book reviews Editor: W . F. KIEFFER College of Woorter
The Elements and Structure of the Physical Sciences
J . A. Ripley, Jr., Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., and R. C. Whitten, Nstionel Aeronautics and Space Administration. John Wiley &Sons, Inc., New 690 pp. York, 1969. 2nd ed. xxi Figa. and tables. 17.5 X 23.5 cm. $11.50. This text is planned for liberal arts undergraduates. The "purpose and general tone of the first edition have been mrsintained." I t is addressed, so say the authors, primarily to nonscientists and treats of "relntively few selected topics wit,h considersble thoroughness!' The treatment makes much of the "genesis" of some of the leading "creative constructs" of modern science-"those large ideas of science which all thoughtful persons ~ h o n l d understand and analyze because they have such impact on our philosophy" and culture. The authors hope far social control of technology by citizens who, therefore, need to u n d e r s t a d the methods and philosophy upon which science is based. The aubhors expect' t h a t students using this tent will have s. working knowledge of algebra and geometry. A note of modernity is found in the extensive use of M K S units, such as the newlon, not the dyne, the kilogram, not the gram, ete. It has long been recognized that the typical single science texts do not and cannot serve the purposes mentioned above far mast liberal arts undergraduates. These students need texts which bring a n t the meaning of science in its broadest aspects and hopefully emphasize the methodology and philosophy of science and also stress the great conceptusl schemes responsible for modern science.
Our rapid and ever-increasing societal changes depend upon these. Close examination of the text compels the reviewer to raise questions as to some of the claims and hopes of the authors. The changes found in the second edibion are not extensive. They consist principally of additions, many of which are esoteric and in fine print to the already large first edition. Twenty-one of the twenty-four chaptea are essentially the same as in the first edition. The three new chapters deal with Modern Chemistry, The Environment of Man: The Atmosphere, and The Environment of Man: Space Beyond the Atmosphere. The addition of these new materials was achieved by increasing the number of pages by o n e - f i f t h 4 9 0 as compared with 572-and by increasing the words per page by ahout 1 . The type-size has therefore been reduced. The mere bulk of words will, I believe, discourage many students and teachers. The text was planned for the undergraduate nonscience majo.jar I t is unfortonate, therefore, t h a t the authors err frequent,lyin their use of specialisedvocahulary of science specialists often without explanation or interpretation. Examples such as "spectral lines" (p. 421), "ground state" (p. 421), "perturbations" (p. 174), "root-mean-square" (p. 247), "Curl E" (p. 308) can he cited. This practice may immess notential users of the erudition of the writers, but the effectson nonscience undergraduates often are maddening and most unfortunate. The aolhors believe that a. student's appreciation of science is increased by solving problems. There are many problems and study questions a t the end of each chapter. On page 302, for example,
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