My First Book of Electromagnetism

My First Book of Electromagnetism
Eduard Altarriba and Sheddad Kaid-Salah Ferron
Button Books

In their usual stellar way author Sheddad Kaid-Salah Ferron and illustrator Eduard Altarriba present another STEM topic – that of electromagnetism, broken down into bite-sized portions suitable for primary readers.

In our modern world it’s almost impossible to think of many things that work without either electricity or magnetism but what actually are these physical phenomena and how do they work together? Furthermore, what do these things have to do with light? These and many other questions are explored in this fascinating book.

To relate the story of electromagnetism and our developing understanding of it, the author takes us way back to circa 600BCE to when Thales of Miletus’s first experiment with magnetic attraction when by rubbing a small piece of amber on some fur, he noticed a strange force that could attract small pieces of straw. Moving on we encounter Benjamin Franklin, an 18th century American scientist who worked on the idea of electrical charge in his experiments.

Until the work of Ørsted and of Ampère people thought electricity and magnetism were unrelated; those two experimented during the latter part of the 18th and first half of the 19th century.

That brings us right through to Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell unifying the fields of magnetism and electricity to develop the theory of electromagnetism. Because of Faraday’s poor background, what was his original idea was left to Maxwell to write the four famous basic equations describing all electric and magnetic phenomena.

At intervals during this exciting account, readers can pause and do some experiments for themselves. These include making an electroscope to test for electric charge, creating a homemade battery and constructing a working motor.

It’s not simple science that’s described herein but it’s made accessible, engaging and exciting for children, and is presented in a way that will help them understand. Using his design background, Eduard has created enticing illustrations and helpful info-graphics to complement the text.

Recommended for budding scientists either at home or in school.

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