Engineering Formulas Hardcover – 1 Sep 1997
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About the Author
Kurt and Reiner Gieck own the publisher firm Gieck Verlag, in Germering, Germany where the book is published in German and then translated into English. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
My last copy (1990) just died and the new edition is even better.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It is well organized, the concrete explanations are useful and you get you formula or data quickly, everywhere (easy to carry).
I bought another for my brother when he started studying engineering. I think it's indispensable.
The construction of the book is of the highest quality, something that's rare in this age of disposable, fluff-filled, high-ego publishing. It feels good and it's very satisfying as a physical object. Definitely something you'll keep forever or pass down to someone else.
The content is quite dense and concise, exactly what you want in a portable work like this.
This little book belongs in the library (or the pocket) of anyone with an interest in engineering, and some of the mathematical sections have an even wider appeal.
"Engineers who miscalculate can KILL people."
Bridges, machines, chemical processes, fire safety....the list goes on and on. Now, presumably those engineers engaged in design work where the protection of human life is a consideration will be experts in the required calculations; however, there are a myriad of "simple" calculations that go into such work (unit conversions, measurement, geometric computations, etc.) that can be just as important - and just as dangerous if misused.
It is for this reason that I was SHOCKED to find what I did when I opened my fresh, new version of Geicks' "Engineering Formulas": *errors*.
Now, it might just be a coincidence; I first opened to the "Differential Equations" section (I am presently teaching a class where this material is relevant) and began to read the first page (for those with the book, these are lines j7 to j9)):
"...Linear: ODE means, that the nighest exponent of the required function is one; i.e. an ODE of degree 1."
'NIGHEST'??? Literally, this means the "closest" (which would be totally incorrect).
OK, OK...this is just a simple typo - happens all of the time. You've got to give them a break. *Obviously*, it should have been 'highest' - most normal people would catch this.
So, I continued to read on to the next two lines:
"Homogeneous ODE implies the forcing function, q(x)=0
Inhomogeneous ODE implies the forcing function, q(x)=0"
Huh? They both mean the same thing? (Actually the second should have had q(x) being *not equal* to zero.)
Two errors in three lines of the first page that I read.
Now, granted: I was able to catch these errors and could easily jot down the corrections and move on. My questions, though are:
1 - If I found these two errors on the FIRST PAGE of the book that I looked up something for, how many errors might there be in the entire book?
2 - While I knew better and was aware that these were, in fact, errors, what would happen if I required the use of a erroneous formula that I was *not* so familiar with?
3 - Although this topic was hardly one where safety was involved, what would happen if such errors were to be found in the "Strength" or "Radiation Physics" sections of the book?
4 - Knowing what I now know, can I trust the next formula that I use? If not, what value does the book have?
I am not one to usually complain about editorial mistakes...but this is not a work of fiction or a history book; this is a text of *Engineering* formulas to be used by *Engineers*. A slight mistake in one symbol in one formula could literally cause a design to fail.
Again, this could all be coincidence and I might just be *far* too picky (and I certainly could never publish such a text myself without making many more errors).
Looking beyond these concerns, the text is well-organized, has a nice variety of topics, is small and durable, and is easy to read.
If the author(s) would like to contact me to show me my own mis-perceptions (or just plain 'errors'), I would say, "*Please* don't hesitate to." I WANT to love this book and I WANT to believe that this was all just a coincidence and I happened to open to the only page with such mistakes. This book *could* be VERY useful to a professional like me..
...but until then....?
Oh, one last point -
I had actually considered giving the book 3 stars instead of 2, but after flipping through the pages I found two torn pages (S13 and S14 - looks like a production flaw, especially considering that the book itself had a sealed plastic cover). The authors can't be blamed for this problem, but when one looks at the book as a "whole", it needs to be considered.
From book editors to manufacturing personnel, it just seems as though people are slowly becoming less competent (or, just caring less about quality of work). Sad.