Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field: How Two Men Revolutionized Physics (Anglais) Relié – 11 mars 2014
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
—Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Corporation, on CNBC's "Squawk Box"
“Compelling. …A lively account of the men and their times and a brilliant exposition of the scientific circumstances and significance of their work.”
—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“The life and science of these two giants of nineteenth-century physics is beautifully documented and narrated in this riveting book.”
—Eric D’Hoker, Distinguished Professor of Physics, UCLA; past president, Aspen Center for Physics
“Perhaps the names of Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell aren’t as well known as Newton or Einstein, but they should be. The book traces their amazing collaboration.... But as equally fascinating as the tale of the discovery is that of the men behind it.... A fascinating true tale of the lives of two essential men of physics!” —AstroGuyz
“Blends science history and lively biography. …Accessible writing and a feel for character make this an interesting look at two scientists whose work defined an era and set the course for modern physics.”
“Fans of biographies, as well as anyone interested in science and technology…will enjoy reading about these ‘two modest and genial men whose combined endeavors changed the world.’”
Présentation de l'éditeur
Two of the boldest and most creative scientists of all time were Michael Faraday (1791-1867) and James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879). This is the story of how these two men - separated in age by forty years - discovered the existence of the electromagnetic field and devised a radically new theory which overturned the strictly mechanical view of the world that had prevailed since Newton's time.
The authors, veteran science writers with special expertise in physics and engineering, have created a lively narrative that interweaves rich biographical detail from each man's life with clear explanations of their scientific accomplishments. Faraday was an autodidact, who overcame class prejudice and a lack of mathematical training to become renowned for his acute powers of experimental observation, technological skills, and prodigious scientific imagination. James Clerk Maxwell was highly regarded as one of the most brilliant mathematical physicists of the age. He made an enormous number of advances in his own right. But when he translated Faraday's ideas into mathematical language, thus creating field theory, this unified framework of electricity, magnetism and light became the basis for much of later, 20th-century physics.
Faraday's and Maxwell's collaborative efforts gave rise to many of the technological innovations we take for granted today - from electric power generation to television, and much more. Told with panache, warmth, and clarity, this captivating story of their greatest work - in which each played an equal part - and their inspiring lives will bring new appreciation to these giants of science.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
In reading the book one gets a sense of the character of each and where there strengths and weaknesses lied. Faraday, born in 1791 was an incredible experimental physicist. He had the fortune early in his career to work with Davy who was a skilled experimenter as well. One gets a sense of the totally open nature of the subject during that era and how it was wide open to be explored. Faradays growing stature and influence is documented and the reader is familiarized with the deep insight Faraday had about discussing the phenomenon he was observing via a field theory rather than the action at a distance models that continental europe was focused on. The historical statements that are documented in the book give a sense of how visionary Faraday was. Despite his remarkable qualities as an experimental scientist he was not mathematically trained and the formalizing of the theory into something along the lines of newtons theory of classical mechanics was lacking. Maxwell, the Scottish prodigy, was to come along and bridge the gap. The history of Maxwell and his family is given as was his academic journey. Maxwell was a polymath and knowledgeable about a great many things without any ego. He brough methods of vector calculus to the subject of electricity and magnetism and at first proposed models purely to try to describe results rather than to figure out the actual physical processes that were occuring. Slowly though his more cumbersome models became more elegant simple mathematical explanations and Maxwell was the one who came up with the terms Div, Grad and Curl- methods fundamental to modern vector calculus and electricity and magnetism. Maxwell died young and his theory became more ane more appreciated as physicists caught up with mathematics and Oliver Heavyside simplified the equations a bit. The author briefly discuss the start of the quantum revolution as well.
Faraday Maxwell and the Electromagnetic Field is fun an enjoyable to read. I found it informative both from a historical account of two remarkable physicists and also a refreshed idea of how the theory was slowly developed from experiments that were only pieces of a much larger and complicated puzzle. The two men were remarkable and the authors did a great job giving the reader a sense of their accomplishment and how it has impacted all of our lives.
The tone of the second half of the book also tends to be a little parochial. European works are downplayed, and there is the usual fawning glorification of the Oxbridge system (“to become senior wrangler was like winning an Olympic gold medal"), when others have argued that in pure mathematics at least, the history of 19th Century Britain was one of underachievement; see Gray’s epilogue in the book “Mathematics in Victorian Britain”.
Overall, in my opinion, this book is well worth the read, despite the disappointing aspects in the second half. A broader view can then be obtained by reading “The Maxwellians” by Bruce Hunt and "Oliver Heaviside: The Life, Work, and Times of an Electrical Genius of the Victorian Age”, by Paul J. Nahin.
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