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Fatal Attraction: Magnetic Mysteries of the Enlightenment

Author: Fara, Patricia
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 204
Pub Date: 07/04/2005
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781840466324
Availability: Out of Stock
Price-Match is available in-store only for recommended titles in CCCU module handbooks
Quick overview A deftly written story of nature's most mystreious force, magnetism, and the spell it cast over three champions of enlightenment. Tales abounded of magnets' ability to attract reluctant lovers, but its expertise lay in he hands of seafarers, who had long used compasses to guide their ships.
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Product description

At the end of the 17th century, magnetism was a dark, mysterious force, known about since ancient Greece but still poorly understood. Tales abounded of magnets' ability to attract reluctant lovers, and magnetic expertise lay in the hands of seafarers, who had long used compasses to guide their ships. This book tells the stories of three men who were lured by nature's strangest power. Edmond Halley set out to map the Earth's magnetic patterns and improve navigation, showing how science could help England to expand her empire. Gowin Knight, a poor clergyman's son, climbed to fame and fortune by developing powerful artificial magnets used in compasses, scientific experiments and popular magic tricks. And although Franz Mesmer claimed that his 'animal magnetism', based on harnessing invisible streams of magnetic fluid, was the revolutionary medicine of the future, he was ultimately denounced as a quack. The move from magnetic mysticism to celebrating scientific rationality is a microcosm of the Enlightenment itself. In this book the author portrays the colourful protagonists of the magnetic revolution in this tumultuous and turbulent age.

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