Physics professor, best-selling author, and dynamic storyteller James Kakalios reveals the mind-bending science behind the seemingly basic things that keep our daily lives running, from our smartphones and digital "clouds" to X-ray machines and hybrid vehicles.
Most of us are clueless when it comes to the physics that makes our modern world so convenient. What's the simple science behind motion sensors, touch screens, and toasters? How do we glide through tolls using an E-ZPass or find our way to new places using GPS? In The Physics of Everyday Things, James Kakalios takes us on an amazing journey into the subatomic marvels that underlie so much of what we use and take for granted.
Breaking down the world of things into a single day, Kakalios engages our curiosity about how our refrigerators keep food cool, how a plane manages to remain airborne, and how our wrist fitness monitors keep track of our steps. Each explanation is coupled with a story revealing the interplay of the astonishing invisible forces that surround us. Through this "narrative physics," The Physics of Everyday Things demonstrates that - far from the abstractions conjured by terms like the Higgs boson, black holes, and gravity waves - sophisticated science is also quite practical. With his signature clarity and inventiveness, Kakalios ignites our imaginations and enthralls us with the principles that make up our lives.
"From start to finish, this is a fun and comprehensive introduction to many of the forces that govern how we interact with each other and the world around us.... Once again, Kakalios makes physics relatable, this time demonstrating how profoundly its principles enable our way of life." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Sure to awaken in readers a new awareness of science operating beneath familiar surfaces, this analysis also opens a historical perspective on the inventions that have reshaped the world - once dependent on little-understood steam engines, now exploiting ingeniously engineered semiconductors. A fascinating inquiry exposing hidden science." (Booklist)
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Makes Physics Fun and Relevant to Life
- Thomas J. Kuehn, Jr.