A Field Guide To Radiation by Wayne BiddleA Field Guide To Radiation by Wayne Biddle

A Field Guide To Radiation

byWayne Biddle

Paperback | July 31, 2012

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A comprehensive and accessible guide to understanding how radiation affects our everyday lives

Nuclear energy, X-rays, radon, cell phones . . . radiation is part of the way we live on a daily basis, and yet the sources and repercussions of our exposure to it remain mysterious. Now Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wayne Biddle offers a first-of-its-kind guide to understanding this fundamental aspect of the universe. From fallout to radiation poisoning, alpha particles to cosmic rays, Biddle illuminates the history, meaning, and health implications of one hundred scientific terms in succinct, witty essays. A Field Guide to Radiation is an essential, engaging handbook that offers wisdom and common sense for today's increasingly nuclear world.

Wayne Biddle won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the “Star Wars” antimissile project. He is the author of five previous books, including A Field Guide to Germs, winner of the American Medical Writers Association’s Walter C. Alvarez Honor Award, and Dark Side of the Moon, which was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s...
Title:A Field Guide To RadiationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 7.7 × 5.1 × 0.8 inPublished:July 31, 2012Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143121278

ISBN - 13:9780143121275

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice Book This is an informative book regarding radiation in general. It has short chapters with useful information described in simple language for general public to understand. It covers topics from natural and man maid radioactive elements, different types of radiation such as alpha, beta, gamma and neutron and their effects. It also gives information about radiation effects on population globally from the days of nuclear testing to present day accidents. It is a nice book for the public to read. It provides knowledge regarding radiation otherwise not understood. I recommend it for sure.
Date published: 2013-09-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fills a Void ... Except for One Thing A book like this one can be very useful in that it can inform members of the general public about the nature, sources, uses and hazards of ionizing radiation along with the terminology used in that field. In order to appeal to a broad readership, such a book should be friendly, chatty and as lively as possible while also being factual and objective in the information that it contains. In my opinion, this book hits the mark on the former objectives but, unfortunately, falls short regarding some of the latter ones. On the positive side, the author provides much information in a very engaging and readable prose; many useful concepts and details have been presented, e.g., half-lives, dose rates, dosimetric quantities, etc. Unfortunately, I did find some errors, e.g., page 37: “... it takes ... more than three feet of concrete to stop beta particles”. Wrong! Also, some sections are misleading, e.g., linear no-threshold (LNT) is currently only a hypothesis and not a universal law as the author seems to insinuate; there have never been any scientific proofs of LNT but it is still adopted by regulatory agencies for conservative purposes. But much worse, the author makes several statements throughout the book that clearly show his negative bias towards the nuclear field. Having spent over three decades working in that field as a physicist specializing in dosimetry, I found these statements in bad taste and, in some cases, quite infuriating. Despite these shortcomings, the book does contain much information and I do believe that it addresses a need for the general public. That is why I gave it the above rating. In my opinion, this book may be read by those with a science background since they should be able to weed out the unnecessary negative bias, and also by interested general readers so long as they ignore any of the author’s statements that stray from objectivity.
Date published: 2013-02-01

Editorial Reviews

“One big problem with man-made radiation: It isn’t going away any time soon. Even if all nuclear reactors were halted and decommissioned tomorrow, the radioactive material that fueled them would remain deadly for tens of thousands of years. So, it’s best to get used to it. In A Field Guide to Radiation, Wayne Biddle provides an overview of man-made radiation, decoding the terminology and helping readers to understand the difference between beryllium and beta particles (the former being relatively benign).”—The Washington Post“Witty, succinct and handily organized in an A–Z format.”—Nature“An indispensable volume for every library. . . . A very readable mini-encyclopedia.”—Booklist