How Everything Works: Making Physics Out of the Ordinary

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9780471748175: How Everything Works: Making Physics Out of the Ordinary

A user's manual for our everyday world! "Whether a curious layperson, a trained physicist, or a beginning physics student, most everyone will find this book an interesting and enlightening read and will go away comforted in that the world is not so strange and inexplicable after all." --From the Foreword by Carl Wieman, Nobel Laureate in Physics 2001, and CASE/Carnegie US University Professor of the Year 2004 If you didn't know better, you might think the world was filled with magic--from the household appliances that make our lives easier to the CDs and DVDs that fill our world with sounds and images. Even a simple light bulb can seem mysterious when you stop to think about it. Now in How Everything Works, Louis Bloomfield explains the physics behind the ordinary objects and natural phenomena all around us, and unravels the mysteries of how things work. Inside, you'll find easy-to-understand answers to scores of fascinating questions, including: How do microwave ovens cook food, and why does metal sometimes cause sparks in a microwave? How does an iPod use numbers to represent music? How do CDs and DVDs use light to convey information, and why are they so colorful? How can a CT or MRI image show a cross-sectional view of a person without actually entering the body? Why do golf balls have dimples? How does a pitcher make a curveball curve and knuckleball jitter about in an erratic manner? Why is the sun red at sunrise and sunset? How does a fluorescent lamp produce visible light? You don't need a science or engineering background to understand How Everything Works, all you need is an active curiosity about the extraordinary world all around you.

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Recensione:

Books on how things work often adopt a format that gives equal space to each device described. So the flush toilet, say, might get the same number of words devoted to it as the internal-combustion engine, even though the latter is far more complicated. In How Everything Works: Making Physics Out of the Ordinary, Louis Bloomfield avoids that trap by taking just as long as he needs to explain things. And that's exactly what he does, explain things, his chapters having such titles as "Things That Involve Light," "Things That Move With Fluids, "Things That Involve Chemical Physics" and so forth. The result is something of a cross between those familiar (and often less-than-satisfying) how-it-works guides and a full-blown physics textbook.
 
Although Bloomfield demonstrates considerable knowledge about the history of science and technology, his aim is clearly to explain how things work rather than how they were developed. Thus his treatment of the transistor very appropriately jumps straight to the field-effect transistor, which is fairly easy to understand, without first explaining its more complex predecessor, the bipolar transistor.
 
Bloomfield also shows excellent judgment about how far to dive in. (One exception here is his cursory treatment of magnetic resonance imaging, a technology that is admittedly very difficult to explain in anything other than a superficial manner.) His section on the microwave oven, for example, helped me finally to understand how a cavity magnetron works. Bloomfield also straightened me out on the difference between a turbojet engine (above, right) and a turbofan engine (left), a distinction I hadn't at all appreciated. And he even clued me in on why the front fork of a child's bike isn't curved forward. All but the most hard-core technophile should find many similar moments of enlightenment in this delightfully informative book.--David Schneider

L'autore:

Louis A. Bloomfield is Professor of Physics at the University of Virginia. He also works extensively with professional societies and the media to explain physics to the general public. He maintains a website where he answers a wide range of questions on physics. Bloomfield received his Ph.D. from Stanford and was a postdoctoral fellow at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Bloomfield has been widely recognized for his teaching of physics and science to thousands of non-science students at the University of Virginia and is the recipient of a 1998 State of Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award and the 2001 Pegram Medal of the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society. He is the author of almost 100 publications in the fields of atomic clusters, autoionizing states, high-resolution laser spectroscopy, nonlinear optics, computer science, and general science literacy, and of the successful introductory textbook How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life, 3rd Edition (Wiley 2006).

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Louis A. Bloomfield
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Descrizione libro John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United States, 2006. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 1. Auflage. 282 x 216 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A user s manual for our everyday world! Whether a curious layperson, a trained physicist, or a beginning physics student, most everyone will find this book an interesting and enlightening read and will go away comforted in that the world is not so strange and inexplicable after all. --From the Foreword by Carl Wieman, Nobel Laureate in Physics 2001, and CASE/Carnegie US University Professor of the Year 2004 If you didn t know better, you might think the world was filled with magic--from the household appliances that make our lives easier to the CDs and DVDs that fill our world with sounds and images. Even a simple light bulb can seem mysterious when you stop to think about it. Now in How Everything Works, Louis Bloomfield explains the physics behind the ordinary objects and natural phenomena all around us, and unravels the mysteries of how things work. Inside, you ll find easy-to-understand answers to scores of fascinating questions, including: How do microwave ovens cook food, and why does metal sometimes cause sparks in a microwave? How does an iPod use numbers to represent music? How do CDs and DVDs use light to convey information, and why are they so colorful? How can a CT or MRI image show a cross-sectional view of a person without actually entering the body? Why do golf balls have dimples? How does a pitcher make a curveball curve and knuckleball jitter about in an erratic manner? Why is the sun red at sunrise and sunset? How does a fluorescent lamp produce visible light? You don t need a science or engineering background to understand How Everything Works, all you need is an active curiosity about the extraordinary world all around you. Codice libro della libreria AAC9780471748175

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Descrizione libro John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United States, 2006. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 1. Auflage. 282 x 216 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A user s manual for our everyday world! Whether a curious layperson, a trained physicist, or a beginning physics student, most everyone will find this book an interesting and enlightening read and will go away comforted in that the world is not so strange and inexplicable after all. --From the Foreword by Carl Wieman, Nobel Laureate in Physics 2001, and CASE/Carnegie US University Professor of the Year 2004 If you didn t know better, you might think the world was filled with magic--from the household appliances that make our lives easier to the CDs and DVDs that fill our world with sounds and images. Even a simple light bulb can seem mysterious when you stop to think about it. Now in How Everything Works, Louis Bloomfield explains the physics behind the ordinary objects and natural phenomena all around us, and unravels the mysteries of how things work. Inside, you ll find easy-to-understand answers to scores of fascinating questions, including: How do microwave ovens cook food, and why does metal sometimes cause sparks in a microwave? How does an iPod use numbers to represent music? How do CDs and DVDs use light to convey information, and why are they so colorful? How can a CT or MRI image show a cross-sectional view of a person without actually entering the body? Why do golf balls have dimples? How does a pitcher make a curveball curve and knuckleball jitter about in an erratic manner? Why is the sun red at sunrise and sunset? How does a fluorescent lamp produce visible light? You don t need a science or engineering background to understand How Everything Works, all you need is an active curiosity about the extraordinary world all around you. Codice libro della libreria AAC9780471748175

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