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Einstein's Fridge

The Science of Fire, Ice and the Universe

Paul Sen

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HARPER360
19 May 2021
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'Hugely readable and entertaining' JIM AL-KHALILI A compulsively readable account of the extraordinary people, battling internal demons and external adversaries, who discovered the laws of thermodynamics and the science of heat, and brought about a scientific revolution. Einstein's Fridge tells the story of how scientists uncovered the least known and yet most consequential of all the sciences, and learned to harness the power of heat and ice.

The laws of thermodynamics govern everything from the behaviour of atoms to that of living cells, from the engines that power our world to the black hole at the centre of our galaxy. Not only that, but thermodynamics explains why we must eat and breathe, how the lights come on, and ultimately how the universe will end. The people who decoded its laws came from every branch of the sciences - they were engineers, physicists, chemists, biologists, cosmologists and mathematicians.

Their discoveries, set over two hundred years, kick-started the industrial revolution, changed the course of world wars and informed modern understanding of black holes. This book captures the thrill of discovery and the power of revolutionary science to change the world forever.
By:   Paul Sen
Imprint:   HARPER360
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   390g
ISBN:   9780008262808
ISBN 10:   0008262802
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   19 May 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Paul Sen first encountered thermodynamics while studying engineering at Cambridge. After graduating, he began a career in television. Starting at the BBC, he made films on a diverse range of subjects, including dance culture, plane building, the internet revolution and the social history of Britain. His 90-minute film, Oak Tree, Nature's Greatest Survivor, won the prestigious Royal Television Society Award for best science and natural history programme and the Grierson Award for best science documentary in 2016.

Reviews for Einstein's Fridge: The Science of Fire, Ice and the Universe

Praise for Einstein's Fridge When you combine some of the most profound concepts in physics with exceptional storytelling, this is what you get: popular science writing at its very best. Einstein's Fridge is a hugely readable and entertaining history of thermodynamics and how it has created and shaped our world.' Jim Al-Khalili 'Sen makes a convincing case for the importance of thermodynamics in his impressive debut. He argues that the first two laws of thermodynamics (that the energy of the universe is constant, and that the entropy of the universe tends to increase), as articulated in 1865, are a testament to the human intellect and imagination and are every bit as significant as Newton's laws of motion . Sen tells of the scientists whose work led to the present understanding of thermodynamics, among them Sadi Carnot (the founding father of the science of thermodynamics ); James Joule, with his lifelong zeal for scientific experimentation ; Albert Einstein, whose work derived from thermodynamics ; and Alan Turing, who uncovered a beautiful aspect of the second law of thermodynamics . Sen explains how an understanding of thermodynamics led to the invention that catalyzed the Industrial Revolution , the steam engine, and goes further in arguing that refrigeration, a process building on thermodynamic principles, enabled the greatest improvement in human nutrition since the advent of cooking. He accomplishes all of this with splendid prose, making ample use of analogies to explain complex scientific ideas. Sen's history of hot and cold is pop-science that hits the mark.' Publisher's Weekly Praise for Paul Sen 'Fascinating and lovely' Guardian 'Lovingly made, moving, enlightening ... informative and educational' Telegraph


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