The Riddle of the Compass: The Invention that Changed the World
Harcourt, 2002 - 178 pages
A fascinating account that takes us from ancient China to renaissance Italy to everywhere today, by the bestselling author of Fermat's Last Theorem. Annotation. Bestselling science writer Amir Aczel uncovers the fascinating story of the invention of the compass and its impact on the world. Amir D. Aczel, the distinguished science writer, turns detective as he uncovers the fascinating story of the invention of the compass. It's a fabulous tale of Chinese lodestones directing the building of palaces and ancient mariners following the flights of birds to reach their destinations. The arrival of the compass in Europe and an understanding of its potential revolutionized trade in the Mediterranean and ushered in the great Age of Exploration. Tracking down the roots of the compass and telling the story of navigation through the ages, Aczel instructs and charms as never before. Amir Aczel is known for his ability to write delightful books about hard topics in math and science. And this is the book he was born to write. Raised on ocean liners by his ship's captain father, the young Aczel stood at the helm and steered ships through the Mediterranean. His experience adds depth and resonance to the telling of this terrific story.