Viewing entries tagged with 'Heat'

Bill Streever Names the 5 Hottest Places in America

January 25, 2013

For people who think 90F is mild, Bill Streever put together a list of five of the hottest (and sometimes dangerous) sightseeing opportunities and activities, in the U.S.

#5 is the Brookhaven, NY Super Collider:

Scientists have found a way to create and measure temperatures present within moments of the Big Bang. How? By accelerating ions of gold and lead to close to the speed of light and then guiding those ions into a head-on collision. In 2012, the Brookhaven National Laboratory, an hour or so by train from New York City, achieved temperatures of 7 trillion degrees. This is far from the hottest temperatures of the Big Bang, which exceeded 1032 degrees (that would be a 1 followed by 32 zeros), but it is hot enough to end the lives of protons and neutrons, reducing matter to a quark-gluon soup with characteristics that surprised the best and brightest theoretical physicists. And now the collider near Geneva, Switzerland, often known as the CERN Collider (after the initials of the particle physics research organization behind the collider), may have exceeded that record. Visitors are not normally allowed into the collider tunnels, but both facilities offer tours and explanations of what they are doing. For thermophiles with a streak of geek, a collider visit should not be missed.

For the other four, check out Publishers Weekly.

Posted by waleslit on January 25, 2013  |  Permalink

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The Daily Beast Names Heat, by Bill Streever, a Hot Read

January 16, 2013

Heat: Adventures in the World's Fiery Places by Bill Streever (Little, Brown, Jan 2013) is one of this week's hot reads, according to The Daily Beast:

Bill Streever has now covered the full spectrum. As he did with his previous book, Cold, Heat reminds us that our survival depends on maintaining ourselves within a very narrow range of temperature, but Streever has gone ahead and surveyed the extremes, up to 7 trillion degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperature ever created in a laboratory, using supercolliders that recreate the heat just after the Big Bang. Heat changes things from one state to another, and to better understand the transformations of matter—or of the soul—Streever, following in the footsteps of the old-timer naturalists who came before him, goes on a personal journey to experience all types of heat. Just a six-degree change in our core temperature can give us heatstroke and kill us, and Streever tries to avoid that fate as he walks across Death Valley. He goes to the Kilauea shield volcano in search of molten rock, and gets to stick a hammer into lava, although in between flows the tip of his walking stick bursts into flame and he can’t stop walking lest his boots—and he along with them—melt. He gives passing mentions to physicists such as Antoine Lavoisier, whose theory of heat as liquid was wrong, but inexplicably leaves off every giant of thermodynamics such as Lord Kelvin, James Prescott Joule, Rudolph Clausius, and Sadi Carnot. Barefoot, he walks on burning coals, and learns that “in firewalking as in life, your mind has to be in a certain place.” But those temperatures don’t compare with those of the supercollider, which generates controlled heat hotter than the center of a supernova.  In such extreme conditions scientists study quarks, the building blocks of matter. Perhaps no amount of heat can reduce quarks into smaller pieces, and quarks are the end of the road. Then again, maybe not.

More of this week's hot reads can be found here.

Posted by waleslit on January 16, 2013  |  Permalink

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Starred Publishers Weekly Review for Bill Streever's Heat

December 14, 2012

Fantastic starred review for Heat: Adventures in the World's Fiery Places by Bill Streever (Little, Brown, Jan 2013) in  Publishers Weekly:

 

Streever's follow-up to his 2010 New York Times bestseller, Heat... (is) delivered in funny, matter-of-fact prose, as when describing his ineptitude at starting a fire ("If the world were populated by people like me, we would still be living in trees and eating fruit. Climate change would not be an issue"). In this worthy companion to Cold, Streever is able to mix the pop science, personal experiences, and historic asides into a fun and informative commentary on a subject that few people think about despite its inherent life and death implications.

 

 

Posted by waleslit on December 14, 2012  |  Permalink

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Heat scores great Booklist review

November 21, 2012

Bill Streever's second book, Heat: Adventures in the World's Fiery Places (Little, Brown, Jan 2013), scored a great pre-pub review:

"With engaging storytelling skill and deep scientific knowledge, Streever offers a fascinating exploration of one of the basic necessities of everyday life. A detailed notes section is as fascinating as the text."

The full review will be published in the Dec. 1 issue of Booklist.

Posted by waleslit on November 21, 2012  |  Permalink

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