A Force of Nature by Richard Reeves

I promise a post to wrap up my reading habits of 2014, but I’ve got a couple of book reviews to finish up from last year first.

Subtitle: The Frontier Genius of Ernest Rutherford

Published: 2008

Genre: nonfiction, science biography

Length: 177 pages of story, 207 pages with appendices

Setting: mostly England, early 1900s

Interest: I saw it reviewed on Uncertain Principles and decided to read it to see if Mr. Curiosity would be interested in reading about a scientific genius.

Summary: Ernest Rutherford was a bit of a genius who became a physicist at the creation of the field of physics. He was instrumental in many experiments involving the nature of atoms, discovering alpha and beta radiation, the structure of the nucleus, and he was the first to artificially change one element into another. He worked and communicated with many of the big name scientists of the time. He was also gifted with the ability to take disparate information, put it into a comprehensive whole, and design and experiment to test his hypothesis.

Final thoughts: While I enjoyed the books (and all the cameos by other scientists I recognized), it’s not quite something for Mr. Curiosity. Just a little too dry for him at this point. I’ll give him five years and then try it on him. I was amazed how much Rutherford added to the scientific canon, and I didn’t even know it. I vaguely recognized the name (he’s got an element named after him), but I couldn’t have named his accomplishments. The work he did during the war was also interesting, considering what we’ve been learning this year about WWI and WWII.

Title comes from: Someone used the phrase in reference to Rutherford.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 95/100 in my 100 Book Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or subtitle to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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