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By: Alanna Mitchell(Author)
North is north and south is south. Or is it?
Without electromagnetism, life on Earth would not be possible. The quest to understand it began with the idea that the magnet was a physical embodiment of the heavens, possessing as it did its own North and South poles. Could the discovery that, every once in a long while, the Earth's magnetic poles switch places, significantly weakening the field's protective power, be its end? It's never happened in the history of humankind, but it has happened many times before and it will happen again…
Alanna Mitchell travels the world to unveil the history of this enigmatic force, introducing the enchanting figures whose investigations into magnetism began in the thirteenth century and revealing how later scientists made their pivotal discoveries. The Spinning Magnet is a warning of a future where solar radiation storms wipe out power grids and electronic communications, but it is also a beautifully crafted narrative of one of the most powerful forces in the universe.
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Alanna Mitchell is an award-winning science journalist and author of Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis, which won the Grantham Prize for environmental journalism. She's written for the New York Times, National Geographic and the Guardian. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
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