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An Ocean of Air By Gabrielle Walker

An Ocean of Air
by Gabrielle Walker

In Stock
£4.49
Traces a journey of scientific discovery, from the Italian Renaissance scientist Torricelli, disciple of Galileo, who realised that we live at the bottom of a dense ocean of air, to the West Virginian farmhand William Ferrel, who unlocked the secrets of the trade winds by making calculations with a pitchfork on the back of a barn door.
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An Ocean of Air Summary


An Ocean of Air: A Natural History of the Atmosphere by Gabrielle Walker

In 1960 Captain Joseph Kittinger fell to earth from the edge of space and survived. He stepped from the basket of a gigantic helium balloon into an appalling, hostile environment which, without the protection of a pressure suit, would have simultaneously frozen his body and boiled away his blood. And yet it is the air that Kittinger fell through that makes our lives on earth possible. We not only live in the air, we live because of it. And air is about much more than just breathing. At ground level air transforms miraculously into solid food, and without it every creature on earth would starve; it wraps our planet in a blanket of warmth; radio signals bounce off a floating mirror of metal in the air to travel round the world; and the outer layer of our atmosphere soaks up flares from the sun more violent than all the world's nuclear warheads put together. Gabrielle Walker traces a journey of groundbreaking scientific discovery, from the Italian Renaissance scientist Torricelli, disciple of Galileo, who realised that we live at the bottom of a dense ocean of air, to the West Virginian farmhand William Ferrel, who unlocked the secrets of the trade winds by making calculations with a pitchfork on the back of a barn door. Then there is the hapless 1920s inventor Thomas Midgley, who when trying to solve a refrigeration problem inadvertently created chemicals that punched a hole in the sky, and the extraordinary American discovery at the height of the Cold War that space itself is radioactive. An Ocean of Air is a triumphant celebration of the fragile complexity of Earth's atmosphere and a completely engaging work of popular science.

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An Ocean of Air Reviews


'Ocean of Air is a fascinating book. The subject is hot, the science is cool, and Gabrielle Walker's style is lighter than air. Warmly recommended.' Jonathan Weiner, author of THE BEAK OF THE FINCH and MY BROTHER'S KEEPER 'Who knew air could be so interesting? Like the scientific mavericks she profiles, Gabrielle Walker had the freshness of vision to realize that within its presumed-nothingness lay the most fascinating, profound revelations about life on earth. This is science writing at its best: clear, witty, relevant, unbelievably interesting, and just plain great.' Mary Roach, author of STIFF

About Gabrielle Walker


Gabrielle Walker has a PhD in chemistry from Cambridge University and has taught at both Cambridge and Princeton universities. She is a consultant to New Scientist, contributes frequently to BBC radio and writes for many newspapers and magazines. The author of Snowball Earth and presenter of BBC Radio 4's 'Planet Earth Under Threat', she lives in London and France.

Additional information

GOR002235468
An Ocean of Air: A Natural History of the Atmosphere by Gabrielle Walker
Gabrielle Walker
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
2007-04-02
336
0747581908
9780747581901
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.