The Handy Physics Answer Book

The Handy Physics Answer Book

by Paul W Zitzewitz
     
 

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Eschewing the usual mathematical explanations for physics phenomena, this approachable reference explains complicated scientific concepts in plain English that everyone can understand. Completely updated to tackle the big issues such as gravity, magnetism, sound, and what really happens in the Large Hadron Collider, this engaging look at physics also spells out why

Overview

Eschewing the usual mathematical explanations for physics phenomena, this approachable reference explains complicated scientific concepts in plain English that everyone can understand. Completely updated to tackle the big issues such as gravity, magnetism, sound, and what really happens in the Large Hadron Collider, this engaging look at physics also spells out why cats always land on their feet, why people appear to have red eyes in photographs, and the real danger of looking at an eclipse. For everyone who ever wondered how a light bulb works or how squirrels avoid electrocution on the power lines, this handbook supplies answers on the physics of everyday life and examines the developments in the exploration of subatomic particles. In addition to the question-and-answer section, an addendum of facts about physicists explains what the Nobel prize is and who has won it, and tells the story of the scientist who was incarcerated for agreeing with Copernicus.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"If you wondered about one physics idea a day, this resource would answer your questions for over two years . . . Every aspect of our daily life is governed by physics, so this is an extremely useful . . . resource."  —National Science Teachers Association

"It is often not only convenient, but necessary, to have at hand a reference guide to answer basic questions regarding physics. This book does that and more. This is a great book for anyone." —National Science Teachers Association

"The author does a good job explaining technical concepts simply. Answers are in plain nontechnical English, and formulas and jargon are kept to a minimum. This second edition will find its place with other popular physics books." —Booklist (July 6, 2011)

"The Handy Physics Answer Book is geared toward the general audience but still of value to the scholar. Recommended." —Christian Library Journal (November 1, 2011)

"[D]istills complicated physics concepts into bite-size explanations in question-and-answer format. The text is clear and easy to understand." —www.ARBAonline.com

National Science Teachers Association
If you wondered about one physics idea a day, this resource would answer your questions for over two years . . . Every aspect of our daily life is governed by physics, so this is an extremely useful . . . resource.
Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
If your physics questions are specific, such as "What is Energy?" or "What is the difference between a dead load and a live load?" this book will work for you. Or if you want to page through and find answers to questions you did not know you had, this book will also work for you. The question and answer series is effective and clearly written. While it is not any better than the best of the answers available on the Internet, it does have the advantage of being consistently accurate and available when the Internet is not. Zitzewitz's other advantages are his ability to explain complex physics in plain language, and explain everyday phenomena in terms of physics. For example: "Why does a singing duet sometimes sound as if there were a third voice contributing to the music? When two people sing loudly at slightly different pitches the frequencies can mix, causing a different tone or third pitch. ..."This book will be welcomed in the classrooms of middle school and high school, as well as a reference in libraries. Backmatter includes glossary and index. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
VOYA - Marilyn Brien
This title in the Your Smart Reference series is primarily a reference for readers seeking particular information. The emphasis on practical applications of the principles of physics, including bridges, golf balls, lasers, calories, and electrical outlets, make this book a good selection for questions related to physics in the real world. A listing of all of the Nobel Prize winners is particularly unique. The many diagrams inform the reader with uncluttered clarity. The organization of topics follows the expected divisions of physics with selected questions within the categories of motion, statics, fluids, waves, magnetism, and particle physics. The concluding chapter considers unanswered questions in particle physics and astrophysics, including the Standard Model and dark matter. The bibliography is particularly useful for locating further information on the physics of various sports and arts, and 21st-century physics. The boring small black-and-white photos will not encourage a student to browse, nor is the student likely to select this book without encouragement. This book will be a helpful reference for librarians, teachers, and with encouragement, for youth of all levels. Reviewer: Marilyn Brien
Library Journal
This question-and-answer guide provides brief explanations suitable for quick reference and curious browsers. With a useful list of symbols and glossary. (SLJ 6/1/11)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Modeled on P. Erik Gundersen's 1998 edition, this thoroughly revised set offers a broad view of physical principles and how they are applied in technology and everyday life and to our current understanding of the universe. Gathered into general chapters such as "Momentum and Energy," "Electricity," and the subatomic realm ("At the Heart of the Atom"), the more than 800 questions cover topics from simple machines to quarks and from Newton's Laws to why the word "Ambulance" is printed backwards on the vehicles. Though they are usually detailed enough to satisfy older, serious students, some answers are oversimplified—the author's discussion of "weightlessness" includes a misleading claim that a gravitational field's force can fall to zero with distance, for instance. Also, answers to specific questions tend to be clearer than those to more subjective ones such as, "Are nuclear power plants safe?" Though Zitzewitz occasionally admits that scientists continue to be baffled by some phenomena, he underplays gaps in knowledge by relegating a limited set of "Unanswered Questions" to the end of the book. Furthermore, though the presentation is occasionally lightened with, for instance, a discussion of a unit of caloric measurement called the Jelly Doughnut, the overall tone's dryness is only reinforced by a spare selection of small black-and-white photos and gray breakout boxes. Too scattershot to support systematic study and unlikely to keep the attention of casual browsers, this title may have trouble finding an audience.—John Peters, formerly at New York Public Library

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781578593576
Publisher:
Visible Ink Press
Publication date:
02/01/2011
Series:
Handy Answer Book Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
621,631
File size:
6 MB

Meet the Author

Paul W. Zitzewitz, PhD, taught physics at the University of Michigan–Dearborn for more than 35 years and has been honored as a Fellow of the American Physical Society for his work in physics education. He is the author of the high school physics textbook Physics: Principles and Problems. He lives in Northville, Michigan.

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