FAQs about NKS|Online
The NKS book is divided into two major parts: Main text (pages 1-846)
Notes (pages 849-1197)
NKS|Online contains: Page images for every page
Text views of each page of the main text
Text views of each note in the notes
Links from text views go to text views, and image views go to image
Some tips for quick navigation: Click the "v" after Table of Contents to get a pulldown of
Enter the beginning of an index term in Look up in Index.
Use the Related Links to jump between pages and related notes.
In the main part of each web page, all items in orange or gray are
[ Access | Content & Navigation | Using Material from NKS|Online ]
Q: Can I archive NKS|Online offline?
A: No. First, there are aspects of the site that require an active web server
in order to operate correctly. And second, bulk downloading is not allowed
considering a future e-book
version of NKS, but it is difficult to achieve adequate quality levels.
The printed book, of course, provides full
offline access, and this is the solution we recommend.
Q: What browsers does NKS|Online support?
A: NKS|Online supports any HTML 4.0-compatible browser, including
Internet Explorer 5.0 and
higher, Netscape Navigator 6.0 and higher, as well as latest versions of
Mozilla, Safari (for Mac OS X), Opera, and other major browsers. Cookies
have to be enabled.
Q: What is the best way to use NKS|Online with a slow connection?
A: Try to use the text
versions of pages as much as possible, and avoid image
views. If you go to the text view of a page, most links (including Next and
Previous) will take you only to text views. Many of the images are
necessarily quite large. But you should be able to get at least some idea
of them from the smaller thumbnails. Of course, the printed book
gives all images at full resolution, without
requiring web access at all.
Content & Navigation
Q: Is the content of NKS|Online the same as the printed book?
A: Yes, though the resolution is inevitably much lower for pictures. Page
images in NKS|Online are taken directly from the latest printing
of the printed NKS book. Text views have
slight differences, typically
because they can do less formatting. There are many additional
that are not possible in the printed book. In pure content, the only
addition is that deaths since January 2002 of people mentioned in the
are recorded in the index of NKS|Online but not in the printed book.
Q: What's better about the printed book than NKS|Online?
A: First, the printed book is a nice physical
object. The pictures are
at more than 30
times the resolution of the images in NKS|Online. The layout is
optimized for pages in a printed book. And with the printed book, you
have an immediate sense of the complete scope of NKS.
Q: What is the difference between "Look up in Index" and "Search for"
A: "Look up in Index" shows which terms in the index start with
type. "Search for" does a full-text search in the text version of the book.
Note that the index contains terms that do not appear literally in the text
of the book (see
Q: Why are there phrases given in brackets?
A: They are elements added for navigation in NKS|Online, not
present in the
printed book. A note named "History" in the printed book might for example
be renamed "History [of symbolic systems]" so it can be identified more
easily in a list of notes.
Q: How are notes labeled?
A: Page 898 > Note (c) is,
the third note that starts on page
When a single note spans multiple pages, the text view associates it only
with the page on which it starts.
Q: What page numbers can I use in "Jump to Page"?
A: You can use any page that's numbered in the physical book,
including the front matter
numbered with Roman numerals. Jump to Page, and Next and Previous, skip
pages that are blank. The very last page is the Colophon.
Q: Why do page numbers such as 1004' appear in the index?
A: Page numbers in the index of NKS|Online are links. For the notes, they are
links to individual notes. In a few cases (26 to be precise) there are
different notes that appear in a single index entry, but start on the same
page. To distinguish the links for these notes, the second one appears with
a prime. (Yes, there were lots of subtleties in making NKS|Online!)
Q: What determines the order of the "Notes related to this page" in the
A: Ones specific to the page come first, followed by ones in the same
followed by any others. The links here were chosen by Stephen
inevitably there may be other notes that are also relevant. Use "Look
Index" or "Search for" to help find them.
Q: Can I see the covers of the book in NKS|Online?
A: Here is a picture of the physical book (see
Here is the flap copy. Here are the pictures from the back dust jacket.
The endpapers are only in the printed book.
Q: What technology was used to create NKS|Online?
A: The source to the printed NKS
book was converted using Mathematica programs to SymbolicXML, which was then converted to XHTML
to create static web pages. A variety of Mathematica-based tools
for automated creation of images, conversion of program source, and link
Using Material from NKS|Online
Q: How should I cite
A: Stephen Wolfram, "A New Kind of Science," (Wolfram Media, 2002),
available online at NKS|Online, www.wolframscience.com/page-____. Note
that we maintain a bibliography
of publications citing NKS. Additional citation
information is available.
Q: Can I link to NKS|Online from my website?
A: Yes. The URLs for all parts of NKS|Online should be permanent. If you link
to a specific page in the main text, we recommend that you link to the image
version. If you link to a specific note, link to the note page. Note that
maintain a bibliography of publications citing NKS, including
Q: Can I quote passages from NKS|Online?
A: Yes. As stated on the copyright page: "Individual verbatim quotations
of up to twenty lines of plain text may be made for scholarly purposes if
this book is clearly identified and cited as the source." Please include
links back to specific pages in NKS|Online whenever possible. Note that we
maintain a bibliography of publications citing NKS.
Q: How can I make comments about items in NKS|Online, or read other
A: From each page of NKS|Online there is a link to The NKS Forum,
which provides an excellent venue for further discussion.
Q: How can I use the Mathematica programs in the notes?
A: Any piece of Mathematica input that is displayed as a separate paragraph you
should be able just to copy and paste into a Mathematica session. For
constructs such as superscripts, the text in NKS|Online contains hidden
white characters that show up when the paste is done, and make everything
work correctly. Complete Mathematica notebook versions, with test examples,
are available, and
are linked from
each relevant page in NKS|Online. See also the Q&A about the downloadable
Q: Why do Mathematica programs that contain Greek characters
sometimes come out strange when I paste them?
A: It's the result of a peculiarity in special-character handling
with certain browsers. You can avoid the problem by having already
started an Input cell in Mathematica before you paste what you have
copied from NKS|Online.
Q: Can I get higher-resolution versions of the graphics?
A: You can generate your own versions of many of the graphics, and their
variants, on your own computer using A New Kind of Science Explorer.
For scholarly and journalistic publication purposes we can also supply
full-resolution EPS versions of any graphic in the printed NKS book. Please
contact us for more information.
Q: Can I get versions of the graphics to use for lectures?
A: We are planning to make available a CD with images optimized for
presentations at various screen resolutions. Please contact us for more
Q: How can I find more references for concepts in NKS?
A: First, just use key words or phrases from NKS and do a web search. You may
also find it useful to search the online database of books in Stephen
Wolfram's library. Note that this database remains incomplete; we are
working on completing it. We are also considering a database of papers,
perhaps keyed to sections of the book. Please contact us if you are
interested in this.
Q: I've found an error in NKS|Online. How should I report
A: If it is a content error, contact the Wolfram Science
Group. If it is a web copyediting or web
technology issue, contact the NKS|Online team.
Q: How can I contact the NKS group?
A: Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please
do not send anything you consider confidential or proprietary. See this
page for more contact information.