Bedeviled: A Shadow History of Demons in Science Audiobook, by Jimena Canales Play Audiobook Sample

Download Bedeviled: A Shadow History of Demons in Science Audiobook

Bedeviled: A Shadow History of Demons in Science Audiobook, by Jimena Canales Play Audiobook Sample
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Author: Jimena Canales Narrator: Peter Berkrot Publisher: Brilliance Audio Audio Length: Release Date: November 2020 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781713543848

Publisher Description

How scientists through the ages have conducted thought experiments using imaginary entities―demons―to test the laws of nature and push the frontiers of what is possible

Science may be known for banishing the demons of superstition from the modern world. Yet just as the demon-haunted world was being exorcized by the enlightening power of reason, a new kind of demon mischievously materialized in the scientific imagination itself. Scientists began to employ hypothetical beings to perform certain roles in thought experiments―experiments that can only be done in the imagination―and these impish assistants helped scientists achieve major breakthroughs that pushed forward the frontiers of science and technology.

Spanning four centuries of discovery―from René Descartes, whose demon could hijack sensorial reality, to James Clerk Maxwell, whose molecular-sized demon deftly broke the second law of thermodynamics, to Darwin, Einstein, Feynman, and beyond―Jimena Canales tells a shadow history of science and the demons that bedevil it. She reveals how the greatest scientific thinkers used demons to explore problems, test the limits of what is possible, and better understand nature. Their imaginary familiars helped unlock the secrets of entropy, heredity, relativity, quantum mechanics, and other scientific wonders―and continue to inspire breakthroughs in the realms of computer science, artificial intelligence, and economics today.

The world may no longer be haunted as it once was, but the demons of the scientific imagination are alive and well, continuing to play a vital role in scientists' efforts to explore the unknown and make the impossible real.

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  • Jimena Canales is one of the finest contemporary writers on science, at once a dedicated scholar and a captivating entertainer. In Bedeviled, she has hit on a wonderfully curious subject, and has written a fascinating book. Who knew how many scientists had their own little devils whispering into their ears?"―John Banville, author of Mrs. Osmond

  • Hovering between the human and the divine, the thought experiment and whimsy, the demons of science do an impressive amount of conceptual work, as Jimena Canales shows in her wide-ranging, readable book. By hunting down the demons of physics, biology, economics, and other sciences, Canales writes a new history of modern science from a fresh and imaginative viewpoint."―Lorraine Daston, director emerita, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin

  • "Jimena Canales comes at science from a strange and original angle―and it pays off brilliantly. Listen to the demons!"―James Gleick, author of Time Travel: A History


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About the Narrator

Peter Berkrot, winner of Audie and Earphones Awards for narration, is a stage, screen, and television actor and acting coach. He has narrated over 450 works that span a range of genres, including fiction, nonfiction, thriller, and children’s titles. His audiobook credits include works of Alan Glynn, Eric Van Lustbader, Nora Roberts and Dean Koontz. In film and television, he appeared in Caddyshack, America’s Most Wanted, and Unsolved Mysteries. He performs in regional and New York theaters and directs the New Voices acting school.