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The Spinning Magnet: The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World--and Could Destroy It
(OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen)

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Published:
Books on Tape 2018
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
The mystery of Earth's invisible, life-supporting power
Alanna Mitchell's globe-trotting history of the science of electromagnetism and the Earth's magnetic field—right up to the latest indications that the North and South Poles may soon reverse, with apocalyptic results—will soon change the way you think about our planet.
Award-winning journalist Alanna Mitchell's science storytelling introduce intriguing characters—from the thirteenth-century French investigations into magnetism and the Victorian-era discover that electricity and magnetism emerge from the same fundamental force to the latest research. No one has ever told so eloquently how the Earth itself came to be seen as a magnet, spinning in space with two poles, and that those poles have dramatically reversed many time, often coinciding with mass extinctions. The most recent reversal was 780,000 years ago.
Mitchell explores indications that the Earth's magnetic force field is decaying faster than previously thought. When the poles switch, a process that takes many years, the Earth is unprotected from solar radiation storms that would, among other disturbances, wipe out much and possible all of our electromagnetic technology. Navigation for all kinds of animals is disrupted without a stable, magnetic North Pole. But can you imagine no satellites, no Internet, no smartphones—maybe no power grids at all?
Alanna Mitchell offers a beautifully crafted narrative history of surprising ideas and science, illuminating invisible parts of our own planet that are constantly changing around us.
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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
01/30/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780525527725
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Alanna Mitchell. (2018). The Spinning Magnet: The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World--and Could Destroy It. Unabridged Books on Tape.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Alanna Mitchell. 2018. The Spinning Magnet: The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World--and Could Destroy It. Books on Tape.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Alanna Mitchell, The Spinning Magnet: The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World--and Could Destroy It. Books on Tape, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Alanna Mitchell. The Spinning Magnet: The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World--and Could Destroy It. Unabridged Books on Tape, 2018.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
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Needs Update?:
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:43:59
Date Updated:
Dec 07, 2021 06:36:01
Last Metadata Check:
May 26, 2024 07:34:23
Last Metadata Change:
Feb 08, 2024 17:56:34
Last Availability Check:
May 26, 2024 07:34:26
Last Availability Change:
May 12, 2024 15:02:14
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
May 27, 2024 02:14:00

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      • bioText: ALANNA MITCHELL is an acclaimed science journalist and author of Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis, which won the Grantham Prize for excellence in environmental journalism. She won a National Magazine Award in 2014 for a feature on the biology of extinction and in 2015 won a New York International Radio Festival Silver Medal for her science documentary on neonicotinoid pesticides. She has written for The New York Times Science section and is a contributor to CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
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title
The Spinning Magnet
fullDescription
The mystery of Earth's invisible, life-supporting power
Alanna Mitchell's globe-trotting history of the science of electromagnetism and the Earth's magnetic field—right up to the latest indications that the North and South Poles may soon reverse, with apocalyptic results—will soon change the way you think about our planet.
Award-winning journalist Alanna Mitchell's science storytelling introduce intriguing characters—from the thirteenth-century French investigations into magnetism and the Victorian-era discover that electricity and magnetism emerge from the same fundamental force to the latest research. No one has ever told so eloquently how the Earth itself came to be seen as a magnet, spinning in space with two poles, and that those poles have dramatically reversed many time, often coinciding with mass extinctions. The most recent reversal was 780,000 years ago.
Mitchell explores indications that the Earth's magnetic force field is decaying faster than previously thought. When the poles switch, a process that takes many years, the Earth is unprotected from solar radiation storms that would, among other disturbances, wipe out much and possible all of our electromagnetic technology. Navigation for all kinds of animals is disrupted without a stable, magnetic North Pole. But can you imagine no satellites, no Internet, no smartphones—maybe no power grids at all?
Alanna Mitchell offers a beautifully crafted narrative history of surprising ideas and science, illuminating invisible parts of our own planet that are constantly changing around us.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Narrator P.J. Ochlan's tone is like that of a patient science teacher, an approach that is a boon for this audiobook. The spinning magnet of its title is our own planet, whose magnetic field is a fundamental force in our lives, even if it goes mostly unnoticed unless we're holding a compass. Mitchell is a journalist, not a geophysicist, and her narrative is mostly nontechnical. But there are several concepts that need detailed explanations, and Ochlan delivers them clearly. He even manages not to sound alarmist when describing how one day Earth's poles may reverse (as they have many times in the distant past), wreaking havoc on our technology. Mitchell weaves the physics around human stories, including her own travels and interviews with researchers, which gives Ochlan more freedom to stretch as a storyteller. D.B. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 20, 2017
        Canadian science journalist Mitchell (Sea Sick) investigates critical yet little-discussed concerns for the future of our world in this narrative history of magnetism and study of periodical changes in Earth’s magnetic field. She begins with some giant steps through time to explain magnetism, starting with the big bang and running up to 19th-century Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell’s epic mathematical equations that show how electricity, magnetism, and light are all aspects of one another. The historical background is braided with scenes from Mitchell’s quest to find the rocks that French physicist Bernard Brunhes used to prove that Earth’s magnetic poles have periodically switched places. In the latter half of the book, Mitchell examines evidence that the Earth’s magnetic field is weakening—which indicates an upcoming pole shift—and explains the potential effects of such a shift on life around the globe, including electrical grids’ increased vulnerability to solar storms and harm to animals that rely on magnetism for navigation. Mitchell’s nontechnical discussion is substantively accessible, and her vivid writing holds the reader’s attention. Occasionally, elements of the narrative can be hard to follow, and diagrams and figures would have been helpful in clarifying the more complex ideas. Pop science readers and science policy wonks will find plenty to think—and worry—about here. Agent: Ron Eckel, Cooke Agency (Canada).

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The mystery of Earth's invisible, life-supporting power
Alanna Mitchell's globe-trotting history of the science of electromagnetism and the Earth's magnetic field—right up to the latest indications that the North and South Poles may soon reverse, with apocalyptic results—will soon change the way you think about our planet.
Award-winning journalist Alanna Mitchell's science storytelling introduce intriguing characters—from the thirteenth-century French investigations into magnetism and the Victorian-era discover that electricity and magnetism emerge from the same fundamental force to the latest research. No one has ever told so eloquently how the Earth itself came to be seen as a magnet, spinning in space with two poles, and that those poles have dramatically reversed many time, often coinciding with mass extinctions. The most recent reversal was 780,000 years ago.
Mitchell explores indications that the Earth's magnetic force field is decaying faster than previously...
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