An Ocean Of Air: A Natural History Of The Atmosphere
- A flamboyant Renaissance Italian disco ...more
The book is set up in chronological order, exploring the various issues surrounding air. It starts off with the presumptions about air that our ancestors had about the ...more
The book compares our atmosphere to an ocean, and based on scale alone (which I had never really thought of) the com ...more
I found this book, by Gabrielle Walker, to be quite a gem. I am not trained in the sciences so a book involving chemistry (I've never taken a chemistry course) is a bit intimidating. Yet Ms. Walker does not spend much time on the chemical reactions found in the atmosphere - she indeed goes over the concepts and presents them to the r ...more
My only gripes were that it was not near long enough to go into further detail about atmospheric chemistry and physics, and the occasional jumping around in time to focus on another part of a developing story took some mild effort to note or retain. I would have loved to read more about the development of understanding of global climate mechanism ...more
Turns out that some really brilliant people have investigated air, starting with Galileo, and they have done some genius work to figure out what it is. Investigators include Antoine Lavoisier, Joseph Priestly, James Van Allen, and Robert Boyle, just to name a few. They were collectively very ingenious with their experimental projects, ...more
''This is from a boat trip at Talvik in Finnmark as late as 1881;
Immediately after nightfall the northern lights began to flame merrily in the sky. They gathered like ahuge fire in the deep-blue vault of the heaven, and great pencils of rays, mauve, blue and green, united and danced in ...more
There were multiple occasions when I wanted to put the book down, catch a friend and tell them about this amazing story of how something was discovered.
How much does air weigh? Galil ...more
Although Gabrielle Walker, author of Snowball Earth (2003), holds a Cambridge doctorate in chemistry, her ear for storytelling is perfect for popular science. One critic praises her lyrical style; others praise her use of detail, anecdote, and science that wouldn't be out of place in Meteorology 101. Critics inevitably compare Walker to Dava Sobel (Longitude; Galileo's Daughter; The Planets, *** Jan/Feb 2006), one of the genre's most popular writers. Walker has honed her skills as a contributing editor of Scientific American, and her br(;...more
I think that everyone studying Earth, Climate, environment, or education should have this as a required read.
It was a page turner, full of educational information the whole way. By telling the story of the sky through the people that invented it, I was much more inspired than typical fact-delivery books. ...more
The book covers several major themes of atmospheric science, including the history of discoveries. She also talks about wind, ozone, environmental damage, etc. A great read for anyone interested in an introductory overview of the atmosphere, how it works, and what effect that has on humans.
A very quick read with ...more
What, exactly, is ozone?
How did Marconi figure out that his signals would travel long distances, and what did he not know?
Who learned (and how) what carbon dioxide does?
I could add many more. If you wa ...more
I was assigned to read this book for my science class. It is very science and has elements of historical fiction. However, it is not a good book and is very difficult to read. I hated it and don't recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to have nightmares about the atmosphere for the rest of their lives. I appreciate her effort, but Walker makes the book very difficult to read.
This book contains not only the famous individuals associated to air (Joseph Priestly, Antoine Lavoisier, Kristian Birkeland, etc) but also unknowns (to me) like William Ferrel, Wiley Post and James Van Allen. And people you'd think have nothing to do with the atmosphere like Christopher Columbus, Gugliemo Marconi and Thomas Midgley!
Gabrielle is currently Chief Scientis ...more