Electricity and Magnetism: A Historical Perspective

All students of physics need to understand the basic concepts of electricity and magnetism. Electricity and magnetism is central to the study of physics, and central to understanding the developments of the last two hundred years of not just science, but technology and society in general. But the core of electricity and magnetism can be difficult to understand - many of the ideas are counterintuitive and difficult to appreciate. This volume in the Greenwood Guides to Great Ideas in Science series traces the central concepts of electricity and magnetism from the ancient past to the present day, enabling students to develop a deeper understanding of how the science arose as it has.

The volume examines the work of many of the most important scientists of the past: Benjamin Franklin and his fluid theory of electricity, James Clerk Maxwell and the development of the theory of electromagnetism, Albert Einstein and his special theory of relativity, which arose from debates over Maxwell's theory. Electricity and Magnetism also examines the importance of the scientific research to modern technology - radio and television, computers, and light and power. Jargon and mathematics is kept to a minimum, and the volume includes a timeline and an annotated bibliography of useful print and online works for further research.


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Electricity and Magnetism: A Historical Perspective