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Physics can explain many of the things that we commonly encounter. It can tell us why the night is dark, what causes the tides, and even how best to catch a baseball. With In Praise of Simple Physics, popular math and science writer Paul Nahin presents a plethora of situations that explore the science and math behind the wonders of everyday life. Roaming through a diverse range of puzzles, he illustrates how physics shows us ways to wring more energy from renewable sources, to measure the gravity in our car garages, to figure out which of three light switches in the basement controls the light bulb in the attic, and much, much more. How fast can you travel from London to Paris? How do scientists calculate the energy of an atomic bomb explosion? How do you kick a football so it stays in the air and goes a long way downfield? Nahin begins with simpler problems and progresses to more challenging questions, and his entertaining, accessible, and scientifically and mathematically informed explanations are all punctuated by his trademark humor. Readers are presumed to have some background in beginning differential and integral calculus. Whether you simply have a personal interest in physics' influence in the world or you're an engineering and science student who wants to gain more physics know-how, this book has an intriguing scenario for you. In Praise of Simple Physics proves that if we look carefully at the world around us, physics has answers for the most astonishing day-to-day occurrences.
This book offers a concise introduction to the analysis of electrical transients aimed at students who have completed introductory circuits and freshman calculus courses. While it is written under the assumption that these students are encountering transient electrical circuits for the first time, the mathematical and physical theory is not ‘watered-down.’ That is, the analysis of both lumped and continuous (transmission line) parameter circuits is performed with the use of differential equations (both ordinary and partial) in the time domain, and the Laplace transform. The transform is fully developed in the book for readers who are not assumed to have seen it before. The use of singular time functions (unit step and impulse) is addressed and illustrated through detailed examples. The appearance of paradoxical circuit situations, often ignored in many textbooks (because they are, perhaps, considered ‘difficult’ to explain) is fully embraced as an opportunity to challenge students. In addition, historical commentary is included throughout the book, to combat the misconception that the material in engineering textbooks was found engraved on Biblical stones, rather than painstakingly discovered by people of genius who often went down many wrong paths before finding the right one. MATLAB® is used throughout the book, with simple codes to quickly and easily generate transient response curves.
An engaging collection of intriguing problems that shows you how to think like a mathematical physicist Paul Nahin is a master at explaining odd phenomena through straightforward mathematics. In this collection of twenty-six intriguing problems, he explores how mathematical physicists think. Always entertaining, the problems range from ancient catapult conundrums to the puzzling physics of a very peculiar kind of glass called NASTYGLASS—and from dodging trucks to why raindrops fall slower than the rate of gravity. The questions raised may seem impossible to answer at first and may require an unexpected twist in reasoning, but sometimes their solutions are surprisingly simple. Nahin’s goal, however, is always to guide readers—who will need only to have studied advanced high school math and physics—in expanding their mathematical thinking to make sense of the curiosities of the physical world. The problems are in the first part of the book and the solutions are in the second, so that readers may challenge themselves to solve the questions on their own before looking at the explanations. The problems show how mathematics—including algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and calculus—can be united with physical laws to solve both real and theoretical problems. Historical anecdotes woven throughout the book bring alive the circumstances and people involved in some amazing discoveries and achievements. More than a puzzle book, this work will immerse you in the delights of scientific history while honing your math skills.
Asking questions is an integral part of learning and engaging with the world. Complex questions require answers from experts, and this book is packed with fascinating, trusted information about topics ranging from outer space to the human body. Organized by topic in a question-and-answer format, the book is sure to capture readers' imaginations while providing background knowledge about how our universe works.

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