The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day
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 enter our offices using touch-on passes 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.
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 * 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 * Think how much richer your life would be if you understood how the beloved devices that govern your daily life actually worked. You might be surprised to learn that even the most common ones - like your smartphone and GPS - depend on the wonders of modern physics. A new world awaits you in this accessible and charming volume -- Lawrence M. Krauss, director of the Origins Project and author of A Universe from Nothing and The Greatest Story Ever Told - So Far Physics is at heart a search for basic underlying principles, whether in comic-book universes or our everyday lives. You won't find a better, more enjoyable tour guide to how the laws of physics explain the world all around us -- Sean Carroll, physicist at Caltech and author of The Big Picture
James Kakalios is the Taylor Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Minnesota and the author of the bestselling The Physics of Superheroes.