A new book – ‘Measures of Genius: the scientists who gave their name to units of measure’ – by local author Alan Durden is being published by Bramber Press. It will be launched at St Mary’s House, Bramber, on Friday October 31.
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.
The book is 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.
The book launch takes place at 7.30pm on Friday October 31 at St Mary’s House, Bramber. Admission is free, and there will be a complimentary glass of wine and books available for sale at a £3 discount off the normal cost of the book, which is £14.99. You will need a ticket, however, which can be obtained by telephoning 01903 816205 or apply on the website www.bramberpress.co.uk
Report and picture contributed by St Mary’s House.