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On the Origin of Species, 6th Edition

by Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, in which he writes of his theories of evolution by natural selection, is one of the most important works of scientific study ever published.

The Einstein Theory of Relativity

by Hendrik Antoon Lorentz

Whether it is true or not that not more than twelve persons in all the world are able to understand Einstein's Theory, it is nevertheless a fact that there is a constant demand for information about this much-debated...

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

by Adam Smith

Adam Smith's masterpiece, first published in 1776, is the foundation of modern economic thought and remains the single most important account of the rise of, and the principles behind, modern capitalism. Written...

Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays

by Bertrand Russell

Essays on philosophy, religion, science, and mathematics.

Great Astronomers: Isaac Newton

by Robert Stawell Ball

Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1726) was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian who has been considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist...

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

by Edwin Abbott Abbott

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 science fiction novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott. As a satire, Flatland offered pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian...

Great Astronomers: Galileo Galilei

by Robert Stawell Ball

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and...

Eugenics and Other Evils

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

From the introduction: "I publish these essays at the present time for a particular reason connected with the present situation; a reason which I should like briefly to emphasise and make clear. Though most...

Great Astronomers: Nicolaus Copernicus

by Robert Stawell Ball

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) was a mathematician and astronomer who formulated a comprehensive heliocentric model which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center of the universe, contrary to the...

Great Astronomers:  Johannes Kepler

by Robert Stawell Ball

German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) derived his mathematical laws of planetary motion from astronomical data meticulously collected by Tycho Brahe, who, as he was dying, beseeched young Kepler to use...

Great Astronomers:  Pierre-Simon Laplace

by Robert Stawell Ball

Pierre-Simon, Marquis de Laplace (1749-1827), was a French mathematician and astronomer, sometimes referred to as the French Newton. His work was pivotal to the mathematical development of astronomy, physics,...

Great Astronomers:  Edmond Halley

by Robert Stawell Ball

Edmond Halley,(1656–1742) was an English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist who is best known for computing the orbit of the eponymous Halley's Comet. He was the second Astronomer...

Great Astronomers:  William Herschel

by Robert Stawell Ball

Sir Frederick William Herschel, (Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel) (1738–1822) was a German-born British astronomer, telescope maker, and composer. He became famous for the first discovery of a planet not visible...

Great Astronomers: Tycho Brahe

by Robert Stawell Ball

This is the chapter on 16th century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe from Sir Robert S. Ball's Great Astronomers, second edition, which begins: "The most picturesque figure in the history of astronomy ... Tycho...

Great Astronomers:  William Rowan Hamilton

by Robert Stawell Ball

Sir William Rowan Hamilton (1805–1865) was an Irish physicist, astronomer, and mathematician who made important contributions to mechanics, optics, and algebra. As a teenager, he mastered parts of Newton's...

Great Astronomers:  John Flamsteed

by Robert Stawell Ball

John Flamsteed (1646-1719) was an English astronomer, a contemporary of Isaac Newton, and the first Astronomer Royal in charge of the newly built observatory at Greenwich, England (1676). Although he made no...

Great Astronomers: John Pond

by Agnes Mary Clerke

John Pond (1767–1836) was appointed as 6th Astronomer Royal in February 1811, succeeding Dr. Nevil Maskelyne. Of a mild and unassuming character, Pond neither sought nor attained a popular reputation. His...

Great Astronomers:  James Bradley

by Robert Stawell Ball

James Bradley (1693–1762) was the English astronomer who served as Astronomer Royal from 1742, succeeding Edmund Halley. He is best known for two fundamental discoveries in astronomy, the aberration of light...

Great Astronomers:  William Parsons (3rd Earl of Rosse)

by Robert Stawell Ball

William Parsons, the 3rd Earl of Rosse, (1800–1867) was an Anglo-Irish astronomer who made several large telescopes. His 72-inch telescope, the "Leviathan", built in 1845, was the world's largest telescope...