About this item

Physics professor, bestselling author, and dynamic storyteller James Kakalios reveals the mind-bending science behind the seemingly basic things that keep our daily lives running, from our smart phones and digital "clouds" to x-ray machines and hybrid vehicles. Most of us are clueless when it comes to the physics that makes our modern world so convenient. What's the simple science behind motion sensors, touch screens, and toasters? How do we glide through tolls using an E-Z Pass, or find our way to new places using GPS? In The Physics of Everyday Things, James Kakalios takes us on an amazing journey into the subatomic marvels that underlie so much of what we use and take for granted. Breaking down the world of things into a single day, Kakalios engages our curiosity about how our refrigerators keep food cool, how a plane manages to remain airborne, and how our wrist fitness monitors keep track of our steps. Each explanation is coupled with a story revealing the interplay of the astonishing invisible forces that surround us. Through this "narrative physics," The Physics of Everyday Things demonstrates that - far from the abstractions conjured by terms like the Higgs Boson, black holes, and gravity waves - sophisticated science is also quite practical. With his signature clarity and inventiveness, Kakalios ignites our imaginations and enthralls us with the principles that make up our lives.

About the Author

James Kakalios

James Kakalios is the Taylor Distinguished Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota, where he has been teaching since 1988. His research projects in experimental solid state physics range from the nano to the neuro. In 2001 he created a Freshman Seminar course at the University of Minnesota entitled "Everything I Know About Science I Learned from Reading Comic Books." When the first Spider-Man film was released in May 2002, media attention about this class inspired him to write The Physics of Superheroes - now in its Spectacular Second Edition. He was the science consultant for the Warner Bros. film Watchmen. In Feb. 2009 he filmed a video on The Science of Watchmen for the University of Minnesota's youtube page which, to date, has been viewed over 1.6 million times, and in Sept. 2009 won a regional Emmy award and in 2010 was nominated for a Webby. His latest book - The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics - explains the basic quantum physics principles behind the laser, transistors, light emitting diodes, computer hard drives and magnetic resonance imaging. He has been reading comic books longer than he has been studying physics.

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