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MEASURES OF GENIUS: the scientists who gave their name to units of measure

Alan Durden


Familiar terms such as watt, volt, amp and hertz, are used in everyday language. They honour the work of great scientists, but who are these people? What did they do? Why was their work important? Most people have heard of James Watt, and associate him with the steam engine, but how many know anything about Alessandro Volta, André-Marie Ampère or Heinrich Hertz?

MEASURES OF GENIUS answers these questions and more by providing a fascinating insight into the life and work of the scientists who had units of measure named after them. Taking each scientist in chronological order, the book traces some of the key developments in physical science – astronomy, electricity and heat – during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It also shows how those units form a coherent system of measurements – the metric system (SI) – which has been developed over the last two centuries.

A highly readable and comprehensive account of the lives and work of fourteen scientists who, between them, helped shape the world we live in.

It is the story of the quest for understanding the forces that bind the universe together and how that understanding has changed all our lives.


490 pp             ISBN 978 1 905206 15 5       £14.99 Online price £11.99


"Wow, what a book! Its 450 pages make fascinating reading and I found it hard to put it down. It gave me an insight into the lives of more than a dozen of the great scientists whose names are now in household use - such as Volta, Watt and Celsius.
To read how those scientists observed, questioned, experimented and calculated in areas that were uncharted until their day was truly remarkable - mind blowing in many respects - yet the book is written in a very understandable and readable way." John Hicks

Preview Contents

Preview introduction and chapter 1

Preview chapter 8 - Ampère

© Bramber Press, St. Mary's House, Bramber, West Sussex, UK, BN44 3WE           last updated 17/11/2014