According to Einstein's famous equation E=mc2, all matter can be converted to energy. It is everywhere and everything. In this valuable introduction, renowned expert Vaclav Smil explains its pivotal role in the evolution of both our planet and modern society. From its sources and uses to its flows and conversions, Smil maps energy's critcal importance in:
• The inner workings of the human body
• The Earth's biosphere and renewable resources
• Global warming and efforts to prevent it.
As an avid science buff with an interest in n-dimensional physics and structured energy flows (such as electromagnetics, Klein bottles, etc) I was very interested in seeing how this book would approach the subject. I was wondering if Vaclav would take the simplistic approach, akin to Stephen Hawkings' History of Time books or whether it would be a bit more in-depth, for beginners with some science background already under their belt. It seems Smil has taken the middle road, aiming to extend the Average Joe, and provide some light reading for sub-expert enthusiasts.
I was highly impressed by the scope Vaclav covered. Without going into the seriously high-brow stuff, he actually covers pretty much all the fundamental aspects of energy's travels through modes of expression, from it's most intangible right through to it's near-final form as ambient heat. This was all done with the aim of diagrams and semi-simplified text, instead of the advanced mathematics the brainiacs use instead of the English language.
Overall, this would be an excellent reference book for high school science students, or an adult who has a budding interest in the nature of the universe. If nothing else, you might finally understand why the power bill is so huge, and gain ideas on how to preserve energy and keep the bills down. See, science has it's uses.
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This is the tale, I swear it is true,
of a very strange creature called the Ar-chew
The tale begins at the foot of a tree
with a hollow so narrow it was tricky to see...
Three forest friends find a mysterious, mixed-up creature in a hushed, hollowed hideaway. What a fright they get when they try to come to the rescue!
With illustrations by Ali Teo and John O'Reilly
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