This is an interesting, rather quirky little book, written by a great expert in the so-called ‘external’ magnetic field –that is, the field generated above the Earth’s surface. Its five chapters are entitled ‘Nature’s Magnetism’, ‘Vistas of lives in the fields’, ‘Sailing the magnetic seas in calm storms’, ‘Umbrella for magnetic storms’, and ‘Harvesting the fields’, which I think gives a good indication of the flavour. Chapter 1 is a lovely introduction to the subject of magnetism, with some history, and the basic definitions and physics needed to proceed. Chapter 2 covers how rocks acquire magnetic fields, the uses and...

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