Strange Glow

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Strange Glow

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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. "Jorgensen walks readers through the history of humanity's interaction with radiation... [Strange Glow] is a solid, accessible work, but perhaps its most beneficial aspect is that Jorgensen equips readers with enough knowledge to make their own risk assessments, whether it is of a potential medical diagnostic test or a particular consumer decision."--Publishers Weekly "[U]nbiased, comprehensible information on radiation risk is hard to come by. Timothy J. Jorgensen's book Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation fills this gap, using history to explain how we encounter radiation and how it affects us... Jorgensen is a good storyteller, with an eye for compelling details."--Angela Creager, Science "In this spirited, thorough investigation into radiation, molecular radiation biologist Jorgensen ... delivers narrative science at its best, providing a propulsive story, each piece building on the next in a series of progressive revelations... A seismic piece of scientific inquiry, top shelf in narrative style and illumination."--Kirkus, starred review "We need to talk about radiation, because although we like to think we have shed our primitive fears and superstitions, this is one topic that has so far proved resistant to the march of rationality... The only antidote to irrational fear is knowledge, and Strange Glow imparts this in spades."--Peter Forbes, Independent "A long overdue and successful attempt to rationalise an emotional subject by telling its story in very human terms."--Dominic Lenton, Engineering & Technology "Strange Glow ... integrates detailed science and carefully illuminated medical statistics with the personal lives of scientists... The book's goal--'to present the facts about radiation as objectively and even-handedly as possible, leaving you to decide which aspects to fear'--is achieved with authority and style."--Andrew Robinson, Lancet "This book can be enjoyed as a sort of scientific QI--a string of interesting facts you can't wait to share with anyone who can be persuaded to listen... Jorgensen proves that there's no excuse for convoluted writing, however difficult the subject. His conversational style makes even the most complex equations seem attractive."--William Cook, The Spectator "[Strange Glow] is ... the story of human interaction with radiation--beginning with the one type that we can see (light) and continuing through radio waves, atomic blasts, cellphones, radon, microwave ovens, luggage scanners, the Fukushima accident, and on and on... Jorgensen avoids graphs and numbers, instead relying largely on entertaining--if alarming--anecdotes."--Nancy Szokan, Washington Post "What I certainly did not expect was to get caught up in the stories of the scientists [in Strange Glow]... Jorgensen has written a compelling book about the history of radiation... [His] gift is that he make us care about the scientists."--Jacqueline Cutler, Newark Star-Ledger "Strange Glow is a cracking good read, filled with fascinating stories... The first delight is that Timothy Jorgensen deals with radiation in all its forms ... in an accessible style."--John Gribbin, Literary ReviewPREFACE ix 1. Nuclear Jaguars 1 PART ONE: RADIATION 101: THE BASICS 2. Now You See It: Radiation Revealed 7 3. Seek and You Shall Find: Radioactivity Everywhere 38 4. Splitting Hairs: Atomic Particles and Nuclear Fission 51 PART TWO: THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF RADIATION 5. Painted into a Corner: Radiation and Occupational Illness 81 6. The Hippocratic Paradox: Radiation Cures Cancer 116 7. Location, Location, Location: Radiation Sickness 141 8. Snow Warning: Radioactive Fallout 164 9. After the Dust Settles: Measuring the Cancer Risk of Radiation 187 10. Breeding Season: Genetic Effects 206 11. Crystal Clear: The Target for Radiation Damage 234 PART THREE: WEIGHING THE RISKS AND BENEFITS OF RADIATION 12. Silent Spring: Radon in Homes 275 13. A Tale of Two Cities: Diagnostic Radiography 293 14. Sorry, Wrong Number: Cell Phones 310 15. Hot Tuna: Radioactivity in Food 326 16. Blue Moon: Nuclear Power Plant Accidents 346 17. The Things They Carried: Geopolitical Radiation Threats 374 Epilogue: N-Rays 397 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 407 NOTES AND CITATIONS 411 BIBLIOGRAPHY 453 INDEX 465

Szczegóły

Tytuł: Strange Glow

Autor: Timothy Jorgensen

Wydawnictwo: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691165035

Rok wydania: 2016

Ilość stron: 512

Oprawa: Twarda

Waga: 0.83 kg

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