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Ep. 4: Giant Telescopes and Fusion Power (Bill Bryson's Appliance of Science)

Length: 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A giant telescope built by a wealthy Irish landlord during the potato famine and a model of an object that the British media claimed had re-created the sun. Bill tells the stories behind the mirror from the great Rosse telescope and the model of the Harwell controlled Zero Energy Thermonuclear Assembly (ZETA), with the help of Alison Boyle who is the Keeper of Science Collections at the Science Museum. Both objects tell about the pursuit of science and the quest for fame and publicity.
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Really enjoyable series

This series is very enjoyable and the experts that Bill Bryson talks to really ties the different objects together really well. Well worth the listen

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  • EvaGM
  • 10-05-18

Light and entertaining.

An easy listen, garnished with entertaining anecdotes about the people behind these scientific achievements. Can't award the five stars because the host and guests sound a bit too much like primary school teachers making things very, very simple for children to understand. I personally wouldn't have minded a bit more technical detail; on the other hand, the historical context is well presented.