A gripping narrative of nuclear mishaps and meltdowns around the globe, all of which have proven pivotal to the advancement of nuclear science.
From the moment radiation was discovered in the late nineteenth century, nuclear science has had a rich history of innovative scientific exploration and discovery, coupled with mistakes, accidents, and downright disasters. Mahaffey, a long-time advocate of continued nuclear research and nuclear energy, looks at each incident in turn and analyzes what happened and why, often discovering where scientists went wrong when analyzing past meltdowns. Every incident has lead to new facets in understanding about the mighty atom—and Mahaffey puts forth what the future should be for this final frontier of science that still holds so much promise.
“Mahaffey guides us through more than a century of atomic research, including misadventures with radioactive elixirs and long-forgotten accidents. The compelling tales unravel like slow-motion horror stories.”
“From clueless hunters wandering into caves teeming with radon-222, to fervid dreams of nuclear jets, and reactors bucking like steeds unused to human contact, Mahaffey keeps things appropriately dramatic. Truly valuable.”
“Mahaffey employs his extensive knowledge of nuclear engineering to produce a volume that is by turns alarming, thought-provoking, humorous, and always fascinating.”
– Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
Dr. James Mahaffey (Jim) holds a bachelor of science in physics and master of science and doctoral degrees in nuclear engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. During a 25-year career at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), he directed or worked on projects for the U. S. Defense Nuclear Agency, the U. S. National Ground Intelligence Center, the U. S. Air Force Air Logistics Center, Georgia Power Company, and other government and private industrial organizations, in such areas as nuclear power, non-linear analysis, digital systems design, and cold fusion. He directed a multi-million-dollar project at Georgia Power’s Plant Hatch to design and install a safety system after TMI. He left Georgia Tech to work in nanotechnology as Head of Advanced Research at Nanoventions Inc. in Roswell, Georgia, and later as Director of Technology for AIR2, a company with headquarters in Maryland. He is now a full-time writer and consultant. He has appeared on PBS NewsHour, on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Georgia Weekly,” and on numerous radio talk shows. Having lectured in Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Ireland on various scientific topics related to his research, he is considered to be a skilled public speaker and is easy to understand, as well as entertaining.
Dr. Mahaffey’s first book, ATOMIC AWAKENING: A NEW LOOK AT THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF NUCLEAR POWER (Pegasus Books, New York, July 2009), received wide critical acclaim. It has enjoyed worldwide sales, and is also available in Chinese translation (Shanghai Science and Technology Literature Publishing House, 2011).
In 2011, Facts on File published Dr. Mahaffey’s six-volume reference set for high schools and colleges, on nuclear energy.
His second trade book, ATOMIC ACCIDENTS (Pegasus Books, New York) was released in February 2014, and received Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, positive reviews from Booklist and Nuclear Street, and was the lead book in a feature review in Nature. Both Scientific American Book Club and The History Book Club purchased rights to include the book as one of their selections.
His latest trade book, and the third in the nuclear series, ATOMIC ADVENTURES (Pegasus Books, New York) was released in June 2017. All three books have been translated into Japanese and are available as e-books. ADVENTURES received a favorable review in the Wall Street Journal as well as in other publications worldwide.
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