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Michael Faraday

The Life and Legacy of the Influential 19th Century Scientist Who Pioneered Electromagnetism
Narrated by: Scott Clem
Length: 1 hr and 19 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature.” (Michael Faraday)

"Without such freedom, there would have been no Shakespeare, no Goethe, no Newton, no Faraday, no Pasteur, and no Lister." (Albert Einstein, in a speech on intellectual freedom after fleeing Nazi Germany, October 3, 1933 )

On April 18, 1955, the phone of 38-year-old Life photographer Ralph Morse started ringing off the hook. By the end of the call, which came from a clearly keen but jittery Life editor, it was like Morse had downed a liter of the world's strongest coffee. The one and only Albert Einstein had died.  

Morse raced to Princeton Hospital, where Einstein had been admitted just three days earlier. He dipped into the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study and, using a case of premium scotch, persuaded the superintendent to unlock Einstein's office. Morse was able to compactly capture one of the most defining photographs of the man's life and his work. Viewers see the mound of journals and books strewn about on his desk, his pipe and tobacco tin serving as makeshift paper weights, and his blackboard, a wall of complex formulas and equations. It was in this very study that Einstein, perhaps the most celebrated genius in history, displayed the photographs of his five muses. Though only the framed portraits of Gandhi and a German composer have been pictured in Einstein's study, the faces of three other illustrious scientists are said to have once graced his walls. 

One of them was Michael Faraday, an endlessly luminous mind equipped with an unflagging hunger for knowledge, a hunger so ungovernable that not even poverty or social norms could stand in the way of his ambitions. Indeed, it was reportedly Einstein's expertise in the lives of Maxwell and Faraday, as well as his mastery of their work and accomplishments, that landed him his first job at the Swiss patent office after months of job-scouring. Moreover, Einstein's admiration for Faraday was so profound that when a friend gifted him a biography of his “hero” for his birthday, Einstein cherished it to the utmost degree. 

Needless to say, Michael Faraday, often hailed as one of the “greatest experimenters” to have ever lived, was in his own right an indispensable and boundlessly influential scientific pioneer. But what was it about Faraday, among so many other noteworthy scientists, that captivated Einstein, one of history's most fabled polymaths? 

Michael Faraday: The Life and Legacy of the Influential 19th Century Scientist Who Pioneered Electromagnetism examines the life and work that made Faraday one of history’s most important scientists. You will learn about Michael Faraday like never before. 

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

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Not enough discussion of electromagnetism

Much more of a non scientific biography than a science book. There was more science discussion in the second half, but it was cursory, and some of it focused more on electrolysis than electromagnetism.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful