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Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation

Jorgensen, Timothy J.

Published by Princeton University Press
ISBN 10: 0691165033 / ISBN 13: 9780691165035
New / Hardcover / Quantity Available: 18
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New


Num Pages: 496 pages, 17 halftones. 8 line illus. BIC Classification: PDX; PDZ; PNRL; PSD. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 229 x 152. . . 2016. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780691165035

About this title:


More than ever before, radiation is a part of our modern daily lives. We own radiation-emitting phones, regularly get diagnostic x-rays, such as mammograms, and submit to full-body security scans at airports. We worry and debate about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the safety of nuclear power plants. But how much do we really know about radiation? And what are its actual dangers? An accessible blend of narrative history and science, Strange Glow describes mankind's extraordinary, thorny relationship with radiation, including the hard-won lessons of how radiation helps and harms our health. Timothy Jorgensen explores how our knowledge of and experiences with radiation in the last century can lead us to smarter personal decisions about radiation exposures today.

Jorgensen introduces key figures in the story of radiation--from Wilhelm Roentgen, the discoverer of x-rays, and pioneering radioactivity researchers Marie and Pierre Curie, to Thomas Edison and the victims of the recent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Tracing the most important events in the evolution of radiation, Jorgensen explains exactly what radiation is, how it produces certain health consequences, and how we can protect ourselves from harm. He also considers a range of practical scenarios such as the risks of radon in our basements, radiation levels in the fish we eat, questions about cell-phone use, and radiation's link to cancer. Jorgensen empowers us to make informed choices while offering a clearer understanding of broader societal issues.

Investigating radiation's benefits and risks, Strange Glow takes a remarkable look at how, for better or worse, radiation has transformed our society.

From the Back Cover:

"A thoroughly readable book about an important subject. The sometimes bizarre, sometimes brilliant story of the discovery of radioactivity and its effects on living things is told in an enlightening and entertaining way. I found it surprisingly reassuring."--Penny Le Couteur, coauthor of Napoleon's Buttons: How Seventeen Molecules Changed History

"Through stories and examples, rather than graphs and equations, this lucid book explains the discovery, benefits, and dangers of different forms of radiation, and it examines qualms about nuclear power, cancer treatment, possible radon in the basement, and extensive cell-phone use. Strange Glow is both a fine history and a deft elucidation of risk assessment."--David E. Nye, author of Technology Matters: Questions to Live With

"Strange Glow is an accessible book that presents a huge amount of information about radiation. It enables readers to make sound judgments about various kinds of radiation exposures, including the risks of living in areas affected by radioactive fallout. Useful to radiation experts and general audiences alike, the knowledge gathered here is enormous and full of insights."--Ohtsura Niwa, Fukushima Medical University

"Strange Glow is an extremely well-written book about the history of radiation and its many benefits and risks. Starting with the discovery of x-rays, Timothy Jorgensen explores how each radiation breakthrough was achieved and how we are exposed to radiation, both natural and man-made, in our daily lives. This book contains everything we might want to know about radiation but were afraid to ask."--Jay Burreson, coauthor of Napoleon's Buttons: How Seventeen Molecules Changed History

"This fascinating book is well written, entertaining, and informative. I don't know of another book that takes such a comprehensive look at radiation and it will enjoy a large and diverse readership."--William F. Morgan, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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