In Praise of Simple Physics: The Science and Mathematics behind Everyday Questions
By Paul J. Nahin
This wonderful book takes physics back to its most approachable – explaining the world around us, be that sitting in traffic and working out how to beat the red light, learning the best way to improve your baseball or explaining why the sky is dark at night.
Nahin begins with the simple, and the problems become more complex as he goes on.
Nahin, professor emeritus of electrical engineering at the University of New Hampshire, is the author of many best‑selling popular-math books, including Digital Dice, Chases and Escapes, Dr. Euler’s Fabulous Formula, When Least Is Best, Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers and An Imaginary Tale (all published by Princeton).
This book would be a wonderful companion for a serious physics student, to put in context the concepts learnt in the classroom.
But it is equally as much fun for anyone curious about what the makes the world tick. OK, so that’s a curiosity plus a nodding acquaintance with calculus, but nothing too severe.
While he doesn’t shy away from mathematics when it is needed, his writing is clear, entertaining and humorous, as readers of his other work will know.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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