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Hans Christian Orsted: Reading Nature's Mind (Hardback)
  • Hans Christian Orsted: Reading Nature's Mind (Hardback)
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Hans Christian Orsted: Reading Nature's Mind (Hardback)

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£55.00
Hardback 768 Pages / Published: 23/05/2013
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Hans Christian Orsted (1777-1851) is of great importance as a scientist and philosopher far beyond the borders of Denmark and his own time. At the centre of an international network of scholars, he was instrumental in founding the world picture of modern physics. Orsted was the physicist who brought Kant's metaphysics to fruition. In 1820 his discovery of electro-magnetism, a phenomenon that could not possibly exist according to his adversaries, changed the course of research in physics. It inspired Michael Faraday's experiments and discovery of the adverse effect, magneto-electric induction. The two physical phenomena were later described in mathematical equations by J.C. Maxwell. Together these discoveries constitute the prerequisites for the overwhelming development of modern technology. But Orsted was also one of the cultural leaders and organizers of the Danish Golden Age (together with Grundtvig, Kierkegaard, and Hans-Christian Andersen, his protege), and made significant contributions to aesthetics, philosophy, pedagogy, politics, and religion. Orsted remarkably bridged the gap between science, the humanities, and the arts.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199669264
Number of pages: 768
Weight: 1642 g
Dimensions: 253 x 181 x 40 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In this powerhouse of a biography-cum-science-history, historian Dan Charly Christensen reveals Orsted as a brilliant, multifaceted figure - scientist, post-Kantian philosopher, educator and physical aesthetician. * Nature *
Best known for his epoch-making discovery of electromagnetism in 1820, the versatile Danish physicist H. C. Orsted was also a cultural icon and an eminent representative of the Kantian-Romantic movement in the early nineteenth century. Only with Christensens impressively rich and detailed biography are readers presented with a full picture of Orsted and his time, in which his scientific work is placed in its proper social and cultural context. Combining meticulous scholarship with readability, Christensens book is a magnificent contribution to the history of science and culture that for decades will remain the authoritative biography of Orsted. * Helge Kragh, Aarhus University *
Reading Nature's Mind is a well-written and beautifully illustrated book. It is extraordinarily detailed and leaves the reader with a through understanding not only of Orsted, but also of his contemporaries. * Nanna Katrine Luders Kaalund, Journal of BJHS *
Few people know more about Hans Christian Orsted than his "accidental" discovery of electromagnetism in 1820. Dan Ch. Christensen's definitive biography of Orsted, now available in English, will change this. Christensen documents the intellectual and philosophical preparations that led to Orsted's 1820 discovery and his response to the acclaim that followed. While this book is a "must read" for historians of science, its vivid descriptions of intellectual life in the early 1800s will be equally fascinating to lay readers. Read it and enjoy it! * Andrew D. Jackson, Professor of Theoretical Physics, The Niels Bohr Institute *

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