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Books by Peter Adey

  • Air

    Peter Adey

    Product Code: BBMPC
    Paperback
    Air has always been essential to life, from the atmospheric composition that gave life to the forests and gigantic insects of the Carboniferous age some 300 million years ago to the air that fuels the most important technologies today. We are immersed in a great ocean of air; from internal combustion and jet engines to modern cities with artificial climates, air is remarkable because it is so widespread and at the same time so intimate. But by managing and manipulating air as a natural resource, humans have been taken to the limits of their survival at the extreme situations of high-altitude mountain peaks and the lows of subterranean worlds. Yet rarely are we aware of air and its incredible properties. Air is an innovative cultural and scientific history that focuses on our attempts to understand air, to engineer and grapple with it, to make sense of it and find meaning in it. For as essential as air has been to our philosophical, scientific and technological pursuits, Peter Adey shows that it is through air that the artistic and literary imagination has been lifted. Exploring the work of established figures such as Marie Curie, Joseph Priestley and John Scott Haldane, as well as lesser-known pioneers, and including perspectives from painting, literature and poetry, this richly illustrated book will appeal to anyone interested in the science as well as the culture of this pervasive, often unregarded yet vital substance.
    • £11.96
    • RRP £14.95
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  • Levitation

    Peter Adey

    Product Code: BBBOE
    Paperback
    Levitation tells the peculiar story of those who have dreamed, believed or practised levitation, whether they were successful or not. Levitation could be thought of best as a pre- and parallel history of aviation, but it is not really about flights of the aeronautical kind. Instead, the book tracks the long-standing belief that we could float relatively unaided. Early modern scientists believed in the force of levity as an opposing force to gravity. Traditional societies have held deep-rooted shamanic traditions of spirit- and dream-flight through storytelling. Ancient religious movements have long believed in the power of ascetic saints to hover in sublime ecstasy. Magicians and mesmerists have employed the tricks of stage, cinema and the enigma of Eastern traditions to convince audiences of their power to lift through thought alone. And science-fiction novelists and urban planners have speculated on floating cities hovering high above the earth. Many artists have experimented with levitation too, from the Surrealists to Yves Klein. In this book Peter Adey explores the idea of levitation within our cultural, scientific and spiritual lives. From science to illustration, poetry, philosophy, law, technology and a wider popular, spiritual and visual imagin-ation, Levitation casts the levitator as a far more vulnerable figure than we may have thought.
    • £15.89
    • RRP £20.00
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