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The Earth Machine: The Science of a Dynamic Planet
     

The Earth Machine: The Science of a Dynamic Planet

by Edmond A. Mathez, James D. Webster
 

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From the scorching center of Earth's core to the outer limits of its atmosphere, from the gradual process of erosion that carved the Grand Canyon to the earth-shaking fury of volcanoes and earthquakes, this fascinating book -- inspired by the award-winning Hall of Planet Earth at New York City's American Museum of Natural History -- tells the story of the evolution

Overview

From the scorching center of Earth's core to the outer limits of its atmosphere, from the gradual process of erosion that carved the Grand Canyon to the earth-shaking fury of volcanoes and earthquakes, this fascinating book -- inspired by the award-winning Hall of Planet Earth at New York City's American Museum of Natural History -- tells the story of the evolution of our planet and of the science that makes it work. With the same exuberance and expertise they brought to the creation of the Hall of Planet Earth, co-curators Edmond A. Mathez and James D. Webster offer a guided tour of Earth's dynamic, 4.6-billion-year history.

Including numerous full-color photographs of the innovative exhibit and helpful, easy-to-understand illustrations, the authors explore the major factors in our planet's evolution: how Earth emerged from the swirling dusts of a nascent solar system; how an oxygen-rich, life-sustaining atmosphere developed; how continents, mountain ranges, and oceans formed; and how earthquakes and volcanic eruptions alter Earth's surface. Traversing geologic time and delving into the depths of the planet- -- beginning with meteorites containing minuscule particles that are the solar system's oldest known objects, and concluding with the unusual microbial life that lives on the chemical and thermal energy produced by sulfide vents in the ocean floor -- The Earth Machine provides an up-to-date overview of the central theories and discoveries in earth science today. By incorporating stories of real-life fieldwork, Mathez and Webster explain how Earth is capable of supporting life, how even the smallest rocks can hold the key to explaining the formation of mountains, and how scientists have learned to read nature's subtle clues and interpret Earth's ever-evolving narrative.

Editorial Reviews

Bookwatch
A highly recommended text for any who would wonder what climates were like in past times.
Natural History
This book is your engaging and scientific tour guide.
Science Books & Films
By means of well-chosen examples taken from nature as we find it, they provide the best of contemporary approaches to, and conclusions about, the major issues.
Rotunda
This informative book... explores the major forces and factors that shaped and continue to shape our planet.
New Scientist - Simon Lamb
A handsome and well-written book, in full colour and jammed full of geological information about the earth.... I commend the authors for the thoroughness, accuracy and detail they give to so many parts of the Earth Sciences.New Scientist
Science Editor - Beth Norton
A thorough and yet easy-to-understand account of the origins of Earth... The authors definitely know their stuff... But true to their vocations as educators, as well as scientists, they do more than just educate in this volume; they also thoroughly entertain.
Choice - T. L. T. Gross
This book...is outstanding among the many fine books on the subject available today...A book of unusually widespread appeal. Highly recommended.
Science Editor
A thorough and yet easy-to-understand account of the origins of Earth... The authors definitely know their stuff... But true to their vocations as educators, as well as scientists, they do more than just educate in this volume; they also thoroughly entertain.

— Beth Norton

Choice - T.L.T. Gross
This book...is outstanding among the many fine books on the subject available today...A book of unusually widespread appeal. Highly recommended.
New Scientist
A handsome and well-written book, in full colour and jammed full of geological information about the earth.... I commend the authors for the thoroughness, accuracy and detail they give to so many parts of the Earth Sciences.

— Simon Lamb

Choice
This book...is outstanding among the many fine books on the subject available today...A book of unusually widespread appeal. Highly recommended.

— T. L. T. Gross

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231500876
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
06/05/2004
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
378
File size:
48 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

What People are Saying About This

Claude Allegre
The book Earth Machine : The Sience of a Dynamic Planet by E. Mathez and J. Webster is an excellent book for undergraduate students in science but also for a broader public interested in science. Well-documented, well-written, with accurate, modern and beautiful illustration. It seems to me an excellent book which I highly recommend.

Brian Skinner
Have you ever wondered how we know what climates were like in times past, why there are oceans on Earth but not on Mars or Venus, or how Earth's history can be read from a pile of rocks? If these or similar questions have crossed your mind, then the Earth Machine: The Science of a Dynamic Planet is the book for you. Written by Ed Mathez and Jim Webster, two of the scientists who assembled the recently installed Hall of Planet Earth (HOPE) in the American Museum of Natural History, the book is a lively and up-to-date presentation of what scientists know, and still don't know, about how our dynamic planet works.HOPE's life-sized displays are remarkable—the exhibit is unique and should not be missed—and the stories of how the displays were collected and brought to the museum are interspersed throughout the book. The stories emphasize that the study of "The Earth Machine" is a global venture. You may not have a chance to travel to the corners of the globe to see all of the evidence for yourself, so do the next best thing and let Mathez and Webster take you on a voyage of discovery through their engagingly written and beautifully illustrated book.

Meet the Author

Edmond A. Mathez is curator of petrology in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History and was chief curator of the Hall of Planet Earth. He is the editor of Earth: Inside and Out and The Encyclopedia of Gemstones and Minerals.

James D. Webster is curator of mineral deposits in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History and was associate curator of the Hall of Planet Earth.


Edmond A. Mathez is curator of petrology in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History and was chief curator of the Hall of Planet Earth. He edited Earth: Inside and Out and The Encyclopedia of Gemstones and Minerals.

James D. Webster is curator of mineral deposits in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History and was associate curator of the Hall of Planet Earth.

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