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North is north and south is south. Or is it?
Without electromagnetism, life on Earth would not be possible. The quest to understand it began with the idea that the magnet was a physical embodiment of the heavens, possessing as it did its own North and South poles. Could the discovery that, every once in a long while, the Earth's magnetic poles switch places, significantly weakening the field's protective power, be its end? It's never happened in the history of humankind, but it has happened many times before and it will happen again...
Alanna Mitchell travels the world to unveil the history of this enigmatic force, introducing the enchanting figures whose investigations into magnetism began in the thirteenth century and revealing how later scientists made their pivotal discoveries.
The Spinning Magnet is a warning of a future where solar radiation storms wipe out power grids and electronic communications, but it is also a beautifully crafted narrative of one of the most powerful forces in the universe.
`Stokes the reader's curiosity about one of the most critical but invisible forces in the universe.' * BBC Sky at Night * `A compelling yarn describing our historical efforts to understand the force that created the world, and as the subtitle warns, could bring about its end...Destined to become a classic of popular science.' * E&T Magazine * `The Earth's magnetic field...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 `A fascinating untold story of science that is full of mystery and intrigue, and written with a great deal of style.' -- Mark Miodownik, New York Times bestselling author of Stuff Matters, winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize `Mitchell's portrait gallery is researched with a depth and breadth that make its protagonists' triumphs and failures compelling. She also gives entertaining accounts of today's working geoscientists... Her interviews provide insights into their thoughts and actions that transcend the stereotypes of inscrutable nerd or heroic explorer.' * Nature * `Captivating scientific history...an invaluable contribution to the popular science shelf.' * Booklist * `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 `In The Spinning Magnet, Alanna Mitchell pulls off the rare trifecta in science writing: an engrossing plot of a planetary mystery, authentic character portraits of scientists and their passion for their work, and explanations of complex physics in easily understandable terms.' -- Sabine Stanley, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Applied Physics Lab, Johns Hopkins University `Mitchell draws us into a spellbinding scientific detective story, told over the ages, as she nimbly explains magnetism's role in everything that matters. Each chapter is filled with exciting new revelations written in clear crisp prose. A skilled writer, Mitchell puts magnetism on the map!' -- Timothy J. Jorgensen, author of Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation, winner of the American Institute of Physics' Science Communication Award
ISBN: 9781786074249 ISBN-10: 1786074249 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 336 Published: 1st August 2018 Publisher: Oneworld Publications Country of Publication: GB Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 15.5
Weight (kg): 0.53