Description 
1 online resource (xiii, 212 pages) : illustrations 
Contents 
Mathematics and physics  Fourier's mathematics  The heat equation  Solving the heat equation  William Thomson and the infinitely long telegraph cable equation  Epilogue 
Summary 
"This book is a testament to the intimate, mutual embrace of mathematics and physics. It achieves that by telling the story of an historical event of tremendous impact upon society, both spiritually and technically  the mid19th century construction of the transAtlantic telegraph cable, which reduced the time to send a message across the ocean from weeks to minutes. The story of the cable actually begins decades earlier, at the start of the century, with the French mathematical physicist Joseph Fourier's development of the mathematics that the Scottish physicist William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) would use to analyze the electrical physics of the cable. The story of Fourier opens the book, that of Thomson completes it, and inbetween the reader will learn how to derive Fourier's secondorder partial differential equation for the flow of heat energy in matter, how Fourier solved the heat equation, how Thomson used Fourier's solutions to calculate the age of the Earth (imagined to be the result of the of an initially molten sphere of blinding brilliance) and, finally, how Thomson showed that the heat equation also describes the Atlantic cable. An epilogue describing the postThomson developments completes the book. All readers who have completed first courses at the level of APcalculus and APphysics will be able to read this book. This is a perhaps surprising feature of the book, as the mathematics discussed is normally not encountered until the second year (or even later) of collegelevel work. This book shows that, in fact, the technical material is fully graspable by a college freshman. Unlike a pure technical book, readers will also find a lot of fascinating history in this book (including the bizarre story of how the English novelist Charles Dickens used the Atlantic cable to send a coded message  during his 1867 American reading tour  to avoid a careerdamaging scandal concerning his mistress)" Provided by publisher 
Bibliography 
Includes bibliographical references and index 
Notes 
In English 

Print version record 
Subject 
Fourier, JeanBaptisteJoseph, 17681830.


Kelvin, William Thomson, Baron, 18241907.


Fourier, JeanBaptisteJoseph, 17681830 

Kelvin, William Thomson, Baron, 18241907 

Heat equation.


Mathematical physics  History  19th century


Transatlantic cables  History


Telegraph cables  History


SCIENCE  Mechanics  Thermodynamics.


Heat equation


Mathematical physics


Telegraph cables


Transatlantic cables

Genre/Form 
History

Form 
Electronic book

ISBN 
9780691199948 

0691199949 
