Sand by Michæl Welland
The Never-Ending Story

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From individual grains to desert dunes, from the bottom of the sea to the landscapes of Mars, and from billions of years in the past to the future, this is the extraordinary story of one of nature's humblest, most powerful, and most ubiquitous materials. Told by a geologist with a novelist's sense of language and narrative, Sand examines the science—sand forensics, the physics of granular materials, sedimentology, paleontology and archaeology, planetary exploration—and at the same time explores the rich human context of sand. Interwoven with tales of artists, mathematicians, explorers, and even a vampire, the story of sand is an epic of environmental construction and destruction, an adventure in staggering scales of time and distance, yet a tale that encompasses the ordinary and everyday. Sand, in fact, is all around us—it has made possible our computers, buildings and windows, toothpaste, cosmetics, and paper, and it has played dramatic roles in human history, commerce, and imagination. In this luminous, kinetic, revelatory account, we do indeed find the world in a grain of sand.

About Michæl Welland

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Michael Welland is a geologist who has worked around the world in the energy industry. He is a fellow of the Geological Societies of America and London and the Royal Society for the Arts and Commerce.
Published January 15, 2009 by University of California Press. 360 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sand


This list is by no means meant to be exhaustive but will give you a flavor of some of the topics discussed in ‘Sand’: fundamental materials (building stone, glass, aggregates, etc.) the concept of sand as a powerful metaphor in thought and storytelling (e.g., very large numbers and very small t...

Jan 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Sand: The Never-Ending Story

Science News

Sure, around 70 percent of the 1 billion or so sand grains born around the world each second are grains of quartz — bits of plain old silicon dioxide that have eroded from rocks such as the granites that make up Earth’s mountains.

Feb 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Sand: The Never-Ending Story

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