Cate's Reviews > Pendulum: Leon Foucault and the Triumph of Science

Pendulum by Amir D. Aczel
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's review
Jul 03, 13

bookshelves: secret-histories
Read from July 01 to 02, 2013

This book has a fine line to walk: on the one hand it is discussing complicated math and physics, but on the other telling the story of a man's life and accomplishments. On the whole, it succeeds, but it occasionally oversimplified the history and failed to articulate the math. I could follow the basics and understand the pendulum experiment itself, but the underlying "why does the pendulum move that way" problem was out of league...and not really of interest. The descriptions of the Second Empire and the academic in-fighting of the French scientific community were interesting, but not very detailed and sometimes told out of order. Also, the author has an almost Dan Brown-ish tendency to end chapters in the wrong place or with unnecessary cliff-hangers. However, Aczel at least does not repeat himself and strives for clarity and brevity.
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Reading Progress

07/01/2013 marked as: currently-reading
07/03/2013 marked as: read

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