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North Pole, South Pole : The Epic Quest to Solve the Great Mystery of Earth's Magnetism



Trade Paper
Pub. Date:
Experiment, The

Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?
This is the edition with a publication date of 1/11/2011.
What is included with this book?
  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.


North Pole, South Pole traces an enduring question through its rich history of great thinkers, superstition, and controversy#xE2;#xAC;#x1D; right up to today#xE2;#xAC;"s startling conclusions Why do compass needles point north#xE2;#xAC;#x1D;but not quite north? What guides the migration of birds, whales, and fish across the world#xE2;#xAC;"s oceans? How is Earth able to sustain life under an onslaught of solar wind and cosmic radiation? For centuries, the world#xE2;#xAC;"s great scientific minds have grappled with these questions, all rooted in the same phenomenon#xE2;#xAC;#x1D;Earth#xE2;#xAC;"s magnetism. Over 2,000 years after the invention of the compass, Einstein called the source of Earth#xE2;#xAC;"s magnetic field one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of physics. Here, for the first time, is the complete story of the quest to understand Earth#xE2;#xAC;"s magnetism#xE2;#xAC;#x1D;from the ancient Greeks#xE2;#xAC;" fascination with lodestone, to the discovery that the North Pole has not always been in the North#xE2;#xAC;#x1D;and to the astonishing modern conclusions that finally revealed the true source. Richly illustrated and skillfully told, North Pole, South Pole unfolds the human story behind the science: that of the inquisitive, persevering, and often dissenting thinkers who unlocked the secrets at our planet#xE2;#xAC;"s core.

Author Biography

Gillian Turner is a senior lecturer in physics and geophysics at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. The winner of numerous awards for excellence in teaching and science communication, Turner has published over fifty articles in scientific journals. This is her first book.

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. x
Main Charactersp. xii
Introductionp. 1
The Mystery of Magnetismp. 5
Voyages of Discoveryp. 20
Magnus Magnesp. 32
The Wandering Compass Needlep. 48
Measuring the Forcep. 63
Of Forces and Fieldsp. 78
The Third Elementp. 101
The Magnetic Crusadep. 114
The Core of the Matterp. 130
Reading the Rocksp. 151
Poles Flipped, Continents Adriftp. 167
The Story on the Seafloorp. 185
Unraveling the Recordp. 195
In Search of a Solutionp. 213
The Geodynamop. 224
Epiloguep. 238
Glossaryp. 246
Select Bibliographyp. 257
Illustration Creditsp. 259
Acknowledgmentsp. 263
Indexp. 265
About the Authorp. 272
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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