation. At first these equations and formulas may seem intimidating, but they are as simple and comprehensible as the world’s most famous equation, E = mc2. Where we would be without it?
"Overall, a worthwhile and an interesting book. Explanations for each term are complete and informative. It is a nice, compact, essential reading for high school and college students — especially those who could use some honing up on their science. I hope the book would provoke thinking, discussion, and even spur people to pursue further topics they find interesting." — Dr. Sujit S Gupta, Guwahati Univ. and Graz Univ., Austria
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