Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold

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HMH, Dec 12, 2000 - Science - 272 pages
1 Review
“A lovely, fascinating book, which brings science to life.” —Alan Lightman

Combining science, history, and adventure, Tom Shachtman “holds the reader’s attention with the skill of a novelist” as he chronicles the story of humans’ four-centuries-long quest to master the secrets of cold (Scientific American).
 
“A disarming portrait of an exquisite, ferocious, world-ending extreme,” Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold demonstrates how temperature science produced astonishing scientific insights and applications that have revolutionized civilization (Kirkus Reviews). It also illustrates how scientific advancement, fueled by fortuitous discoveries and the efforts of determined individuals, has allowed people to adapt to—and change—the environments in which they live and work, shaping man’s very understanding of, and relationship, with the world.
 
This “truly wonderful book” was adapted into an acclaimed documentary underwritten by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, directed by British Emmy Award winner David Dugan, and aired on the BBC and PBS’s Nova in 2008 (Library Journal).
 
“An absorbing account to chill out with.” —Booklist
 

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ABSOLUTE ZERO AND THE CONQUEST OF COLD

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An intriguing but ponderous history of controlled cold and the pursuit of absolute zero. Unlike heat, explains Shachtman (Around the Block, 1997, etc.), cold was for a long time a mystery without a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jztemple - LibraryThing

As a history of the scientific pursuit of ultra low temperatures, "Absolute Zero" is a fairly decent narrative for the general reader. The author stays away from formulas, detailed technical ... Read full review

Contents

2 Exploring the Frontiers
3 Battle of the Thermometers
4 Adventures in the Ice Trade
5 The Confraternity of the Overlooked
6 Through Heat to Cold
7 Of Explosions and Mysterious Mists
8 Painting the Map of Frigor
9 Rare and Common Gases
10 The Fifth Step
11 A Sudden and Profound Disappearance
12 Three Puzzles and a Solution
13 Mastery of the Cold
Back Matter
Back Cover
Spine
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Tom Shachtman has written twenty-eight nonfiction books, including the acclaimed Around the Block and Skyscraper Dreams. He has also written documentary films and tapes, which have won many awards. Shachtman lives with his wife in New York City.

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