1st Edition

Instruments of Science An Historical Encyclopedia

Edited By Robert Bud, Deborah Warner Copyright 1998
    736 Pages
    by Routledge

    This authoritative reference covers 325 scientific instruments ranging from antiquity to the present, and from the mundane to the highly sophisticated. Entries explain how they work and trace their invention, development, distribution and use. Fully illustrated and complete with bibliographies, it will be particularly useful to students and scholars of modern science and technology. Reflecting contemporary practice, it examines instruments used for testing and monitoring, as well as those used for research, and even considers a number of widely used laboratory organisms (such as drosophila and e.coli) as instruments.

    A sampling of the coverage: Actinometer * Artificial Horizon * Atwood's Machine * Breathalyzer * Camera Obscura * Chladni Plates * Clock, Atomic * Dip Circle * Earth Strain Meter * Electroscope * Electron Microscope * Ellipsometer * Fatigue Testing Instruments * Galton Whistle * Geiger Counter * Global Positioning System * Gyroscope * Heliostat * Kymograph * Laser and Maser * Magic Lantern * Mariner's Astrolabe * Napier's Rods * Pendulum * PET Scanner * Polygraph * Protein Sequencer * Seismograph * Sun-Dial * Tachometer * Theodolite * Visceroctome * Wheatstone Bridge * X-ray Diffraction


    Robert Bud holds a doctorate in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and serves as Head of Research (Collections) at the Science Museum in London. His widespread publications on the history of chemistry and biotechnology include Invisible Connections: Instruments, Institutions and Science (l992), and The Uses of Life: A History of Biotechnology (l993).
    Deborah Warner holds a M.A. in the History of Sciences from Harvard University, and serves as Curator of Physical Science Collections at the National Museum of American History. Her widespread publications in the history of science and scientific instruments include Alvan Clark & Sons: Artists in Optics (1968; rev. 1996), and The Sky Explored: Celestial Cartography 1500-1800 (1979). She is also founder and editor of Rittenhouse, a quarterly journal of the American instrument enterprise.

    "This scholarly resource is an important contribution to the literature of the history of science, providing descriptions of many instruments that are overlooked in other books." -- Booklist
    "The first reference book to address the immense historical range of instruments and also the first to consider application, innovation, and costs. Its emphasis on twentieth-century devices and disciplines makes it especially valuable to students and scholars of modern science and technology, and the beauty of some of the antique instruments makes it a valuable guide for collectors, dealers, and curators." -- The Chemical Educator
    "The editors state: "This volume is intended to communicate clearly to a wide audience." This goal has been achieved, as the work is very readable, with little specialized jargon. This encyclopedia comes highly recommended, especially for academic/research or large public libraries. In addition, anyone who has an interest in the subject would benefit. And the price is modest for an illustrated 700-page reference book." -- E-Streams
    "This book will be of greatest value to students of the history of science. The short bibliography at the end of each subject is useful, and in many cases one of the reference works cited was written by the contributor..." -- Nature
    "...it is hard to put down once you've started reading. It is an excellenct reference work that should find a place on the shelves of all science and technology museums and libraries." -- Rittenhouse
    "Instruments of Science will undoubtedly prove a useful reference work..." -- Johns Hopkins University Press