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Obscured by the handheld electronic devices that pervade our high-tech culture is the battery that powers them all. Technology journalist Schlesinger provides an illuminating historical account of a device whose enormous influence has been downplayed or misunderstood. The term battery is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who arranged Leyden jars in a manner akin to a battery of cannon. But possible early electrochemical batteries—the centuries-old Baghdad batteries—discovered by archeologists in the 1930s remain controversial, as the appendix details. Schlesinger (Spycraft) discusses the battery's evolution from the Italian Alessandro Volta's early 19th-century copper and zinc model through 21st-century advances in nanotechnology. In 1800 Volta constructed his famous pile of metal discs; touching each end generated a shock that could then be repeated. Yet the process remained mysterious for decades. While electric outlets replaced batteries in much of the 20th century, that process has recently been reversed, as laptop users surely appreciate. Combining enormous learning with a lively and entertaining style, this book deserves a wide general readership. 30 b&w line drawings. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From its witty subtitle (“sparked,” get it?), to its lively writing style, to its sheer abundance of fascinating and frequently surprising stories, this is a delightful book. The author acknowledges that batteries might not be the most instantly intriguing of subjects, but think about it: without batteries—without the ability to generate power, store it, and use it later—modern scientific research and experimentation would have been nearly impossible. Pick any subject, Schlesinger says, from home appliances to the battlefield, and you will eventually be led back to batteries. And you might think a battery is a pretty simple thing, but its invention was an amazing process of insight, experimentation, and blind luck. The development of a power-storage device pretty much paralleled the evolution of science from “experimental philosophy” (the seventeenth-century term) to a rigorous, highly methodical process. Batteries might be humble, but they are also essential and indispensable to life as we know it. One might say that this book is the technological equivalent of Mark Kurlansky’s Cod (1997). --David Pitt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
I really enjoy these kinds of books. As an EE/CSE it's fascinating to learn not only about the math and science used to develop the concepts we use, but also the men and women who... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cameron
The Battery: How Portable-Power Sparked a Technological Revolution is a good book to introduce people to the history of electric batteries. Read morePublished 7 months ago by TimothyMayer
This book is as much about the history of electricity, and the devices (ie. the telegraph) that required battery power. It is still a very interesting and informative book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Michael Reed
Great book on the history of the battery. I had trouble finding other books on the topic, so I was worried that as the only one this might be subpar, but it was very good. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Jennifer
You can only say so much about batteries. But if it can be said it is in this book. There is a disclaimer that apology if something was missed. Read morePublished 12 months ago by B. Chandler
It's hard to believe the lowly, little battery has had such a long and eventful history. All of the technology we take for granted today trace back to a curiosity that began with... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Robert Sherrod
The title of this book belies its value as a broad historical account of man's progress in electricity and electronics from ancient civilizations to the present era. Read morePublished 21 months ago by J. Wood
I was really looking forward to reading this book.
Unfortunately my enjoyment was totally ruined by the frequent and appalling technical errors. Read more
This was a very informative and entertaining book .I really enjoyed it. Ilearned about the history of batteries and how important they are.Published on September 10, 2013 by andrew Zuddans