First published in 1989, this dictionary of the whole field of the physical sciences is an invaluable guide through the changing terminology and practices of scientific research. Arranged alphabetically, it traces how the meaning of scientific terms have changed over time. It covers a wide range of topics including voyages, observations, magnetism and pendulums, and central subjects such as atom, valency and energy. There are also entries on more abstract terms such as hypothesis, theory, induction, deduction, falsification and paradigm, emphasizing that while science is more than ‘organized common sense’ it is not completely different from other activities. Science’s lack of innocence is also recognized in headings like pollution and weapons.
This book will be a useful resource to students interested in the history of science.