Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation
ISBN: 0691178348
EAN13: 9780691178349
Language: English
Pages: 512
Dimensions: 1.00" H x 9.00" L x 6.00" W
Weight: 2.00 lbs.
Format: Paperback

Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation

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Book Overview
The fascinating science and history of radiation More than ever before, radiation is a part of our modern daily lives. We own radiation-emitting phones, regularly get diagnostic x-rays, such as mammograms, and submit to full-body security scans at airports. We worry and debate about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the safety of nuclear power plants. But how much do we really know about radiation? And what are its actual dangers? An accessible blend of narrative history and science, Strange Glow describes mankind's extraordinary, thorny relationship with radiation, including the hard-won lessons of how radiation helps and harms our health. Timothy Jorgensen explores how our knowledge of and experiences with radiation in the last century can lead us to smarter personal decisions about radiation exposures today. Jorgensen introduces key figures in the story of radiation--from Wilhelm Roentgen, the discoverer of x-rays, and pioneering radioactivity researchers Marie and Pierre Curie, to Thomas Edison and the victims of the recent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Tracing the most important events in the evolution of radiation, Jorgensen explains exactly what radiation is, how it produces certain health consequences, and how we can protect ourselves from harm. He also considers a range of practical scenarios such as the risks of radon in our basements, radiation levels in the fish we eat, questions about cell-phone use, and radiation's link to cancer. Jorgensen empowers us to make informed choices while offering a clearer understanding of broader societal issues. Investigating radiation's benefits and risks, Strange Glow takes a remarkable look at how, for better or worse, radiation has transformed our society.
Editor Reviews
From the Back Cover The discovery of radiation opened the way to the modern era and created one of humanity's greatest moral challenges. In this lucid book, Timothy Jorgensen explains the mechanics of radiation, tells the stories of those who helped uncover it, and gives us a careful assessment of how it continues to influence people and society. --Tom Zoellner, author of Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock That Shaped the World A thoroughly readable book about an important subject. The sometimes bizarre, sometimes brilliant story of the discovery of radioactivity and its effects on living things is told in an enlightening and entertaining way. I found it surprisingly reassuring. --Penny Le Couteur, coauthor of Napoleon's Buttons: How Seventeen Molecules Changed History Strange Glow is an accessible book that presents a huge amount of information about radiation. It enables readers to make sound judgments about various kinds of radiation exposures, including the risks of living in areas affected by radioactive fallout. Useful to radiation experts and general audiences alike, the knowledge gathered here is enormous and full of insights. --Ohtsura Niwa, Fukushima Medical University Through stories and examples, rather than graphs and equations, this lucid book explains the discovery, benefits, and dangers of different forms of radiation, and it examines qualms about nuclear power, cancer treatment, possible radon in the basement, and extensive cell-phone use. Strange Glow is both a fine history and a deft elucidation of risk assessment. --David E. Nye, author of Technology Matters: Questions to Live With Jorgensen's history is an engaging and entertaining attempt to make us feel more secure about the sea of radiation in which we live. --Kate Brown, author of Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atom Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters This fascinating book is well written, entertaining, and informative. I don't know of another book that takes such a comprehensive look at radiation and it will enjoy a large and diverse readership. --William F. Morgan, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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