Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “North Pole, South Pole: The Quest to Understand Earth's Magnetism” as Want to Read:
North Pole, South Pole: The Quest to Understand Earth's Magnetism
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

North Pole, South Pole: The Quest to Understand Earth's Magnetism

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  67 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Going all the way back to the Roman legend of a shepherd whose iron-studded boots stuck to the rocks, this book charts the history of the earth's magnetism, which intrigued and stumped scientists and ordinary people for centuries. Absorbing and accessible, it is a lively study of what exactly magnetic force is, what causes it, and what its place has been throughout scienti ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published 2010 by Awa Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about North Pole, South Pole, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about North Pole, South Pole

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoy books about science, and particularly ones that give an historical perspective to our ongoing discovery of scientific knowledge.

On the subject of the Earth's magnetism, I have to say that I was almost totally ignorant. I know that the Earth has magnetic poles, but that was basically the extent of my knowledge, and I am ashamed to say that it had never occured to me to wonder why the Earth should be magnetic. I had no idea that the entire Earth is covered in a magnetic field that p
Steve Van Slyke
Feb 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students of geomagnetism
Recommended to Steve by: Science News
Shelves: history, science, kindle
Although I knew most of the basic science regarding earth's magnetism from various other readings, this book tied everything together chronologically and in much more detail. In fact, after finishing it I added it to my History bookshelf as well as the Science shelf because it is so much about the various individuals that have contributed to our knowledge of magnetism since the beginning of the current epoch.

I struggled between whether to give it three or four stars. There are sections that were
George Ilsley
This reviewer knows precious little about geophysics, so will not be complaining, as others have, that this book was directed at a generalist audience. I will complain however about the back cover. I realize this is out of the control of the author, and the blame rests with the publisher, but it is a pet peeve of mine when the cover descriptions do not match the content of the book. Here the back cover questions how birds and other animals navigating by magnetism. . . the book does not deal with ...more
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was quite an interesting read for me. Generally, a subject like magnetism is split between various publications, classes, and other sources, and only pieces of the story are discovered. I enjoyed being able to follow the research of magnetism through time, and reading about the various scientists that contributed to our knowledge on the subject. It also took me back to the days of my historical geology in following the development of geology as a science. It is amazing how recent theor ...more
I got almost nothing out of this book but I'm not quite sure it's the fault of the author. It took me around four months to finally finish because I started it right before summer classes started and read maybe a page or two before passing out each night, finally able to polish it off when classes were over. There are a lot of theories/terminology here that I didn't remember reading it in the piecemeal way that I did. It also required the ability to visualize experiments, theories, etc. and I am ...more
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are curious about the origin of the magnetic field of the earth, this is a pretty good place to start. Turner goes through the history of discovery, the basic physical ideas involved, and our evolving understanding of what turns out to be an extraordinary complicated phenomenon. This is another place which demonstrates that as much as we know about the world, we actually know a lot less than I'd like to think. For instance, when exactly are the poles going to turn? What happens when the m ...more
Sep 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: skimmed
This book didn't quite live up to my expectations so I ended up skimming a good chunk of it. Overall, it just felt like reading a really long Wikipedia entry: comprehensive yet condensed list of facts. I personally would have appreciated more presence from the author such as in Brian Greene or Bill Bryson's writing. The later chapters were more engaging as those covered topics that were closer to the author's own research era. In the end this is more of a history book than a book about the under ...more
Oct 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spatial
Very detailed explanation of the history of the attempts to describe the physical forces that create the Earth's magnetic field. Interesting parallel while reading is the detailed explanations of the tools and techniques developed to help in the effort. Recommend this for anyone interested in Geology, Geodesy, Geography and Cartography.
David R.
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
A workmanlike accounting of the history of the science of magnetism. The early chapters are interesting and insightful but unfortunately the last chapters are sometimes unintelligible.
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This book should be dedicated to all people who still believe that Climate Change is not real.
Rishik Dhar
rated it it was amazing
Jul 18, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2014
Marco Odradek
rated it liked it
Mar 11, 2016
Peter Daniel Berg
rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2013
Charles R
rated it really liked it
Jun 30, 2011
Fc Luffey
rated it really liked it
Oct 19, 2014
Fred Marton
rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2017
rated it liked it
Apr 27, 2013
rated it really liked it
Jun 17, 2011
rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2012
rated it liked it
Jun 24, 2012
Benjamin D.
rated it liked it
Mar 13, 2012
Joe Machado
rated it really liked it
Aug 04, 2013
rated it really liked it
May 07, 2017
Michael Carnes
rated it it was amazing
Sep 13, 2017
rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2013
Mark Rovetta
rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2017
Jennifer Olsen
rated it liked it
Sep 24, 2012
rated it it was ok
Mar 26, 2013
rated it really liked it
Mar 14, 2018
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »