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Oxford University Press
28 October 2019
This is the human story and adventures of the great scientists who measured the speed of light -- which takes eight minutes to get here from the sun, so that when we look at the stars we are looking back in time. The book narrates how, since the ancient Greeks, scientists from Faraday, Maxwell, Fizeau and Michelson struggled to understand how light can travel through the vacuum of outer space, unless it is filled with a ghostly invisible vortex Aether foam. The reader moves from Galileo's observations of the eclipses of Jupiter's moon for navigation, to Einstein's theories and his equation E = mc2, and all the quantum weirdness which followed. Space probes, the Transit of Venus expeditions, the discovery of radio, optics and satellite navigation, and the amazing scientific instruments built to detect the Aether wind are described.
By:   John C. H. Spence (Regent's Professor of Physics Regent's Professor of Physics Arizona State University Tempe AZ US)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 224mm,  Width: 145mm,  Spine: 21mm
Weight:   466g
ISBN:   9780198841968
ISBN 10:   0198841965
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   28 October 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

John C. H. Spence FRS is Snell Professor of Physics at Arizona State University, where he teaches condensed matter physics with research in biophysics. He is currently Director of Science for the National Science Foundation's eight-campus BioXFEL consortium. This is devoted to applications of the recently invented hard x-ray free-electron laser to structural biology, providing movies of molecular machines at work with femtosecond time resolution. John is the author of texts on electron microscopy, and a keen musician, pilot and sailor.

Reviews for Lightspeed: The Ghostly Aether and the Race to Measure the Speed of Light

From Faraday and Maxwell describing how light propagates to Einstein showing the constancy of the speed of light and all else entailed in his theories of special and general relativity, John Spence recounts this history with a focus on the key personalities that helped it move forward, the science they did and the legacy they left behind. * Marios Karouzos, Nature Astronomy *

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