Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!
Two of the boldest and most creative scientists of all time were Michael Faraday (1791-1867) and James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879). This is the story of how these two men - separated in age by forty years - discovered the existence of the electromagnetic field and devised a radically new theory which overturned the strictly mechanical view of the world that had prevailed since Newton’s time.
The authors, veteran science writers with special expertise in physics and engineering, have created a lively narrative that interweaves rich biographical detail from each man’s life with clear explanations of their scientific accomplishments. Faraday was an autodidact, who overcame class prejudice and a lack of mathematical training to become renowned for his acute powers of experimental observation, technological skills, and prodigious scientific imagination. James Clerk Maxwell was highly regarded as one of the most brilliant mathematical physicists of the age. He made an enormous number of advances in his own right. But when he translated Faraday’s ideas into mathematical language, thus creating field theory, this unified framework of electricity, magnetism and light became the basis for much of later, 20th-century physics.
Faraday’s and Maxwell’s collaborative efforts gave rise to many of the technological innovations we take for granted today - from electric power generation to television, and much more. Told with panache, warmth, and clarity, this captivating story of their greatest work - in which each played an equal part - and their inspiring lives will bring new appreciation to these giants of science.
“The unification of electric and magnetic phenomena in terms of fields was born out of Faraday’s physical vision and Maxwell’s mathematical genius. The life and science of these two giants of nineteenth-century physics is beautifully documented and narrated in this riveting book.”
—Eric D’Hoker, Distinguished Professor of Physics, UCLA; past president, Aspen Center for Physics
“Compelling. …A lively account of the men and their times and a brilliant exposition of the scientific circumstances and significance of their work.”
—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“Blends science history and lively biography. …Accessible writing and a feel for character make this an interesting look at two scientists whose work defined an era and set the course for modern physics.”
“Fans of biographies, as well as anyone interested in science and technology…will enjoy reading about these ‘two modest and genial men whose combined endeavors changed the world.’”