Mad Science: Einstein's Fridge, Dewar's Flask, Mach's Speed, and 362 Other Inventions and Discoveries that Made Our World by Randy Alfred is a compendium of important scientific achievements that go back centuries. The presentation is interesting and informative for a wide constituency of readers in the arts and sciences.
For instance, the author shows how the first electric light was produced in Roselle, New Jersey, through the use of overhead wires in 1883. Heading into darkness, on January 23, 1960, the Trieste lowered 7 miles beneath the surface to the deepest point on earth in the Marianas Trench.
Alfred shows how modern genetics was impacted when Mendel first read a paper on February 8, 1865. A few years later in 1887, Mach explained the idea of supersonic flow. In essence, shock waves form at supersonic speeds.
He researched the history of the steam powered engine by documenting that Thomas Newcomen invented a prototype on February 24, 1664. Years later, the inventor Alessandro Volta created the wet cell battery on March 20, 1800.
Modern medicine was hugely impacted when Robert Koch discovered the TB bacillus on March 24, 1882. A few years later, Felix Hoffman invented aspirin on March 6, 1899, according to Alfred.
Mad Science is an important work for scientists, students, teachers, geeks, non-geeks, journalists and a wide constituency of readers everywhere.
The presentation is interesting and engaging. In addition, this work could be employed by journalists for fact-checking purposes.
The book is well written and concise. The contents could usefully serve student projects.