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Editorial Reviews

The bizarre: Early 20th-century American doctor Duncan MacDougall used a balance to measure the weight lost when a soul departs from a dead man. The brilliant: After fruitless attempts to measure heat, scientists posit an immaterial entity known as "energy".

Len Fisher, a University of Bristol scientist, is equally at home in humor as he is in science. His earlier How to Dunk a Doughnut is universally praised as a fun and accurate peek into the life of the scientific mind. Now, in Weighing the Soul, Fisher looks into the topsy-turvy, anti-common-sense route by which many key scientific discoveries have been made. Ably performed by Clinton Wade, this audiobook will delight scientific professionals and novices alike.

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the IgNobel Prize in physics and the 2004 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, Len Fisher showed just how much fun science can be in his enthusiastically praised debut, How to Dunk a Doughnut. In this new work, he reveals that science sometimes takes a path through the ridiculous and the bizarre to discover that Nature often simply does not follow common sense.

One experiment, involving a bed, platform scales, and a dying man, seemed to prove that the soul weighed the same as a slice of bread. But other, no less fanciful experiments and ideas led to the fundamentals of our understanding of movement, heat, light, and energy, and such things as the discovery of electricity, and the structure of DNA; improved engines; and the invention of computers. As in his previous book, Fisher uses personal stories and examples from everyday life, as well as humor, to make the science accessible. He touches on topics from lightning to corsets and from alchemy to Frankenstein and water babies, but he may not claim the last word on the weight of the soul!

©2012 Jonathan Fenby (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“With wry wit and feline curiosity, he puts the fizz in physics.” (Entertainment Weekly)

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