In this entry in the ""Experimental Science"" series, Gardner packs plenty of information into a lucid crash course on scientific history and theory, from Archimedes to electromagnetism; readers will be eager to participate at every turn in experiments that replicate or approximate those of great thinkers like Galileo, Newton, Torricelli, Ohm, and Faraday. Revealing the steady, linked progression of discoveries (as mentioned by Newton in his humble ""shoulders of giants"" quotation), the author traces the beginnings of the acknowledged use of such thought structures as induction and deduction, the fundamental methodology of experimentation, and the principle of uncertainty. Instructions (and cautionary words--in bold type--about adult supervision) for experiments combine seamlessly with solid background information and context. An enjoyable read; a useful teaching tool. Further reading; diagrams; index.