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How Everything Works: Making Physics Out of the Ordinary

August 2007, ©2008
How Everything Works: Making Physics Out of the Ordinary (EHEP000190) cover image


Why do golf balls have dimples?
How does an iPod turn binary digits into Bon Jovi?
How do microwave ovens cook?
How does a pitcher make a curveball curve and a knuckleball jitter?
Why don't you fall off an upside-down roller coaster?

If one didn't know better, one might think the world was filled with magic—from the household appliances that make our lives easier to the devices that fill our world with sounds and images. Even a simple light bulb can seem mysterious when you're clueless about the science behind it.

Now in How Everything Works, Louis Bloomfield takes you inside the amazing gizmos and gadgets that are part of the fabric of our everyday life, explaining the physics that makes them work. Examining everything from roller coasters to radio, knuckleballs to nuclear weapons, How Everything Works reveals the answers to such questions as why the sky is blue, why metal is a problem in microwave ovens, how MRIs see inside you, and why some clothes require dry cleaning.

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. Remarkably clear and always fascinating, How Everything Works is nothing short of a user's manual for our everyday world.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Things That Move.

Chapter 2. More Things That Move.

Chapter 3. Mechanical Things.

Chapter 4. More Mechanical Things.

Chapter 5. Things Involving Fluids.

Chapter 6. Things That Move With Fluids.

Chapter 7. Thermal Things.

Chapter 8. Things That Work With Heat.

Chapter 9. Things With Resonances and Mechanical Waves.

Chapter 10. Electric Things.

Chapter 11. Magnetic and Electromagnetic Things.

Chapter 12. Electronic Things.

Chapter 13. Things That Use Electromagnetic Waves.

Chapter 14. Things That Involve Light.

Chapter 15. Optical Things.

Chapter 16. Things That Use Recent Physics.

Chapter 17. Things That Involve Materials.

Chapter 18. Things That Involve Chemical Physics.

Appendix A. Relevant Mathematics.

Appendix B. Units, Conversion of Units.


Photo Credits.


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Author Information

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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Purchase Options
How Everything Works: Making Physics Out of the Ordinary
ISBN : 978-0-470-17066-3
736 pages
August 2007, ©2008
$35.95   BUY

How Everything Works: Making Physics Out of the Ordinary
ISBN : 978-0-471-74817-5
736 pages
April 2006, ©2007
$56.95   BUY

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