Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Physics of Everyday Things | James Kakalios

*This book was provided by NetGalley for an honest review.


Professor James Kakalios walks us through a day in the life of an "average" business person, pointing out various technologies we take for granted and explaining exactly how they work. Starting with your automatic coffee maker in the morning and ending with your TV and remote control. Find out just how much physics goes on in your everyday life.


I was introduced to Prof. Kakalios's work via his book The Physics of Superheroes and greatly appreciated his sense of humor and ability to speak physics in a language I can understand. Probably the best part about this book is a great resource on answering questions like "how do batteries work?" or "how does my phone store music and play it to me?" Turns out quantum physics plays a much bigger role in our daily life than we'd originally think.

Kakalios uses as much plain language as possible in his explanations. I was able to understand everything he talked about. This book was made for people with little-to-no background in physics. I don't think you'd even need a high school course in physics to understand Kakalios' explanation of how your toaster works. 

I also appreciate that Kakalios goes into detail about the physics of medical equipment (in this particular "day" you go to the doctor's office). We often think of X-rays, MRIs and thermometers as strictly in the field of medical science. In fact, the principals that these technologies are built from are physics based. 

This is a great book if you've ever wondered how something like Wi-Fi, batteries, noise-cancelling headphones, planes, etc. work. It's also a great book for answers to kids' questions about how things work. If you or your child have an interest in learning how things in the world around you work, I highly recommend The Physics of Everyday Things. 4.5 hoots!

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