Author: Paul Sen (Downing 1980)
Publisher: William Collins
A compulsively readable account of the extraordinary people, battling internal demons and external adversaries, who discovered the laws of thermodynamics and the science of heat, and brought about a scientific revolution.
The laws of thermodynamics govern everything from the behaviour of atoms to that of living cells, from the engines that power our world to the black hole at the centre of our galaxy. Not only that, but thermodynamics explains why we must eat and breathe, how the lights come on, and ultimately how the universe will end. The people who decoded its laws came from every branch of the sciences – they were engineers, physicists, chemists, biologists, cosmologists and mathematicians.
Their discoveries, set over two hundred years, kick-started the industrial revolution, changed the course of world wars and informed modern understanding of black holes. This book captures the thrill of discovery and the power of revolutionary science to change the world forever.