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Electric Universe by David Bodanis
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Electric Universe

by David Bodanis

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English (8)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I have mixed feelings about this book--the breezy tone struck me as condescending rather than friendly, and most of the stories Bodanis tells are familiar--Michael Faraday's struggles with class prejudice, the work of Edison, Galvani and Volta, etc. But Bodanis did teach me a few things and as I got used to his style I found it less distracting.

This is not, however, anything like a complete history of the discovery of electricity and its applications--Tesla, for example, is nowhere mentioned. And the story pretty much ends with the development of the transistor and the discovery that electric charges pass signals through our nervous systems.

I'm not sure I'd recommend this to anyone over 40...
( )
1 vote nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
This entertaining look at how electricity works and affects our daily lives is highlighted by Bodanis's charming narrative voice and by clever, fresh analogies that make difficult science accessible. Bodanis examines electricity's theoretical development and how 19th- and 20th-century entrepreneurs harnessed it to transform everyday existence. Summary BPL

I listened the audio version of this book with much pleasure. The author manages to make science understandable--how novel!--and absorbing. I was particularly taken by the story of Alan Turing, inventor of the (idea, anyway) modern computer.

8 out of 10 Highly recommended to all who want to investigate science painlessly! ( )
  julie10reads | Dec 8, 2012 |
I really enjoyed this book about the how electricity transformed the world from the late 19th century onwards, it is quick and easy to read and engagingly written. ( )
  mari_reads | Sep 6, 2012 |
This is series of descriptions of somewhat unrelated items related to electricity. It talks about such pioneers in the science of electricity as Joseph Henry, Michale Faraday, Thomas Edison, J. J. Thomson, etc. I found the part about the first transatlantic cable the most engaging. It's amazing how little they know about electricity before they went and put in a cable all the way across the ocean. I got a little bit tired of the language the author uses to describe electricity, current, voltage, power, etc. Being a physics professor, I found it too simplistic and "poetic". ( )
1 vote FredB | Sep 25, 2011 |
This book was a great reading during the summer. I study for a degree in electrical engineering and it was really an eye-opening experience to read the history of electricity. How much it has effected our way of life and how hard it can be to be recognised as an inventor.

It is very simply written and David Bodanis even managed to bring in tiny bits of humor into an area of science that, at least in Sweden, is not very appealing to many young people these days. ( )
  JohannaIvarsson | Sep 16, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307335984, Paperback)

In Electric Universe, David Bodanis weaves tales of romance, divine inspiration, and fraud through a lucid account of the invisible force that permeates our universe. In these pages the virtuoso scientists who plumbed the secrets of electricity come vividly to life, including familiar giants like Thomas Edison; the visionary Michael Faraday, who struggled against the prejudices of the British class system; and Samuel Morse, a painter who, before inventing the telegraph, ran for mayor of New York on a platform of persecuting Catholics. Here too is Alan Turing, whose dream of a marvelous thinking machine—what we know as the computer—was met with indifference, and who ended his life in despair after British authorities forced him to undergo experimental treatments to “cure” his homosexuality.

From the frigid waters of the Atlantic to the streets of Hamburg during a World War II firestorm to the interior of the human body, Electric Universe is a mesmerizing journey of discovery by a master science writer.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:07 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Bodanis weaves tales of romance, divine inspiration, and fraud through lucid accounts of scientific breakthroughs. The great discoverers come to life in all their brilliance and idiosyncrasy, including the visionary Michael Faraday, who struggled against the prejudices of the British class system, and Samuel Morse, a painter who, before inventing the telegraph, ran for mayor of New York City on a platform of persecuting Catholics. Here too is Alan Turing, whose dream of a marvelous thinking machine - what we know as the computer - was met with indifference, and who ended his life in despair after British authorities forced him to undergo experimental treatments to "cure" his homosexuality."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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