The Spinning Magnet: The Force That Created The Modern World - And Could Destroy It
- Earth and the Environment, General Science, Physics & Mathematics, Best of 2018
A force is gathering beneath the earth
An engrossing history of the science of one of the four fundamental physical forces in the universe, electromagnetism, right up to the latest indications that the poles are soon to reverse and destroy the world’s power grids and electronic communications
Award-winning science journalist Alanna Mitchell’s delightful storytelling introduces enchanting characters from investigations into magnetism in 13th-century France to the discovery in the Victorian era that electricity and magnetism emerge from the same force. No one has ever told so eloquently how the Earth itself came to be seen as a magnet, spinning in space with two poles, and that those poles dramatically, catastrophically reverse now and then. The Spinning Magnet offers a beautifully crafted narrative history of ideas and science that readers of Stephen Greenblatt and Sam Kean will love.
“The Earth’s magnetic field—an invisible cloak that shields our bodies and our technologies from deadly harm—tends to be taken for granted. In reality it’s a fickle, ill-understood phenomenon. Alanna Mitchell delves into the mystery, in an engrossing book that features a new surprise on every page.”—Sean Carroll, author of The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself
“In The Spinning Magnet, Alanna Mitchell weaves a scientific mystery in the best possible way, exploring the ancient puzzle of our planet’s electromagnetic field, following scientists as they attempt to decipher its clues, leading us to a better understanding of Earth’s invisible and powerful electromagnetic field. The result is a compelling tale of unseen and unforeseen natural forces—and a reminder that we’ve staked our home on a planet that remains infinitely strange, dangerous—and ever full of wonder.”—Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York
About the Author
Alanna Mitchell is an acclaimed science journalist and author. She won a National Magazine Award in 2014 for a feature on the biology of extinction and in 2015 won a New York International Radio Festival Silver Medal for her science documentary on neonicotinoid pesticides.
Additional Book Details
|Release Date:||January 30, 2018|