Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold by Tom Shachtman

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In this engrossing scientific chronicle, a perennial paperback favorite, Tom Shachtman combines science, history, and adventure in the story of our four-centuries-long quest to master the secrets of cold. Now a documentary based largely on Shachtman’s acclaimed book promises to bring these exhilarating scientific accomplishments to a new audience. Underwritten by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and set to air on PBS and the BBC, the documentary was produced by British Emmy Award winner David Dugan, in collaboration with Meredith Burch of Meridian Productions in Washington, D.C.

Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold demonstrates how temperature science produced astonishing scientific insights and applications that have revolutionized civilization. It also illustrates how scientific advancement, fueled by fortuitous discoveries and the determination of individuals, shapes our understanding of and relation to the world.

About Tom Shachtman

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Tom Shachtman is an author, filmmaker, and educator.  He has written or co-authored more than thirty books, as well documentaries for ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS, and has taught at major universities.  Publishers Weekly lauded his most recent book, RUMSPRINGA: TO BE OR NOT TO BE AMISH (North Point Press/Farrar Straus) as “not only one of the most absorbing books ever written about the Plain People, but a perceptive snapshot of the larger culture in which they live and move
Published December 12, 2000 by Mariner Books. 272 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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He natters on about the process by which various European scientists strove to achieve Ultima Thule (a cold colder than deep space), the crude designs of the many early refrigerators, the drop-by-miserable-drop process of turning a gas into a liquid, and the petty bickering that riddled the commu...

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Publishers Weekly

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(Documentary filmmaker Shachtman gives proper kudos to Gabriel Fahrenheit and Anders Celsius.) Shachtman then turns to the evolution of the natural ice business in the 19th century, which allowed frozen food to be carried hundreds of miles and enabled individuals to preserve fresh food at home.

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