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Electric Universe: How Electricity Switched on the Modern World

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Electric Universe: How Electricity Switched on the Modern World Cover

ISBN13: 9780307335982
ISBN10: 0307335984
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For centuries, electricity was viewed as little more than a curious property of certain substances that sparked when rubbed. Then, in the 1790s, Alessandro Volta began the scientific investigation that ignited an explosion of knowledge and invention, transforming our world. The force that once seemed inconsequential was revealed to be responsible for everything from the structure of the atom to the functioning of our brains.

A superb storyteller, Bodanis weaves tales of romance, divine inspiration, and fraud through lucid accounts of scientific breakthrough. The great discoverers come to life in all their brilliance and idiosyncrasy, including the visionary Michael Faraday, who struggled against the prejudices of the British class system, and Alexander Graham Bell, driven to invent by his love for a young deaf student. From the cold waters of the Atlantic, to the streets of Hamburg during a World War II firestorm and the interior of the human body, Electric Universe is a mesmerizing journey of discovery by a master science writer.

Review:

"This entertaining look at how electricity works and affects our daily lives is highlighted by Bodanis's charming narrative voice and by clever, fresh analogies that make difficult science accessible. Bodanis examines electricity's theoretical development and how 19th- and 20th-century entrepreneurs harnessed it to transform everyday existence. Going from 'Wires' to 'Waves' to computers and even the human body, Bodanis pairs electrical innovations with minibiographies of their developers, among them Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Guglielmo Marconi, Heinrich Herz and Alan Turing. In each case, Bodanis deepens his narrative by charting early failures — Edison's difficulty in finding a workable filament for the electric light bulb, for example — and financial struggles. And Bodanis can be a wry commentator on his subjects, noting, for example, how bedeviled Samuel Morse was by his telegraph patents — when the telegraph was actually invented by Joseph Henry, who refused to patent it. Surprisingly, Bodanis goes beyond the inorganic world of devices, delving deeply into the role electricity plays in the seemingly inhospitable 'sloshing wet' human body, such as why being out in the cold makes us clumsy, or how alcohol works in the nervous system. Those who don't generally read science will find that Bodanis is a first-rate popularizer — as he also showed in his earlier E=mc2 — able to keep a happy balance between technical explanation and accessibility. Agent, Katinka Matson." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Hugely impressive. No one makes complex science more fascinating and accessible — and indeed more pleasurable — than David Bodanis." Bill Bryson, author of A Short History of Nearly Everything and A Walk in the Woods

Review:

"Electric Universe is a technological odyssey complete with heroes and villains, triumph and tragedy — a true scientific adventure." Simon Singh, author of Fermat's Enigma and Big Bang

Review:

"Though science is omnipresent in Electric Universe, it's only part of the literary equation. Living, breathing, laughing, loving, vainglorious, extraordinarily gifted humans get plenty of ink as well." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Anyone who has considered the inner workings of a computer (or even a toaster) would get a charge out of Bodanis's history of electricity....[He] adds more than a touch of drama to his lucid and informative science lessons." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"His thematic approach results in some glitches...but it does allow Bodanis to streamline his narrative and race over a lot of ground." Los Angeles Times

Synopsis:

Supernova author Bodanis follows up his bestselling E=mc2 with this mesmerizing journey of discovery about the awe-inspiring force known as electricity, taking readers from Hamburg cellars during a World War II firestorm to the interior of the human body.

Synopsis:

In his bestselling E=mc2, David Bodanis led us, with astonishing ease, through the world's most famous equation. Now, in "Electric Universe, he illuminates the wondrous yet invisible force that permeates our universe--and introduces us to the virtuoso scientists who plumbed its secrets.

For centuries, electricity was seen as little more than a curious property of certain substances that sparked when rubbed. Then, in the 1790s, Alessandro Volta began the scientific investigation that ignited an explosion of knowledge and invention. The force that once seemed inconsequential was revealed to be responsible for everything from the structure of the atom to the functioning of our brains. In harnessing its power, we have created a world of wonders--complete with roller coasters and radar, computer networks and psychopharmaceuticals.

A superb storyteller, Bodanis weaves tales of romance, divine inspiration, and fraud through lucid accounts of scientific breakthroughs. The great discoverers come to life in all their brilliance and idiosyncrasy, including the visionary Michael Faraday, who struggled against the prejudices of the British class system, and Samuel Morse, a painter who, before inventing the telegraph, ran for mayor of New York City on a platform of persecuting Catholics. Here too is Alan Turing, whose dream of a marvelous thinking machine--what we know as the computer--was met with indifference, and who ended his life in despair after British authorities forced him to undergo experimental treatments to "cure" his homosexuality.

From the frigid waters of the Atlantic to the streets of Hamburg during a World War II firestorm to the interior of the human body, "ElectricUniverse is a mesmerizing journey of discovery by a master science writer.

"From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

In Electric Universe, David Bodanis weaves tales of romance, divine inspiration, and fraud through a lucid account of the invisible force that permeates our universe. In these pages the virtuoso scientists who plumbed the secrets of electricity come vividly to life, including familiar giants like Thomas Edison; the visionary Michael Faraday, who struggled against the prejudices of the British class system; and Samuel Morse, a painter who, before inventing the telegraph, ran for mayor of New York on a platform of persecuting Catholics. Here too is Alan Turing, whose dream of a marvelous thinking machine (what we know as the computer) was met with indifference, and who ended his life in despair after British authorities forced him to undergo experimental treatments to "cure" his homosexuality.

From the frigid waters of the Atlantic to the streets of Hamburg during a World War II firestorm to the interior of the human body, Electric Universe is a mesmerizing journey of discovery by a master science writer.

About the Author

David Bodanis has taught intellectual history at Oxford and is the author of several books, including The Secret House and E=mc2. A native of Chicago, he lives in London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

camelix, April 12, 2006 (view all comments by camelix)
I think this book is very interesting. I can understand the eletricity better, even the nature.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307335982
Author:
Bodanis, David
Publisher:
Three Rivers Press (CA)
Location:
California
Subject:
History
Subject:
Electromagnetism
Subject:
Electricity
Subject:
Force and energy
Subject:
Electricity-General Electricity
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
February 2006
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
7.62x5.58x.68 in. .51 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Reference » Science Reference » Technology
Science and Mathematics » Electricity » General Electricity
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » Technology
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

Electric Universe: How Electricity Switched on the Modern World Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Three Rivers Press (CA) - English 9780307335982 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This entertaining look at how electricity works and affects our daily lives is highlighted by Bodanis's charming narrative voice and by clever, fresh analogies that make difficult science accessible. Bodanis examines electricity's theoretical development and how 19th- and 20th-century entrepreneurs harnessed it to transform everyday existence. Going from 'Wires' to 'Waves' to computers and even the human body, Bodanis pairs electrical innovations with minibiographies of their developers, among them Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Guglielmo Marconi, Heinrich Herz and Alan Turing. In each case, Bodanis deepens his narrative by charting early failures — Edison's difficulty in finding a workable filament for the electric light bulb, for example — and financial struggles. And Bodanis can be a wry commentator on his subjects, noting, for example, how bedeviled Samuel Morse was by his telegraph patents — when the telegraph was actually invented by Joseph Henry, who refused to patent it. Surprisingly, Bodanis goes beyond the inorganic world of devices, delving deeply into the role electricity plays in the seemingly inhospitable 'sloshing wet' human body, such as why being out in the cold makes us clumsy, or how alcohol works in the nervous system. Those who don't generally read science will find that Bodanis is a first-rate popularizer — as he also showed in his earlier E=mc2 — able to keep a happy balance between technical explanation and accessibility. Agent, Katinka Matson." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Hugely impressive. No one makes complex science more fascinating and accessible — and indeed more pleasurable — than David Bodanis."
"Review" by , "Electric Universe is a technological odyssey complete with heroes and villains, triumph and tragedy — a true scientific adventure."
"Review" by , "Though science is omnipresent in Electric Universe, it's only part of the literary equation. Living, breathing, laughing, loving, vainglorious, extraordinarily gifted humans get plenty of ink as well."
"Review" by , "Anyone who has considered the inner workings of a computer (or even a toaster) would get a charge out of Bodanis's history of electricity....[He] adds more than a touch of drama to his lucid and informative science lessons."
"Review" by , "His thematic approach results in some glitches...but it does allow Bodanis to streamline his narrative and race over a lot of ground."
"Synopsis" by , Supernova author Bodanis follows up his bestselling E=mc2 with this mesmerizing journey of discovery about the awe-inspiring force known as electricity, taking readers from Hamburg cellars during a World War II firestorm to the interior of the human body.
"Synopsis" by , In his bestselling E=mc2, David Bodanis led us, with astonishing ease, through the world's most famous equation. Now, in "Electric Universe, he illuminates the wondrous yet invisible force that permeates our universe--and introduces us to the virtuoso scientists who plumbed its secrets.

For centuries, electricity was seen as little more than a curious property of certain substances that sparked when rubbed. Then, in the 1790s, Alessandro Volta began the scientific investigation that ignited an explosion of knowledge and invention. The force that once seemed inconsequential was revealed to be responsible for everything from the structure of the atom to the functioning of our brains. In harnessing its power, we have created a world of wonders--complete with roller coasters and radar, computer networks and psychopharmaceuticals.

A superb storyteller, Bodanis weaves tales of romance, divine inspiration, and fraud through lucid accounts of scientific breakthroughs. The great discoverers come to life in all their brilliance and idiosyncrasy, including the visionary Michael Faraday, who struggled against the prejudices of the British class system, and Samuel Morse, a painter who, before inventing the telegraph, ran for mayor of New York City on a platform of persecuting Catholics. Here too is Alan Turing, whose dream of a marvelous thinking machine--what we know as the computer--was met with indifference, and who ended his life in despair after British authorities forced him to undergo experimental treatments to "cure" his homosexuality.

From the frigid waters of the Atlantic to the streets of Hamburg during a World War II firestorm to the interior of the human body, "ElectricUniverse is a mesmerizing journey of discovery by a master science writer.

"From the Hardcover edition.

"Synopsis" by , In Electric Universe, David Bodanis weaves tales of romance, divine inspiration, and fraud through a lucid account of the invisible force that permeates our universe. In these pages the virtuoso scientists who plumbed the secrets of electricity come vividly to life, including familiar giants like Thomas Edison; the visionary Michael Faraday, who struggled against the prejudices of the British class system; and Samuel Morse, a painter who, before inventing the telegraph, ran for mayor of New York on a platform of persecuting Catholics. Here too is Alan Turing, whose dream of a marvelous thinking machine (what we know as the computer) was met with indifference, and who ended his life in despair after British authorities forced him to undergo experimental treatments to "cure" his homosexuality.

From the frigid waters of the Atlantic to the streets of Hamburg during a World War II firestorm to the interior of the human body, Electric Universe is a mesmerizing journey of discovery by a master science writer.

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