The Secrets of Sand (Hardcover)

A Journey into the Amazing Microscopic World of Sand

By Gary Greenberg, Carol Kiely, Kate Clover

Voyageur Press, 9780760349441, 128pp.

Publication Date: September 21, 2015

List Price: 27.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


From the beach to the moon--explore the incredible hidden world of sand, seen through a microscope.

To the naked eye, the tiny particles that make up sand are less than inspiring. Under the microscope, however, it's a completely different story. Looking at sand under extreme magnification, we quickly find ourselves immersed in a new world of brilliant colors, organic shapes, and the stunning patterns of nature.

Every grain of sand is a snapshot in time: Each grain originated somewhere and is headed somewhere else. Biogenic sands often contain fragments of the hard tissues from marine organisms such as shells, corals, sponges, sea urchins, forams, and bryozoans. When these organisms die, the hard tissues that are left behind erode into some of the most spectacular grains of sand imaginable. In this book, deep-focus microscope photography, x-ray images, and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy reveal their secrets.

The Secrets of Sand is a virtual tour of sands from across North America. It shows their origins, the environmental forces that have acted upon them, and their journey from bedrock or invertebrate shell to the fine particles that, in countless billions, form our familiar beaches and dunes. It then moves on to an exploration of lunar sand, which has been formed under such alien conditions that it has no terrestrial counterpart. The Secrets of Sand is an amazing voyage of discovery in the ancient past--and the dynamic present--of the earth and our nearest neighbor.

About the Author

Dr. Gary Greenberg earned his doctorate in developmental biology from University College London and later joined the faculty at the University of Southern California. Co-founder of Edge Scientific Instrument Corporation, he developed high-definition 3D light microscopes, for which he has been issued nineteen US. patents. He is currently Research Affiliate at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy.

Carol Kiely is Adjunct Professor at Lehigh University and a lecturer in the Lehigh Microscopy School. Her latest work focuses on the study of lunar particles using a combination of light, scanning electron microscopy, and x-ray microscopy.

Kate Clover is Gallery Program Manager at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul. She currently serves as education advisor for the International Sand Collectors Society.

Praise For The Secrets of Sand: A Journey into the Amazing Microscopic World of Sand

"A stunning extra are images of the lunar dust particles that Kiely studies, including glassy spherules from extinct fire-fountain volcanoes." - Nature

'Beachcombers take heed: the real treasure is stuck to your soles. Sand . . . is dazzling, from star-shaped forams to egg-like ooids. . . A stunning extra are images of the lunar dust particles that Kiely studies, including glassy spherules from extinct fire-fountain volcanoes.'

"For less than the cost of a restaurant meal you can own this treasure." - American Conchologist

"A subject these authors have brought to light in such a marvelous way that their book ought to be in every school library. Where, one would hope, it would remain intact despite the overwhelming temptation to rip out a page or two." - (photography blog)