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Comment: Clean cover, sharp corners, tight square binding, clean unmarked pages. There are no tears, creases or dog ears anywhere on the cover or the pages. Pages are intact and not marred by notes, underlining or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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The Chemical History of a Candle Paperback – December 1, 1978


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Cherokee Publishing Company (GA) (December 1, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877972095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877972099
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,412,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

One of the greatest experimental scientists of all time, Michael Faraday (1791-1867) essentially created the science of electrochemistry,developing the first electric motor, electric generator, and dynamo.

Michael Faraday: An Electric Personality
A major figure in nineteenth-century science, Michael Faraday (1791–1867) made immense contributions to the study of electricity and magnetism, discovering the laws of electromagnetic induction and electrolysis. His experiments are the foundation of subsequent electromagnetic technology. He also had a sense of humor. When the Prime Minister of England William Gladstone asked Faraday what the usefulness of electricity would be, Faraday famously replied, "Why, Sir, there is every possibility that you will soon be able to tax it!" In addition to being a great experimenter, Faraday had the gift of exposition for a popular audience, as seen in the books which Dover has reprinted, The Forces of Matter (2010), Experimental Researches in Electricity (2004), and perhaps his most famous single book for the general reader, The Chemical History of a Candle (2003).

It is reliably reported that Einstein had a photograph of Faraday on the wall of his study alongside portraits of Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell.

In the Author's Own Words:
"The world little knows how many of the thoughts and theories which have passed through the mind of a scientific investigator have been crushed in silence and secrecy by his own severe criticism and adverse examination: that in the most successful instances not a tenth of the suggestions, the hopes, the wishes, the preliminary conclusions have been realized." — Michael Faraday

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Michael Faraday was one of the most brilliant scientists in history, yet was largely self-taught.
Robert I. Hedges
To say that I look upon the summer spent reading these books fondly would be the understatement of a lifetime--I wish I could go back and learn it all again!
Brandon E. Wolfe
It's exactly the type of book that will stir real interest in the subject, in young and old alike.
K Rardon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By K Rardon on May 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
When Michael Faraday first introduced his "Christmas Lectures" over 100 years ago, he truly wowed the crowd. The man loved nature & science & eagerly presented his lessons in the most delightful manner and this book captures the fullness of his style. These lectures were originally intended for the youth of 19th century London but even today's savy students will be keen for this slender volume which delights, teaches and holds your attention. I am already recommending this book to our home school organization as an example of a 'good read' which brings elegant literature to the usually dry topic of science. It's exactly the type of book that will stir real interest in the subject, in young and old alike.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Brandon E. Wolfe on October 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book changed my life.
During my Junior year, I decided to change my major from English (future law student) to physics. I went online, read reviews (thanks Amazon!) and ended up buying this book, Feynman's lectures, Dirac's quantum mechanics, and Bondii's relativity. To say that I look upon the summer spent reading these books fondly would be the understatement of a lifetime--I wish I could go back and learn it all again!
This book breathes science like few others. I only wish everyone (layman and professional) had an ear for the simple beauty which Dr. Faraday makes so plain.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I enjoy reading physics texts, but I had never really enjoyed reading transcripts of lectures (in any subject). This book, however, was definitely worth the time and effort to read.

Even though most of the concepts are simple, basic physics, I still learned things. Most wonderful of all were the many times a lightbulb clicked on in my mind when I saw how simply and cleverly Faraday constructed his experiments. These guys really had it together.

Though somewhat devoid of helpful diagrams, the text of this work is often enough to give the reader a good idea of how Faraday was conducting his experiments and presentation. I think the biggest detractor is that you really have to slog through the work and use your imagination to figure out what he's describing.

My only wish is that I could have been there to see these lectures myself. Sounds like quite the demonstration.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Barbara A. Oakley on December 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so excited to get this book--I splurged the extra five dollars to get the most up-to-date edition. The book is 71 pages long and has 38 illustrations, so clearly the illustrations are a critical part of the book.

But none of the illustrations are actually included--where the illustration should be, it just says, for example [Illustration Fig. 30.] It's really a disappointment. If you go here: [the website won't post, but you can easily find it online], you'll find a copy of the book with all the illustrations--and the whole book is free.

Faraday is a genius. This edition of his seminal work? Not.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Michael Faraday was one of the most brilliant scientists in history, yet was largely self-taught. He was a modest and upright Christian, who, while he had no children of his own, particularly enjoyed lecturing to children. Many of these lectures were done at the holidays and became known as the "Christmas Lectures." The Christmas Lectures are still put on by the Royal Institution, and are now televised, by the way.

This book is an introductory treatise on the combustion of candles. If this doesn't sound interesting, think again. The book is actually a collection of transcripts of lectures given, and includes Faraday's diagrams on the experiments performed onstage. These were quite spectacular for the day, and all evidence points to him being an excellent and absorbing speaker capable of motivating people towards an interest in science. These lectures are great as they illustrate many basic chemical and physical processes and the common sense approach Faraday used to reason through difficult problems. As a prime example, please review the excellent discourse on nitrogen in lecture five.

Of course, given the audience these lectures were intended for, this isn't a mathematically or stoichiometry based book (largely, anyway), but is great at capturing the essence of the chemistry and physics of combustion. Some readers will be aghast at the cavalier way he treats some things (notably mercury vapor,) but much more is known now about these hazards.

One thing I really liked about the book, though some may not, is his insightful and colorful use of language: for instance, he describes capillary attraction as "the attraction of the hairs," and perhaps most colorfully, describes lycopodium as "the lightning of the pantomimes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Dziekan on May 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
A man with little formal education, Michael Faraday is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time and is also regarded as the Father of electrical engineering. During the Christmas Holidays of 1860 and 1861, Michael Faraday presented a series of six lectures before a Juvenile Auditory at the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

Albert Einstein stated that he considered Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, and James Clerk Maxwell as three of the most influential people in the history of science.

So what about the title of the book - "The Chemical History of a Candle". Does this mean that Michael Faraday is going to teach you how to put Yankee Candle out of business? No, but he does delve into chemical theory about how candles function, details of combustion, and how flames are categorized. He does all this with a rare enthusiasm and excitement about the often overlooked chemical nature of a so called "simple process".
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