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Science, Technology, and Society

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The subject of turbulence, the most forbidding in fluid dynamics, has usually proved treacherous to the beginner, caught in the whirls and eddies of its nonlinearities and statistical imponderables. This is the first book specifically designed to offer the student a smooth transitionary course between elementary fluid dynamics (which gives only last-minute attention to turbulence) and the professional literature on turbulent flow, where an advanced viewpoint is assumed.Moreover, the text has been developed for students, engineers, and scientists with different technical backgrounds and interests. Almost all flows, natural and man-made, are turbulent. Thus the subject is the concern of geophysical and environmental scientists (in dealing with atmospheric jet streams, ocean currents, and the flow of rivers, for example), of astrophysicists (in studying the photospheres of the sun and stars or mapping gaseous nebulae), and of engineers (in calculating pipe flows, jets, or wakes). Many such examples are discussed in the book.The approach taken avoids the difficulties of advanced mathematical development on the one side and the morass of experimental detail and empirical data on the other. As a result of following its midstream course, the text gives the student a physical understanding of the subject and deepens his intuitive insight into those problems that cannot now be rigorously solved.In particular, dimensional analysis is used extensively in dealing with those problems whose exact solution is mathematically elusive. Dimensional reasoning, scale arguments, and similarity rules are introduced at the beginning and are applied throughout.A discussion of Reynolds stress and the kinetic theory of gases provides the contrast needed to put mixing-length theory into proper perspective: the authors present a thorough comparison between the mixing-length models and dimensional analysis of shear flows. This is followed by an extensive treatment of vorticity dynamics, including vortex stretching and vorticity budgets.Two chapters are devoted to boundary-free shear flows and well-bounded turbulent shear flows. The examples presented include wakes, jets, shear layers, thermal plumes, atmospheric boundary layers, pipe and channel flow, and boundary layers in pressure gradients.The spatial structure of turbulent flow has been the subject of analysis in the book up to this point, at which a compact but thorough introduction to statistical methods is given. This prepares the reader to understand the stochastic and spectral structure of turbulence. The remainder of the book consists of applications of the statistical approach to the study of turbulent transport (including diffusion and mixing) and turbulent spectra.

The Dilemma of Technological Determinism

These thirteen essays explore a crucial historical question that has been notoriously hard to pin down: To what extent, and by what means, does a society's technology determine its political, social, economic, and cultural forms?Karl Marx launched the modern debate on determinism with his provocative remark that "the hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill, society with the industrial capitalist," and a classic article by Robert Heilbroner (reprinted here) renewed the debate within the context of the history of technology. This book clarifies the debate and carries it forward.Marx's position has become embedded in our culture, in the form of constant reminders as to how our fast-changing technologies will alter our lives. Yet historians who have looked closely at where technologies really come from generally support the proposition that technologies are not autonomous but are social products, susceptible to democratic controls. The issue is crucial for democratic theory. These essays tackle it head-on, offering a deep look at all the shadings of determinism and assessing determinist models in a wide variety of historical contexts.Contributors : Bruce Bimber. Richard W. Bulliet. Robert L. Heilbroner. Thomas P. Hughes. Leo Marx. Thomas J. Misa. Peter C. Perdue. Philip Scranton. Merritt Roe Smith. Michael L. Smith. John M. Staudenmaier. Rosalind Williams.

In these Messenger Lectures, originally delivered at Cornell University and recorded for television by the BBC, Richard Feynman offers an overview of selected physical laws and gathers their common features into one broad principle of invariance. He maintains at the outset that the importance of a physical law is not "how clever we are to have found it out, but . . . how clever nature is to pay attention to it," and tends his discussions toward a final exposition of the elegance and simplicity of all scientific laws. Rather than an essay on the most significant achievements in modern science, The Character of Physical Law is a statement of what is most remarkable in nature. Feynman's enlightened approach, his wit, and his enthusiasm make this a memorable exposition of the scientist's craft. The Law of Gravitation is the author's principal example. Relating the details of its discovery and stressing its mathematical character, he uses it to demonstrate the essential interaction of mathematics and physics. He views mathematics as the key to any system of scientific laws, suggesting that if it were possible to fill out the structure of scientific theory completely, the result would be an integrated set of mathematical axioms. The principles of conservation, symmetry, and time-irreversibility are then considered in relation to developments in classical and modern physics, and in his final lecture Feynman develops his own analysis of the process and future of scientific discovery. Like any set of oral reflections, The Character of Physical Law has special value as a demonstration of the mind in action. The reader is particularly lucky in Richard Feynman. One of the most eminent and imaginative modern physicists, he was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology until his death in 1988. He is best known for his work on the quantum theory of the electromagnetic field, as well as for his later research in the field of low-temperature physics. In 1954 he received the Albert Einstein Award for his "outstanding contribution to knowledge in mathematical and physical sciences"; in 1965 he was appointed to Foreign Membership in the Royal Society and was awarded the Nobel Prize.

A Thousand-Year History

Most general histories of technology are Eurocentrist, focusing on a main line of Western technology that stretches from the Greeks is through the computer. In this very different book, Arnold Pacey takes a global view, placing the development of technology squarely in a "world civilization." He portrays the process as a complex dialectic by which inventions borrowed from one culture are adopted to suit another.Arnold Pacey is a physicist turned historian whose publications have contributed to the British appropriate-technology movement. He has written widely on science, technology, and agriculture. His previous books include The Maze of Ingenuity and The Culture of Technology.

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