Book ID: CBB357031657

The Spinning Magnet: The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World--and Could Destroy It (2018)


Alanna Mitchell (Author)


Publication Date: 2018
Physical Details: 336 pages
Language: English

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 communicationsA cataclysmic planetary phenomenon is gathering force deep within the Earth. The magnetic North Pole will eventually trade places with the South Pole. Satellite evidence suggests to some scientists that the move has already begun, but most still think it won't happen for many decades. All agree that it has happened many times before and will happen again. But this time it will be different. It will be a very bad day for modern civilization.Award-winning science journalist Alanna Mitchell's delightful storytelling introduces enchanting characters from investigations into magnetism in thirteenth-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 recent finding that Earth's magnetic force field is decaying faster than previously thought, raising fears of an imminent pole reversal, ultimately gives The Spinning Magnet a spine-tingling urgency. When the poles switch, a process that takes many years, Earth is unprotected from solar radiation storms that would, among other things, wipe out all electromagnetic technology. No satellites, no Internet, no smartphones--maybe no power grid at all.Alanna Mitchell offers a beautifully crafted narrative history of ideas and science that readers of Stephen Greenblatt and Sam Kean will love.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Joel Gabàs Masip; (2015)
Maxwell: la teoría electromagnética de la luz (/isis/citation/CBB011379360/)

Article Sybil G. de Clark; (2016)
The Dimensions of the Magnetic Pole: A Controversy at the Heart of Early Dimensional Analysis (/isis/citation/CBB030741728/)

Chapter Luisa Bonolis; (2009)
First Hints of Electromagnetic Showers in Bruno Rossi's Notebooks (/isis/citation/CBB622040559/)

Book Howard J. Fisher; (2015)
Maxwell's Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism: The Central Argument (/isis/citation/CBB956073201/)

Article Santos, Gildo Magalhães; (2011)
A Debate on Magnetic Current: The Troubled Einstein--Ehrenhaft Correspondence (/isis/citation/CBB001024707/)

Book Yoshitaka Yamamoto; (2018)
The Pull of History: Human Understanding of Magnetism and Gravity through the Ages (/isis/citation/CBB385694657/)

Article Silva, Cibelle Celestino; (2007)
The Role of Models and Analogies in the Electromagnetic Theory: A Historical Case Study (/isis/citation/CBB001032896/)

Thesis Zito, Fredrick Anthony; (2002)
Maxwell, Hertz, and Marconi: Using the History of Science and Technology in Science Education (/isis/citation/CBB001562545/)

Article Erich Willen; (2017)
Building Magnets at Brookhaven National Laboratory: A Condensed Account (/isis/citation/CBB602523953/)

Article Smith, Glenn S.; (2013)
Faraday's First Dynamo: A Retrospective (/isis/citation/CBB001320909/)

Book Forbes, Nancy; Mahon, Basil; (2014)
Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field: How Two Men Revolutionized Physics (/isis/citation/CBB001551506/)

Article Assis, Andre Koch Torres; Reich, Karin; Wiederkehr, Heinrich; (2004)
On the Electromagnetic and Electrostatic Units of Current and the Meaning of the Absolute System of Units: For the 200th Anniversary of Wilhelm Weber's Birth (/isis/citation/CBB000501330/)

Article Enebakk, Vidar; (2014)
Hansteen's Magnetometer and the Origin of the Magnetic Crusade (/isis/citation/CBB001202237/)

Chapter Lucia De Frenza; (2017)
The “Poles” of Healing: Mineral Magnetism vs. Animal Magnetism (/isis/citation/CBB352886342/)

Book Christopher Partridge; (2014)
The Occult World (/isis/citation/CBB544694972/)

Authors & Contributors
D'Agostino, Salvatore
Reich, Karin
Wiederkehr, Heinrich
Assis, Andre Koch Torres
Lamy, Jérôme
Santos, Gildo Magalhães dos
Physics in Perspective
Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
British Journal for the History of Science
Histoire & Mesure
Science and Education
Philosophy of Science
Prometheus Books
New York University
Pavia University Press
World Scientific
Cambridge University Press
Electricity; magnetism
Experiments and experimentation
Maxwell, James Clerk
Faraday, Michael
Hertz, Heinrich Rudolph
Gauss, Carl Friedrich
Lorentz, Hendrik Antoon
Weber, Wilhelm Eduard
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
18th century
17th century
20th century, early
Early modern
Great Britain
United States
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment