Zapped: From Infrared to X-rays, the Curious History of Invisible Light

Zapped: From Infrared to X-rays, the Curious History of Invisible Light

by Bob Berman


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How much do you know about the radiation all around you?

Your electronic devices swarm with it; the sun bathes you in it. It's zooming at you from cell towers, microwave ovens, CT scans, mammogram machines, nuclear power plants, deep space, even the walls of your basement. You cannot see, hear, smell or feel it, but there is never a single second when it is not flying through your body. Too much of it will kill you, but without it you wouldn't live a year.

From beloved popular science writer Bob Berman, ZAPPED tells the story of all the light we cannot see, tracing infrared, microwaves, ultraviolet, X-rays, gamma rays, radio waves and other forms of radiation from their historic, world-altering discoveries in the 19th century to their central role in our modern way of life, setting the record straight on health costs (and benefits) and exploring the consequences of our newest technologies.

Lively, informative, and packed with fun facts and "eureka moments," ZAPPED will delight anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of our world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316311304
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 08/08/2017
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 615,566
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Bob Berman, one of America's top astronomy writers, is the author of Zoom and The Sun's Heartbeat. He contributed the popular "Night Watchman" column for Discover for seventeen years and is currently a columnist for Astronomy, a host on Northeast Public Radio, and the science editor of The Old Farmer's Almanac. He lives in Willow, New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

Chapter 1 Light Fantastic 7

Chapter 2 Now You See It, Now You Don't 14

Chapter 3 The Green Planet and the Red Heat 26

Chapter 4 Hot Rays 39

Chapter 5 Ultraviolet Brings the Blues 46

Chapter 6 Danger Beyond the Violet 51

Chapter 7 Energy Rhythms 61

Chapter 8 The Exploding Sun 73

Chapter 9 No Soap 77

Chapter 10 Turning On and Tuning In 87

Chapter 11 The Speed That Destroyed Space and Time 93

Chapter 12 Microwaves Everywhere 103

Chapter 13 The Man with the X-ray Vision 112

Chapter 14 Rontgen Rays for Everyone 118

Chapter 15 What's in Your Basement? 126

Chapter 16 The Atomic Quartet 144

Chapter 17 Gamma Rays: The Impossible Light 155

Chapter 18 Cell-Phone Radiation 164

Chapter 19 Cosmic Rays 173

Chapter 20 Beams from the Universe's Birth 184

Chapter 21 Energy from Our Minds 191

Chapter 22 Ray Guns 198

Chapter 23 The Next Frontier: Zero-Point and Dark Energies 209

Chapter 24 Total Solar Eclipse: When the Rays Stop 216

Chapter 25 ETs May Be Broadcasting, but What's Their Number? 227

Chapter 26 Does Light Have a Bright Future? 236

Index 243

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