- Mar 14, 2016
- MBTI Type
- Instinctual Variant
Neuro Tribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. An absolutely rivetting read so far. The first chapter discusses several notable Aspies: Henry Cavendish and Paul Dirac.
"Newton was correct that the attraction between the spheres was very slight (just one part in 10 compared to Earth's gravity), but he underestimated what a man like Cavendish could pull off through sheer dogged persistence. First he built a stand-alone shed in his backyard to isolate the delicate oscillations of the mechanism from stray drafts and vibrations. Then he sealed the apparatus itself in a mahogany box and rigged up a system of pulleys so he could set the pendulum going without touching it. To calculate the forces acting on the spheres, he installed telescopes at both ends of the box, focusing them on vernier scales inside the chamber that enabled him to calculate the wire's torque to within 0.01 inch."
"But the figure he came up with was so close to the actual density of the Earth that no researcher could best it for another hundred years. As a side benefit, his experiment indirectly provided the first estimate of the gravitational constant, known among physicists as 'Big G', which also turned out to be astonishingly accurate. Cavendish's experiment is now recognized as the inaugural moment of modern physics, laying the groundwork for centuries of breakthroughs to come, including Einstein's theories of relativity."
I loved this book!