Driving Force: The Natural Magic of Magnets

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Harvard University Press, 1996 - Science - 311 pages
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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.

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Driving force: the natural magic of magnets

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Magnets and magnetism are seldom thought about, but their quiet contribution to our lives in appliance motors, VCRs, cars, and medical equipment is truly astounding. Livingston, currently at MIT and ... Read full review


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Magnus Magnes

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About the author (1996)

James D. Livingston is a former physicist at GE and lecturer at MIT, and the author ofDriving Force: The Natural Magic of Magnets.

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