"In a sweeping science adventure story, rich with historical characters, including Galileo, Newton, and Einstein, Tom Shachtman takes us on a journey in which the extraordinary secrets of cold are teased apart and mastered, bringing advances in civilization and comfort. Starting in the 1600s with an alchemist's attempt to air condition Westminster Abbey and the invention of thermometers and scales (where should zero be set?), the story unfolds as nineteenth-century merchants sell Walden Pond ice to tropical countries and competing scientists pursue absolute zero with as much fervor as the races toward the North and South Poles aroused."--Jacket.… (more)
King James I of England and Scotland chose a very warm day in the summer of 1620 for Cornelis Drebbel's newest demonstration and decreed that it be held in the Great Hall of Westminster Abbey.
If the present direction and volume of research are any guide, a large proportion of tomorrow's discoveries about the composition of matter and the nature of the universe, will be made in the vicinity of absolute zero and will be based on our mastery and manipulation of the cold.