When Mark Eberhart was growing up in the 1960s, he learned that splitting an atom leads to a terrible explosion – which prompted him to worry that when he cut into a stick of butter, he would inadvertently unleash a nuclear cataclysm. Years later, as a chemistry professor, he remembered this childhood fear when he began to ponder the fact that we know more about how to split an atom than we do about how a pane of glass breaks.
In Why Things Break, Eberhart leads us on a remarkable and entertaining exploration of all the cracks, clefts, fissures, and faults examined in the field of materials science and the many astonishing discoveries that have been made about everything from the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger to the crashing of your hard drive. Understanding why things break is crucial to modern life on every level, from personal safety to macroeconomics, but as Eberhart reveals here, it is also an area of cutting-edge science that is as provocative as it is illuminating. ISBN: 1400047609 Publisher: HARMONY BOOKS
The tenth anniversary edition of the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest: the search for the solution of how to calculate longitude and the unlikely triumph of an English genius. With a new Foreword by the celebrated astronaut Neil Armstrong.
Anyone alive in the 18th century would have known that ‘the longitude problem’ was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day – and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution.
Full of heroism and chicanery, brilliance and the absurd, Longitude is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation and clock making. ISBN: 0007214227 Publisher: HARPER PERENNIAL