I love a good mystery. I think that is what first attracted me to quantum mechanics. The way my professors taught it (and the textbooks were structured), quantum theory unfolds like a great detective story. Pieces of evidence rolled in, players moved about, the truth gradually emerges.
The narrative is so strong, you can put together a timeline of the discovery of quantum theory.
Has anyone done the same for the weather? If you know of one, can you leave it in the comments?
I had hoped that Weather Experiment would be that book, but it isn't. It's not even "The pioneers who sought to see the future" as the subtitle claims. I agree with this review in the NYT; the book is about british men and (mostly) ignores the work in other places.
American James Espy and Frenchman Urbain Le Verrier get brief mentions, but this is mostly a bunch of stories/biographies about british men strung together.
The book is fine if you are expecting a bunch of human stories about people who are affiliated with the study of weather as it was practiced in England. There is a useful index. Also, "Stars in FitzRoy's Meteorological Galaxy" just before the index, gives a synopsis of the players, including the ones given short shrift or omitted in this book.
It hadn't occurred to me before reading this book that predicting the future is a form of divining the future, and had caused religious crises of faith. I also learned that accusations of data-hoarding are not new. ;-)
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