When Michael Faraday first introduced his Christmas Lectures over 100 years ago, he truly wowed the crowd. The man loved nature & science & eagerly presented his lessons in the most delightful manner and this book captures the fullness of his style. These lectures were originally intended for the youth of 19th century London but even todays savy students will be keen for this slender volume which delights, teaches and holds your attention. I am recommending this book as an example of a good read which brings elegant literature to the usually dry topic of science. Its exactly the type of book that will stir real interest in the subject, in young and old alike.
This book changed my life.
During my Junior year, I decided to change my major from English (future law student) to physics. I went online, read reviews and ended up buying this book, Feynmans lectures, Diracs quantum mechanics, and Bondiis relativity. To say that I look upon the summer spent reading these books fondly would be the understatement of a lifetime--I wish I could go back and learn it all again!
This book breathes science like few others. I only wish everyone (layman and professional) had an ear for the simple beauty which Dr. Faraday makes so plain.
From the Author:
From the primitive pine-torch to the paraffin candle, how wide an interval! between them how vast a contrast! The means adopted by man to illuminate his home at night, stamp at once his position in the scale of civilisation. The fluid bitumen of the far East, blazing in rude vessels of baked earth; the Etruscan lamp, exquisite in form, yet ill adapted to its office; the whale, seal, or bear fat, filling the hut of the Esquimaux or Lap with odour rather than light; the huge wax candle on the glittering altar, the range of gas lamps in our streets,-all have their stories to tell. All, if they could speak (and, after their own manner, they can), might warm our hearts in telling, how they have ministered to mans comfort, love of home, toil, and devotion.
Surely, among the millions of fire-worshippers and fire-users who have passed away in earlier ages, some have pondered over the mystery of fire; perhaps some clear minds have guessed shrewdly near the truth. Think of the time man has lived in hopeless ignorance: think that only during a period which might be spanned by the life of one man, has the truth been known.
Atom by atom, link by link, has the reasoning chain been forged. Some links, too quickly and too slightly made, have given way, and been replaced by better work; but now the great phenomena are known-the outline is correctly and firmly drawn-cunning artists are filling in the rest, and the child who masters these Lectures knows more of fire than Aristotle did.
The candle itself is now made to light up the dark places of nature; the blowpipe and the prism are adding to our knowledge of the earths crust; but the torch must come first.
Among the readers of this book some few may devote themselves to increasing the stores of knowledge: the Lamp of Science must burn. Alere flammam.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sorry about that... Accidental post. But I'ma finish it. So, I left off right after Sharp... <p> &real<_>anks - <p> Sharp - The Leaders of The Vice. Can plan raids, set FFAs, and decide punishments. There are 3. <p> Prism - The Deputies of The Vice. There are 2 of these. The Prisms can plan raids and set FFAs. <p> Hollow - Medicine Cat of The Vice. There are 5 of them. They not only heal, but also always participates in the fights. <p> Thorn - Members of The Vice. Everyone 10 moons and older is a Thorn, unless Sharp, Prism, or Hollow. All Thorns participate in battle and FFAs. <p> Creek - Apprentices of The Vice. Every Creek learns from each race available, 8 days each. [One week is a moon here.] The last 4 days of training is review. They occasionally participates in battle and FFAs. <p> Droplet - Kits, pups, and cubs that are too young to be a Creek. They do not participate in any battle, but will learn from Creeks over sparring. <p> May be added onto, so keep checking. The breaking of any rule will not be ignored! Please excuse any typos. <p> ~ Sharp Vex