Everyday Physics
Unusual insights into familiar things

By Jo Hermans

Everyday Physics
Paperback, 320 pages £12.99
Published: 2nd September 2021
ISBN: 9781906860806
Format: 196mm x 153mm

Click here to see ebook versions available
Published: 2nd September 2021
ISBN: 9781906860813
Published: 2nd September 2021
ISBN: 9781906860820
Published: 2nd September 2021
ISBN: 9781906860837
Category: All Books, Popular Science

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This is a physics book like you’ve never seen before: accessible and fun – perfect for anyone, young or old, who has a healthy dose of curiosity.

  • How can you tell where a sound is coming from?
  • What is the human energy equivalent of a vacuum cleaner?
  • How does GPS work?
  • Why do eggs explode in the microwave?
  • Is there a vacuum inside double-glazed windows
  • Can you get less wet by cycling faster?

Hundreds of full-colour photos and diagrams make the explanations super easy to follow. There are lots of home experiments, too, most of which can be done using simple items from the kitchen. For example, by using a glass full of water, a few drops of milk and a torch, you can show why the sky is blue and why the setting sun is red. If you want to dig a bit deeper, there are extra resources in the shaded boxes throughout.

You can read Everyday Physics in whatever order you want, dipping in and out of the different sections. Based on Herman’s Everyday physics lecture series, it combines deep physical insights with back-of-the-envelope calculations, relating abstract physics concepts to the real world, often in a surprising way.

It’s perfect for all ages: parents, grandparents, college students and anyone with a healthy interest in the world around them.

This book will bring the magic of physics to your everyday life. Once you discover the beauty of science, ordinary things will become extraordinary.

Part A Outdoor Life

Chapter 01 How does GPS navigation work? (With a nod to Albert Einstein)

Chapter 02 Why are some mountain winds so warm?

Chapter 03 What is wind chill?

Chapter 04 Why is ice so slippery?

Chapter 05 Waves at the beach

Chapter 06 How fast do raindrops fall?

Chapter 07 Why don’t fog drops fall?

Chapter 08 Skydiving: how fast can you fall?

Chapter 09 How high will the sun rise today?

Chapter 10 How hot does the sun feel?

Chapter 11 Parallel light beams from the sun

Chapter 12 Summer and winter, why such a big difference?

Chapter 13 Why do you walk the way you do?


Part B Bicycle and Car

Chapter 14 The human engine

Chapter 15 The human energy equivalent of a vacuum cleaner

Chapter 16 How do you keep your temperature constant?

Chapter 17 How efficient is cycling?

Chapter 18 What forces affect a cyclist?

Chapter 19 Can you cycle at 100 km/ h?

Chapter 20 How fast can you cycle on the moon?

Chapter 21 Is cycling really harder with a side wind?

Chapter 22 Minimizing your journey time

Chapter 23 The cyclist’s soggy back

Chapter 24 Can you get less wet by cycling faster?

Chapter 25 Rolling resistance, air resistance and fuel consumption

Chapter 26 How many cars per hour can a road take?


Part C Light and Colour

Chapter 27 Cosy candlelight

Chapter 28 Why are incandescent bulbs so inefficient?

Chapter 29 Luminous ideas: fluorescent lights and LEDs

Chapter 30 Why is the sky blue and the setting sun is red?

Chapter 31 Two kinds of smoke from the same cigarette?

Chapter 32 Swimming pools are deeper than they look

Chapter 33 Sunlight filtering through the leaves of trees

Chapter 34 How sharply can you see?

Chapter 35 Your eye is more sensitive than a camera

Chapter 36 Puddles on a dry road

Chapter 37 Seeing the sun after sunset

Chapter 38 Transparent windowpanes and opaque lace curtains

Chapter 39 Seeing clearly underwater

Chapter 40 What makes rainbows?

Chapter 41 Why are soap bubbles so colourful?

Chapter 42 Why are CDs so colourful?

Chapter 43 How does a hologram work?

Chapter 44 Why does the sea look so blue?

Chapter 45 What’s special about Polaroid glasses?


Part D Sound and Hearing

Chapter 46 What do your ears hear?

Chapter 47 Why isn’t there more noise pollution?

Chapter 48 The energy-cost of talking

Chapter 49 How can you tell where a sound is coming from?

Chapter 50 Discriminating between different voices: the cocktail party effect

Chapter 51 Do you hear better at night?

Chapter 52 Can the wind blow sound to you?

Chapter 53 Do noise barriers work?

Chapter 54 Can you hear whether the curtains are closed?

Chapter 55 Doh-re-mi: the physics of musical scales

Chapter 56 Why orchestras go out of tune


Part E In and Around the House

Chapter 57 Why do eggs explode in the microwave?

Chapter 58 Can you cool your home with your fridge?

Chapter 59 Curve balls, backspin and top spin

Chapter 60 How much power can you get from solar energy?

Chapter 61 The mystery of the wandering carpets

Chapter 62 Common misconceptions about the radiometer

Chapter 63 Is thick glass a better insulator than thin glass?

Chapter 64 Is there a vacuum inside double glazing windows?

Chapter 65 Can you feel energy consumption?

Chapter 66 Is a black central heating radiator better than a white one?

Chapter 67 Does black paint get hotter than white?

Chapter 68 Does Baby really need a hot water bottle?

Chapter 69 The lid on the saucepan

Chapter 70 Why does the air get so dry in winter?

Chapter 71 Why don’t you die of heat in the sauna?

Chapter 72 The wine-mixing problem

Chapter 73 The wandering tea leaves

A gold mine of physics in the world around us, ranging from light to sound and from indoors to outdoors, written in a friendly style with beautiful diagrams, photos, and explanations. Each chapter is a joy to read.

- Prof Sanjoy Mahajan, MIT

Do try this at home. Satisfaction guaranteed for every inquisitive soul.

- Dr Eppo Bruins, Member of Parliament, The Netherlands

Everyday phenomena explained simply and clearly for all to understand.

- Professor Mete Atature, Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge

This is an interesting collection of explanations & discussions of the physics of everyday situations. The range of topics and the number of situations is extensive. By providing clear information, it encourages further thought.

- Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine

Everyday Physics is written in a very accessible style with fantastic use of pictures. It provides satisfyingly clear explanations and it covers a lot of ground. A lovely book to have.

- Prof Jeff Forshaw, Professor of Physics, University of Manchester and author of 'Why Does E=mc2?'

I love the book. I am not sure I have ever before seen a physics book look as 'friendly'. I like how it flows and the way the topics are applicable to the world. My physics pupils would love this book, and the content is relevant to their physics curriculum.

- Physics Teacher

Prof Jo Hermans is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Leiden University in the Netherlands. In addition to his academic research and teaching, he is active in promoting science to the general public. His books have been translated worldwide. He is a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau.

Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 320 pages
ISBN: 9781906860806
Format: 196mm x 153mm

Binding: Electronic book text
ISBN: 9781906860813
Format: PDF

Binding: Electronic book text
ISBN: 9781906860820
Format: EPUB

Binding: Electronic book text
ISBN: 9781906860837
Format: Kindle

BISAC Code:  SCI000000, SCI001000, SCI021000, SCI028000, SCI053000, SCI055000
Imprint: UIT Cambridge Ltd.

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