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Mad About Physics: Braintwisters, Paradoxes and Curiosities Paperback – 28 Nov 2000

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Mad About Physics: Braintwisters, Paradoxes and Curiosities + Mad About Modern Physics: Braintwisters, Paradoxes, and Curiosities + Brainteaser Physics: Challenging Physics Puzzlers
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey Bass; 1 edition (28 Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471569615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471569619
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 420,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"fascinating new book" -- Physics World, July 2001

From the Back Cover

Why is there eight times more ice in Antarctica than in the Arctic? Why can you warm your hands by blowing gently, and cool your hands by blowing hard? Why would a pitcher scuff a baseball?Which weighs more–a pound of feathers or a pound of iron? Let science experts Christopher Jargodzki and Franklin Potter guide you through the curiosities of physics and you′ll find the answers to these and hundreds of other quirky conundrums. You′ll discover why sounds carry well over water (especially in the summer), how a mouse can be levitated in a magnetic field, why backspin is so important when shooting a basketball, and whether women are indeed as strong as men. With nearly 400 questions and answers on everything from race cars to jumping fleas to vanishing elephants, Mad about Physics presents a comprehensive collection of braintwisters and paradoxes that will challenge and entertain even the brainiest of science lovers. Whether you′re a physicist by trade or just want to give your brain a power workout, this collection of intriguing and unusual physics challenges will send you on a highly entertaining ride that reveals the relevance of physics in our everyday lives.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THERMAL ENERGY IS AN INTEGRAL COMPONENT of our environment, but we tend to forget its severe limitations on our activities. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Cook on 15 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book so much so I was inspired to buy the 'sequel' - Mad About Modern Physics, and was equally pleased with that one as well.
It's just a great read for anyone with the slightest curiosity about what is all around us.
Well written and easily accessible, the various chapters cover a huge range, never delving too deep or over complicating the subject. Educational but most importantly, fun!
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By Kathleen on 12 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book, I'm due to start my physics degree in September and this has been a brilliant way to make sure I continue to think critically about problems. It is also a great way of making sure that you're reminded not to assume you know.
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By annelie kelly on 7 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good, simplistic answers. However, lacking on maths a bit too much.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
fun for experts and novices alike 25 Dec. 2001
By M. H. Bayliss - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's been over 20 years since I've had any physics, but I still enjoyed the riddles and questions in this book -- sure, some were over my head, but I still could understand lots of the explanations. Plus, the examples are practical enough to make you the star of your next party: is it better (which will make it COOL faster) to let black coffee cool first and then put in cold milk or to put cold milk in and let it cool? Coffee drinkers will be happy to know that black coffee cools faster than white so wait a few minutes before pouring your cold milk in if you want it to cool quickly. If you like these kinds of brainteasers, you'll love this book. An appropriate gift for students and pondering adults alike. The authors also provide interesting quotes in the margins that make for good reading as well. Some of the explanations are a bit too brief if you really want to understand the physics behind it, but the authors provide the reader with enough information to dig deeper. Fun!
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Great Grandchild Gift! 28 Mar. 2001
By Paula Presley - Published on
Format: Paperback
On a friend's recommendation, I bought this book for a grandchild. I now have three copies, which will go to three families of grandchildren, ages preschool to junior high.
The book's format of numbered questions or "puzzles", with answers in the back of the book, presents ideas that parents can use to guide young children into "thinking scientifically," Older children on their own can return again and again to the book to understand why things function as they do. This is great fodder for parents to help their school-age children plan science projects, at various levels.
The outside margin of each page has thought-provoking quotations from the famous and the not-so-famous as well as humorous observations. This is truly a book to which one will return again and again.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Great Book for Physics Enthusiasts! 6 Sept. 2001
By "soreloser" - Published on
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after reading the previous reviews, and it was exactly the book I had imagined. The more you read, the more you want to know about the world and how things work in our world. Physics is amazingly applied throughout our lives knowingly and unknowingly. The curiosities just keep going. After finishing it, you can correct your friends on misconcepted ideas or explain to them the theories behind an event.
This paperback has 397 questions/puzzles, each with an answer in the back. Questions range from simple ones like what is the difference between gas and vapor, to more complex ones like the architecture of a rollercoaster. Although someone earlier had recommended this book for children, I would say that most of the braintwisters require some fundamental understanding of physics that a highschool student would have an easier time with. But again it is certainly a great choice and a must-have if you are one of those physics maniacs like me.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Good material, not formatted well for Kindle. 9 May 2008
By David Brown - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although the material in the book is good, it is very difficult to read on the Kindle. The questions and answers are in different sections of the book, and there are no links between them. It would be much better if each question had a link to its answer.

The best I've been able to do is keep a bookmark at the current question and answer I'm reading and go back and forth, but it's painful.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fun Approach to Occasionally Dry Topics 24 Mar. 2007
By Tracey Su - Published on
Format: Paperback
Mad About Physics has problems covering a wide range of topics arranged by chapter. The problems are presented clearly and the solutions are fairly thoroughly explained if you take the time to read through them. This book is a fun and great way to review and apply your scientific knowledge or learn new things! There are entertaining quotations in the columns as fun distractions. Interspersed among the short problems/scenarios are diagrams if the situation needs to be described graphically.
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