• Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field

  • How Two Men Revolutionized Physics
  • By: Nancy Forbes, Basil Mahon
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (227 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Two of the boldest and most creative scientists of all time were Michael Faraday (1791-1867) and James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879). This is the story of how these two men - separated in age by 40 years - discovered the existence of the electromagnetic field and devised a radically new theory which overturned the strictly mechanical view of the world that had prevailed since Newton's time. 

The authors, veteran science writers with special expertise in physics and engineering, have created a lively narrative that interweaves rich biographical detail from each man's life with clear explanations of their scientific accomplishments. Faraday was an autodidact, who overcame class prejudice and a lack of mathematical training to become renowned for his acute powers of experimental observation, technological skills, and prodigious scientific imagination. James Clerk Maxwell was highly regarded as one of the most brilliant mathematical physicists of the age. He made an enormous number of advances in his own right. But when he translated Faraday's ideas into mathematical language, thus creating field theory, this unified framework of electricity, magnetism and light became the basis for much of later, 20th-century physics.

©2014 Nancy Forbes and Basil Mahon (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field

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Amazing narration of an incredibly well told story

I've read several books about both Faraday and Maxwell, but this one is by far the best. it's probably worthwhile to get both the audio and ebook version for the images, but the narration is so good that you'll want to listen to it.

11 people found this helpful

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Highly Recommended

This is a great book for anyone who wants to understand the revolution in physics that occurred in the early 20th century. It really all started with Faraday and Maxwell in the 19th century. The book not only gives a historical account of these two giants and their colleagues but also attempts to provide details of their scientific contributions. Faraday’s. accomplishments are much more accessible. Trying to explain Maxwell’s equations and their significance more difficult. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

4 people found this helpful

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A Must read for HAM operators!

HAM operators will find this fascinating. The Faraday box and magnetism will entrance but Maxwell being understood is a real accomplishment.

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great book much more than the title implies

this book is a very refreshing dive into the lives and achievements of two of the most influential scientists ever. loved it

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A Wonderful Story of Two Great Men

I wanted to learn more about Maxwell and how he inspired Einstein. I learned so much more than that. it is gratifying to have learned about the brilliance and character of Faraday and Maxwell. Also, the authors did as well as could be at explaining some of the science in an audiobook.

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I'm definitely on team Faraday

Going into this book as someone who has no educational background in any advance sciences I found it fairly easy to follow and very interesting. I noticed that I could relate more with Faraday and his experimental spirit than the studiousness of Maxwell. The first half of the book flew by, then once it started talking about Maxwell I lost interest for a while as they talked about his early life. Although as soon as they got back to the theories of electricity I couldn't put it down! for anyone interested in electricity I would highly recommend this one.

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E&M Development

I now see why Einstein had pics of Faraday and Maxwell together in his office.

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Great and interesting read about 2 giants

I have learned much of Faraday and Maxwell in school, but knew little of their story and specific roles in the development of EM Theory. This book strikes the perfect balance between technical accuracy and literary flow - it's very interesting (even for a professional scientist like myself), but also an enjoyable read for non-science folk who are so inclined. The sheer genius of Maxwell cannot be overstated, and the full scope of his accomplishments are still difficult to comprehend in the present day. Our present world would be very different without his contributions. One can say that Maxwell was a greater contributor to Einstein than Newton - no exaggeration. Highly recommended.

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Accent killed it for me

Switching into the Scottish accent whenever quoting somebody from Scotland made the book very difficult to listen to. I'll just go for the book. Very interesting subject matter though.

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wonderful story, but Ch 12, 14, 16 pdfs missing?!

Solid, informative review of the historical context and development of Faraday's experimental data concerning electricity and magnetism, and how it neatly fit with Maxwell's genius. I loved detail re his various efforts to give theoretical edifice to Faraday's postulated curved lines of force, and the ultimate use of vectors to depict those lines mathematically. I only wish the audio book included the pdfs when referenced in the text!!