The breakthroughs that have had the most transformative practical impacts, from thermodynamics to the Internet.
Physics informs our understanding of how the world works - but more than that, key breakthroughs in physics have transformed everyday life. We journey back to ten separate days in history to understand how particular breakthroughs were achieved, meet the individuals responsible and see how each breakthrough has influenced our lives.
It is a unique selection. Focusing on practical impact means there is no room for Stephen Hawking's work on black holes, or the discovery of the Higgs boson. Instead we have the relatively little-known Rudolf Clausius (thermodynamics) and Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (superconductivity), while Albert Einstein is included not for his theories of relativity but for the short paper that gave us E=mc2 (nuclear fission). Later chapters feature transistors, LEDs and the Internet.
'Those in search of a well-written account of the world of science should look no further ... Ten Days in Physics That Shook the World succeeds where much of science writing fails, by creating a clear path between pivotal moments in scientific history and the world as we know it today.'
'[I]nformative and accessible ... a really good potential entry point for younger readers looking to have a big picture view on what physics is.'
― Irish Tech News
'[N]icely written and highly illuminating ... an engaging read not just for engineers and scientists, but for a broad "general" audience.'
― Engineering & Technology
'Clegg is a skilled wordsmith and this is a light, easy read, filled with intriguing details' -- Peet Morris ― popularscience.co.uk
[A]n engaging exploration, ending with interesting speculation on the nature of a future 11th day. -- Peet Morris ― Times Higher Education
[A] solid primer ... Those new to the field will find this a fine overview of touchstone moments. ― Publishers Weekly
Appealing accounts of scientific breakthroughs by the veteran popularizer [Brian Clegg] ... A painless education on great milestones in physics. ― Kirkus
[A] good addition to popular science collections. ― Booklist
About the Author
Brian Clegg's many books include Dice World and A Brief History of Infinity, both longlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize, and, most recently, What Do You Think You Are?, described by BBC Science Focus as 'a must-read'.