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Sand and Silicon: Science that Changed the World

Sand and Silicon: Science that Changed the World

This is a story about sand and how science and silicon changed our lives. Over the last century science taught us to take this common material and make the products on which we depend - computer chips, solar cells and optical fibers. This book relates the underlying scientific di... read full description below.

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Quick Reference

ISBN 9780199640270
Barcode 9780199640270
Published 6 March 2012 by Oxford University Press (S3)
Format Hardback
Author(s) By McWhan, Denis
Availability Indent title (sourced internationally), usually ships 4-6 weeks post release/order

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  • $87.99 Wheelers price

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780199640270
ISBN-10 0199640270
Stock Available
Status Indent title (sourced internationally), usually ships 4-6 weeks post release/order
Publisher Oxford University Press (S3)
Imprint Oxford University Press
Publication Date 6 March 2012
International Publication Date 24 March 2012
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback
Author(s) By McWhan, Denis
Category Impact Of Science & Technology On Society
Popular Science
Condensed Matter Physics (Liquids & Solids)
Optics (Light)
Semi-Conductors & Super-Conductors
Number of Pages 160
Dimensions Width: 162mm
Height: 237mm
Spine: 15mm
Weight 432g
Interest Age 14+ years
Reading Age 14+ years
Library of Congress Sand, Silicon - Industrial applications - History
NBS Text Popular Science
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 553.622
Catalogue Code 243195

Description of this Book

This is a story about sand and how science and silicon changed our lives. Over the last century, science taught us how to take this most common material and create the products on which we depend. It allows us to determine the atomic structure of materials and to grow novel, new materials atomic layer by atomic layer. The principles of thermodynamics are used to transform sand into ultra pure silicon. Quantum mechanics gave birth to the electronic age and the computer chip in which dopants are precisely placed in ultra pure silicon. The absorption and emission and reflection of quanta of light, photons, underlies solar cells, light emitting diodes, radiation detectors and optical fibers. This book follows the history of these scientific discoveries and relates them to the products made from sand.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review This is an excellent book, a wide-encompassing experts overview that is warmly recommended. It is an important reminder that you cannot have the technology without the science; politicians please note. Chemistry World The book although pitched at a general science-literate reader, has the potential to act as a gateway to introduce the reader to more specialised topics. It is extremely well researched with excellent supporting references. I would certainly find it a useful text for entry-level researchers at our training schools. Andrew Taylor, Science & Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Where would the world be without sand? Pure and impure, heated and x rayed, in tiny crystals and huge quantities, sand is not only underfoot, but - as McWhan shows in drawing on four decades of scientific research - the most important substance in modern science and life. We rely on it in everything from our watches, cigarette lighters, submarine detectors, and filters to the computer chips that are literally the basis of the electronics revolution. Like books such as Coal, Cod and Salt, this book is an entertaining read in the genre of microhistory. Robert P. Crease, chairman of the philosophy department at Stony Brook University, author of World in the Balance: the Historic Quest for an Absolute System of Measurement.

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Author's Bio

Denis McWhan worked at many presitgious institutions over his forty year career including the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Bell Telephone Laboratories Inc., Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Grenoble, France and the U.S. Department of Energy, Brookhaven National Laboratory. He has published around 200 technical papers and has been awarded Fellow of the American Physical Society (1972), Bell Laboratories Distinguished Technical Service Award (1982), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1990) and the Arthur Compton Award of the Advanced Photon Source (2003).

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