The Spinning Magnet: The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World - and Could Destroy It, by Alanna Mitchell
Alanna Mitchell's globe-trotting history of the science of electromagnetism and the Earth's magnetic field - up to the latest indications that the North and South Poles may soon reverse, with apocalyptic results - will soon change the way you think about our planet.
Mitchell's introduces intriguing characters - from the thirteenth-century French investigations into magnetism and the Victorian-era discover that electricity and magnetism emerge from the same fundamental force to the latest research.
She explores indications that the Earth's magnetic force field is decaying faster than previously thought. When the poles switch, a process that takes many years, the Earth is unprotected from solar radiation storms that would, among other disturbances, wipe out much and possible all of our electromagnetic technology.
Navigation for all kinds of animals is disrupted without a stable, magnetic North Pole. But can you imagine no satellites, no Internet, no smartphones - maybe no power grids at all?
“[Mitchell] makes vivid the process of science … A complex, well-told account of ‘this spinning magnet we live on.’” - Kirkus Reviews
“Captivating scientific history… an invaluable contribution to the popular science shelf.” - Booklist