A Matter of Degrees: What Temperature Reveals about the Past and Future of Our Species, Planet, and Universe

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9780142002780: A Matter of Degrees: What Temperature Reveals about the Past and Future of Our Species, Planet, and Universe

In a wonderful synthesis of science, history, and imagination, Gino Segrč, an internationally renowned theoretical physicist, embarks on a wide-ranging exploration of how the fundamental scientific concept of temperature is bound up with the very essence of both life and matter. Why is the internal temperature of most mammals fixed near 98.6°? How do geologists use temperature to track the history of our planet? Why is the quest for absolute zero and its quantum mechanical significance the key to understanding superconductivity? And what can we learn from neutrinos, the subatomic "messages from the sun" that may hold the key to understanding the birth-and death-of our solar system? In answering these and hundreds of other temperature-sensitive questions, Segrč presents an uncanny view of the world around us.

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Length and mass are measurements we understand intuitively, but temperature is fleeting and elusive. Why is it so hard to measure compared with other fundamentals? Why do living things require such a narrow range of temperatures to go about their business? How cold is deep space, anyway? Physicist Gino Segre knows how to keep interest flowing along; even when he's explaining the intricacies of small-scale physics, he takes time to ground it in real life. His scope is wide--from the beginning (and ending) of the universe to the history of life on Earth, little falls outside his purview. Yet the book touches on so many subjects of immediate interest to 21st-century humans (high fevers, sports medicine, and the next scheduled Ice Age, to name a few) that it's compelling even to those who don't care about the Big Questions. --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

Gino Segrč is professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania. An internationally renowned expert in high-energy elementary-particle theoretical physics, Segrč has served as director of Theoretical Physics at the National Science Foundation and received awards from the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. This is his first book.

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a wonderful synthesis of science, history, and imagination, Gino Segre, an internationally renowned theoretical physicist, embarks on a wide-ranging exploration of how the fundamental scientific concept of temperature is bound up with the very essence of both life and matter. Why is the internal temperature of most mammals fixed near 98.6? How do geologists use temperature to track the history of our planet? Why is the quest for absolute zero and its quantum mechanical significance the key to understanding superconductivity? And what can we learn from neutrinos, the subatomic messages from the sun that may hold the key to understanding the birth-and death-of our solar system? In answering these and hundreds of other temperature-sensitive questions, Segre presents an uncanny view of the world around us. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780142002780

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a wonderful synthesis of science, history, and imagination, Gino Segre, an internationally renowned theoretical physicist, embarks on a wide-ranging exploration of how the fundamental scientific concept of temperature is bound up with the very essence of both life and matter. Why is the internal temperature of most mammals fixed near 98.6? How do geologists use temperature to track the history of our planet? Why is the quest for absolute zero and its quantum mechanical significance the key to understanding superconductivity? And what can we learn from neutrinos, the subatomic messages from the sun that may hold the key to understanding the birth-and death-of our solar system? In answering these and hundreds of other temperature-sensitive questions, Segre presents an uncanny view of the world around us. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780142002780

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