Regular price: $28.00

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $28.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

An engrossing history of the science of one of the four fundamental physical forces in the universe, electromagnetism, right up to the latest indications that the poles are soon to reverse and destroy the world's power grids and electronic communications
A cataclysmic planetary phenomenon is gathering force deep within the Earth. The magnetic North Pole will eventually trade places with the South Pole. Satellite evidence suggests to some scientists that the move has already begun, but most still think it won't happen for many decades. All agree that it has happened many times before and will happen again. But this time it will be different. It will be a very bad day for modern civilization.
Award-winning science journalist Alanna Mitchell tells in The Spinning Magnet the fascinating history of one of the four fundamental physical forces in the universe, electromagnetism. From investigations into magnetism in 13th-century feudal France and the realization 600 years later in the Victorian era that electricity and magnetism were essentially the same, to the discovery that Earth was itself a magnet, spinning in space with two poles and that those poles aperiodically reverse, this is a utterly engrossing narrative history of ideas and science that listeners of Stephen Greenblatt and Sam Kean will love.
The recent finding that Earth's magnetic force field is decaying 10 times faster than previously thought, portending an imminent pole reversal, ultimately gives this story a spine-tingling urgency. When the poles switch, a process that takes many years, Earth is unprotected from solar radiation storms that would, among other things, wipe out all electromagnetic technology. No satellites, no Internet, no smartphones - maybe no power grid at all. Such potentially cataclysmic solar storms are not unusual. The last one occurred in 2012, and we avoided returning to the Dark Ages only because the part of the sun that erupted happened to be facing away from Earth. One leading US researcher is already drawing maps of the parts of the planet that would likely become uninhabitable.
©2018 Alanna Mitchell (P)2018 Penguin Audio
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ram Ramabhadran on 03-15-18

Super listening

What did you love best about The Spinning Magnet?

It is a unique book that deals with a scientific subject rarely addressed by other books--earth's magnetism. Although the author is not a scientist, he has superbly brought together developments in physics and geophysics and woven it as a story which includes great scientists of the past who contributed to the discoveries. The author actually visited many of the laboratories mentioned in the book and interviewed key scientists Thus, the book deals with a very interesting subject but also has a very human touch and humor.

What about P.J. Ochlan’s performance did you like?

The narration was pleasant, well paced and clear

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but I could not

Any additional comments?

I learned a lot of new things about terrestrial and celestial magnetism that I was unaware of despite having studied physics and despite keeping up with the developments in physics.

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2018 Audible, Inc