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The Eternal Darkness By Robert D. Ballard

The Eternal Darkness
by Robert D. Ballard

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One of the great scientific and archaeological feats has been to cast light on the 'eternal darkness' of the deep sea. This book features the story of that achievement. It offers an account of how twentieth-century explorers pushed back the frontiers of technology to take us into the midst of a world we could once only guess at.
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The Eternal Darkness Summary

The Eternal Darkness: A Personal History of Deep-Sea Exploration by Robert D. Ballard

Until a few decades ago, the ocean depths were almost as mysterious and inaccessible as outer space. Oceans cover two-thirds of the earth's surface with an average depth of more than two miles - yet humans had never ventured more than a few hundred feet below the waves. One of the great scientific and archaeological feats of our time has been finally to cast light on the 'eternal darkness' of the deep sea. This is the story of that achievement, told by the man who has done more than any other to make it possible: Robert Ballard. Ballard discovered the wreck of the Titanic. He led the teams that discovered hydrothermal vents and 'black smokers' - cracks in the ocean floor where springs of superheated water support some of the strangest life-forms on the planet. He was a diver on the team that explored the mid-Atlantic ridge for the first time, confirming the theory of plate tectonics. Today, using a nuclear submarine from the U.S. Navy, he's exploring the ancient trade routes of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea for the remains of historic vessels and their cargo. In this book, he combines science, history, spectacular illustrations, and first-hand stories from his own expeditions in a uniquely personal account of how twentieth-century explorers have pushed back the frontiers of technology to take us into the midst of a world we could once only guess at. Ballard begins in 1930 with William Beebe and Otis Barton, pioneers of the ocean depths who made the world's first deep-sea dives in a cramped steel sphere. He introduces us to Auguste and Jacques Piccard, whose 'Bathyscaph' descended in 1960 to the lowest point on the ocean floor. He reviews the celebrated advances made by Jacques Cousteau. He describes his own major discoveries - from sea-floor spreading to black smokers - as well as his technical breakthroughs, including the development of remote-operated underwater vehicles and the revolutionary search techniques that led to the discovery and exploration of the Titanic, the Nazi battleship Bismarck, ancient trading vessels, and other great ships. Readers will come away with a richer understanding of history, earth science, biology, and marine technology - and a new appreciation for the remarkable men and women who have explored some of the most remote and fascinating places on the planet.

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The Eternal Darkness Reviews

The Eternal Darkness is a straightforward look at a complicated business that shows again not just that exploration is worth doing but that even at home here on earth it is far from over... [It] is not really a book about the past. It's a promise that the "E" word remains the deepest adventure of them all. -- Michael Parfit New York Times Book Review Drawing from the expertise gained during his more than 100 trips into the abyss, Ballard highlights historical and scientific events that he and Hively expertly weave into a series of scintillating tales. -- Loretta DiPietro Scientific American Dr. Ballard is a passionate advocate of deep-sea exploration, pointing out that all such expeditions so far undertaken have probably surveyed less than one percent of the sea floor... One can hardly disagree with Dr. Ballard's proposal that we should expand that one percent. The Atlantic Monthly The man who found the Titanic, discovered black smokers on the sea floor, and first ventured into the mid-Atlantic ridge tells the story of deep-sea exploration... Scores of photographs highlight the steadily absorbing text; together, words and pictures present a vital and authoritative general history of humanity's adventures deep beneath the waves. Publishers Weekly The Eternal Darkness is an excellent book ... It is authoritative and well written, and ... it is impossible to put down. -- Richard Shelton Times Literary Supplement Titanic discoverer Ballard ... handily summarizes a technology unfamiliar to many readers. Ballard has published popular books about his recovery of other famous sunken ships besides the movie's namesake, which adds cachet to this more scholarly work. Booklist Doing science is exciting! This is the main message of Ballard's fascinating combination memoir and history of deep ocean science. Library Journal The Eternal Darkness is a highly readable book... I am always on the lookout for books that will motivate and enthuse potential and present students. The Eternal Darkness will become a firm favourite on that list, as Ballard shows what can be achieved by hard work, determination and unbounded enthusiasm. -- Paul Tyler New Scientist A remarkable story of science and adventure, as fascinating as the exploration of space and the landing on the moon. American Way An informative and interesting book written with authority on a fascinating subject. -- Daniel Lenihan Naval History Pitched to the lay reader, Ballard's The Eternal Darkness is engaging, sometimes thrilling and always authentic... Ballard was also involved in the 1985 discovery of the Titanic, and his account of the sleuthing that went into the hunt makes for terrific reading... -- Dennis Drabelle Washington Post Book World This book takes the reader into the deep-sea realm along the discovery paths of famous deep-sea explorers as chronicled by the preeminent explorer of our time. Ballard's book will leave readers enlightened and concerned about the expanding role the oceans are playing as the future evolves. Choice Cool technology meets personal obsession in this history that's also a memoir by the discoverer of the wreck of the Titanic. Break out the bathospheres, the minisubs and the ROVs (Remote Operated Vehicles); it's time to take the plunge and see what's Down There. Washington Post Book World

About Robert D. Ballard

Robert D. Ballard, Ph.D., is President of the Institute for Exploration in Mystic, Connecticut, and the former Director of the Center for Marine Exploration at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He is a pioneer in the development and use of deep submergence technology and has participated in more than a hundred deep-sea expeditions. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Discovery of the Titanic, Explorations, and Exploring the Bismarck.

Table of Contents

Preface vii Acknowledgments xi Introduction 3 Part I DEPTH 1 A Simple Tethered Sphere 13 2 Bathyscaphs Race to the Bottom 33 3 The Tragic Dawn of the Modern Deep Submersible 58 Part II DISCOVERY 4 Scientists Begin Exploring the Deep 93 5 The Midocean Ridge: Womb of the Earth 117 6 Hydrothermal Vents: Exotic Oases 157 7 Black Smokers: Recipe for a Salty Ocean 187 Part III DETACHMENT 8 A Tethered Eyeball Races to Find the Titanic 217 9 Recovering Our Past by Remote Control 255 10 Should Humans Continue to Dive? Two Paradigms 299 A Note on Sources 313 Further Reading 315 Index 375

Additional information

The Eternal Darkness: A Personal History of Deep-Sea Exploration by Robert D. Ballard
Robert D. Ballard
Used - Very Good
Princeton University Press
Runner-up for AAP/Professional and Scholarly Publishing Awards: Geography and Earth Sciences 2000
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.