The Chemical History of a Candle

By Michael Faraday

With Introductions by E.N. da C. Andrade and  Sir Arthur Thomson



Cherokee Publishing Company, 1993                Out of print
158 pages; paperback; $15.00

 

Description

Michael Faraday, perhaps the greatest experimental scientist of all time, essentially created the science of electrochemistry.  He laid the foundations of the electric power industry, discovered electromagnetic induction, and converted electrical force into mechanical force.  Faraday also developed the first electric motor, the electric generator, and the dynamo.  Also a brilliant theorist, Faraday developed the concept that magnetism was one of the fundamental forces of nature.  He was the principal architect of the classical field theory later developed by Maxwell and Einstein. 

The lectures in this book were addressed to a group of young people at the Royal Institution in London in 1860.  Faraday chose “The Chemical History of a Candle” as his subject because, he explained, “There is not a law under which this universe is governed which does not come into play and is not touched upon in these phenomena.”

With clarity and eloquence Michael Faraday opens the door to the mysterious world of chemistry and makes it come excitingly alive.  The wonderful thing about his approach is that, from beginning to end, it remains with the observed phenomena and never enters into hypothetical conjectures.  These lectures are a prime example of experimental science at its best.

Contents

Introduction

Foreword

Lectures:

  1. A Candle:  Source of the Flame
  2. A Candle: Brightness of the Flame
  3. Products: Water from Combustion
  4. Hydrogen in the Candle
  5. The Nature of the Atmosphere
  6. Respiration and its Analogy to the Burning Candle

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