Cover: Driving Force in PAPERBACK

Driving Force

The Natural Magic of Magnets

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$25.50 • £20.95 • €23.00

ISBN 9780674216457

Publication: April 1997

Trade

334 pages

34 halftones, 23 line illustrations

World

Driving Force unfolds the long and colorful history of magnets: how they guided (or misguided) Columbus; mesmerized eighteenth-century Paris but failed to fool Benjamin Franklin; lifted AC power over its rival, DC, despite all the animals, one human among them, executed along the way; led Einstein to the theory of relativity; helped defeat Hitler’s U-boats; inspired writers from Plato to Dave Barry. In a way that will delight and instruct even the nonmathematical among us, James Livingston shows us how scientists today are creating magnets and superconductors that can levitate high-speed trains, produce images of our internal organs, steer high-energy particles in giant accelerators, and—last but not least—heat our morning coffee.

From the “new” science of materials to everyday technology, Driving Force makes the workings of magnets a matter of practical wonder. The book will inform and entertain technical and nontechnical readers alike and will give them a clearer sense of the force behind so much of the working world.