Title: The Physics of Everyday Things
Author: James Kakalios
“Each explanation is coupled with a story revealing the interplay of the astonishing visible forces that surround us,” James Kakalios writes in the front flap of his book, The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day.
~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-fifty-six-page hardbound targets those who enjoy learning about science, physics, and how objects work in our world. With no photographs but a few sporadic figures, the book includes seven chapters about the science of physics in a day in the life of a common adult and ends with acknowledgments, notes, figure captions, and an index.
Covering when a person awakens at home in the morning to going to bed at night in a hotel room, the chapters float from beginning the day having coffee and checking a smartphone to driving to the city, going to the doctor and airport, taking a flight, giving a business presentation, and going to a hotel. All involve items that humans depend on and how they use physics to work.
It is fun to know how things are made, especially because we get caught up in using objects without understanding the why and how behind them. I like how the author discussed pendulums, piezoelectric crystals, thermodynamics, electromagnetic and millimeter waves, magnets, and semiconductors to name a few in objects such as a clock, coffee maker, phone, watch, earbuds, toaster, automobile, GPS, radio, elevator, thermometer, MRI and ATM machines, and lithium batteries. Stating why cars still do not fly is also covered.
~ Why Not ~
The main issue I had with this book is it is rather dry. Granted the author’s intention is to call attention to the reader to notice why and how things work around him or her, but the book lacked in detail and excitement as the person goes through a supposedly average day. Not being a scientific person, I did not learn anything substantial in the chapters.
~ Wish ~
I wish the details of the objects were more succinct in explaining what would happen if physics were not applied to them or made differently. After reading this book, I now understand why my son and daughter-in-law got their PhDs in chemistry instead of physics as, to me, it seems a lackluster topic.
~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book that may be interesting for a high school or college reader who is into physics in everyday life, this may be good for them, but I found it missed the sparks I expected.
Thanks to Blogging for Books for this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.