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parsed(2024-11-05) - pubdate: 11/24
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pub date: 1730786400
today: 1721192400, pubdate > today = true

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Chain Reactions

The Hopeful History of Uranium

November 5, 2024 | Hardcover
ISBN: 9781639367443
$39.95
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This title will be released on Nov 5, 2024. Pre-order now.

Description

Tracing uranium's past--and how it intersects with our understanding of other radioactive elements--Chain Reactions aims to enlighten readers and refresh our attitudes about the atomic world.

Chain Reactions looks at the fascinating, often-forgotten stories that can be found throughout the history of uranium. From glassworks to penny stocks; from medicines to atomic weapons; from something to be feared to a powerful source of energy, this global history explores the scientific narrative of this unique element, but also shines a light on its cultural and social impact.

By understanding our nuclear past, we can move beyond the ideological opposition to technologies and encourage a more nuanced dialogue about whether it is feasible--and desirable--to have a genuinely nuclear-powered future.

About this Author

Lucy Jane Santos, author of Half Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium, is an expert in the history of twentieth-century with a particular interest in the cultural history of radioactivity. She is now the Executive Secretary of the British Society for the History of Science. Lucy lives in England.

ISBN: 9781639367443
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Published: 2024-11-05

Reviews

"Chain Reactions is an essential read for those interested in the history and future of our applications of the atomic nucleus. It is enlightening, engaging, tragic, funny, accurate, and optimistic, all at once. Lucy Jane Santos' research and analysis have uncovered nearly-forgotten archival information and cleanly extracted an authoritative reality from stories riddled with myth and controversy. I've engaged with nuclear history for the past 20 years, and yet still learned something new and important on each page." 

"A fascinating and richly detailed history charting an illuminating course through the story of one of the most useful and destructive elements."

"Uranium has lurked at the centre of some of our strangest visions and strongest fears in the modern world. Lucy Jane Santos has written a light, entertaining and revealing history of a heavy element."

"Full of surprising facts from a tumultuous past, Lucy Jane Santos offers an intriguing and entertaining story of a powerful element with revolutionary potential."

Praise for Half Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium:

"As Lucy Jane Santos observes in Half Lives, 'It is not hard to pinpoint exactly why it was this substance (which Curie referred to as 'my beautiful radium') that eventually became the focus of both public fascination and of entrepreneurial zeal."

"Shines a light on the shocking history of the world's toxic love affair with a deadly substance, radium. Unnerving, fascinating, informative and truly frightening."

"Santos tracks the history of a mysterious element in her sweeping debut. Radium is not just a scientific marvel, Santos writes, but has also had a profound impact on popular culture. Santos keeps the science accessible, and her survey is full of fun facts; this is sure to please scientific minds and history buffs alike."

"In telling this history, Santos is careful not to judge from the perspective of hindsight: the use of radiation in medicine wasn't quackery, it was supported by the best current scientific understanding. It's an entertaining and eye-opening tale of a strange time in the early history of modern science."

"A fascinating work of popular science and history looks back on a time when radium represented everything bright and promising about the future."

"Lucy Santos transports us back to a time when when diners cheerfully drank radioactive cocktails that glowed in the dark. Santos has a masterful grasp of a complex area of science history. A delightfully disturbing book that reminds us all of the age-old Latin maxim: caveat emptor."

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