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The Physics of Everyday Things, Book Review

The Physics of Everyday Things, by James Kakalios

The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day

About the Book: Physics professor, bestselling author, and dynamic storyteller James Kakalios reveals the mind-bending science behind the seemingly basic things that keep our daily lives running, from our smart phones 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-Z Pass, 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.

My Thoughts: Of course because of my curiosity in the things that I use, when I saw this book I immediately wanted to review it, and was happy the publisher sent it to me to do so. I love the set up of the book and how it goes from item to item in the house, mostly electronics explaining them. The physics and chemistry are explained and while I did find it incredibly interesting I do wish there were diagrams to help me understand them. Overall a very fun book!

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