The Joy of Physics

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2011-03-23
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Physics professor and popular science writer, Wiggins, provides the general reader with a fun-filled, entertaining, and truly educational tour. This new paperback edition includes new material and a study guide useful for teachers and self-learners.

Author Biography

Arthur W. Wiggins is the coauthor, with Charles M. Wynn, of the critically acclaimed The Five Biggest Ideas in Science, Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction, The Five Biggest Unsolved Problems in Science, and the textbook Natural Science: Bridging the Gaps. Wiggins is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Physics at Oakland Community College.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 9
Forewordp. 11
Introduction-The Scientific Methodp. 13
Experimentsp. 19
A Word About Calculatorsp. 20
Apparatus Needed for All Experimentsp. 21
Identified Flying Objectsp. 22
Updated Cannonballsp. 24
How Things Move-Position, Velocity, and Accelerationp. 27
Weight 'Til the Sun Shines, Nelliep. 33
Why Things Move-Forces and Their Effectsp. 35
Dropsyp. 43
Sources of Forces-The Biggies in Naturep. 45
Horizontal Globalizationp. 53
Round and Round It Goes, and Where It Stops … Circular Motionp. 55
Outgoing = Incomingp. 64
The Ultimate Four-Letter Word-Workp. 67
Follow the Bouncing Ballp. 73
Oops! Collisions-Impulse and Linear Momentump. 75
You Say You Want a Revolution?p. 82
Spinning Wheels, Got to Go Roundp. 83
Mo' Yo-Yop. 92
Force with a Twist-Torquep. 95
Teeter-Totterp. 105
The Strange Case of the Body That Doesn't Move-Static Equilibriump. 107
Stretchy Springp. 113
Getting Bent Out of Shape-Elasticityp. 115
Gaze Intently at the Swinging Yo-Yop. 119
Incredibly Repetitivep. 121
Back and Forth, Back and Forth … Simple Harmonic Motion and Wavesp. 123
Magic Spring Tricksp. 130
Hey, Listen, What's That Sound?p. 131
Dive, Divep. 144
Gooey and Gassy-Fluids at Their Finestp. 145
Soda Bottle Crushp. 159
Even Perfection Has Its Flaws-The Ideal Gasp. 161
Kitchen Physicsp. 170
Some Like It Hot-Thermodynamicsp. 171
Static Clingp. 190
Charge It-Electricity at Restp. 191
Meter Readerp. 202
Who Let the Charges Out?-Electric Currentp. 207
Resistance Is Futilep. 218
Silent Struggles in the Wires-Resistancep. 221
Do-It-Yourself Magnetp. 227
Approach/Avoidance-Magnetismp. 229
Battery-less Voltagep. 240
We Are Family-Electricity from Magnetismp. 241
All Shook Upp. 247
Big-Time Electricity-ACp. 251
LEDs Lead the Wayp. 265
The Light Dawns-Electromagnetic Wavesp. 267
Bent Lightp. 274
Polar Oppositesp. 276
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall-Reflection and Refraction of Lightp. 277
Spreading the Beamp. 290
Compact Rainbowp. 292
Light's Strangest Tricks-Diffraction and Interferencep. 293
Einstein's Prodigious Efforts-Special and General Relativityp. 299
Laser, not Phasorp. 311
Matter's Innards-Atoms and Quantum Mechanicsp. 313
Half-Life Is Better Than No Lifep. 322
Atoms' Innards-Nuclear Physicsp. 323
Down to the Nitty-Gritty-The Standard Model of the Universe's Smallest Constituentsp. 333
But Wait, There's Even More-The Universe's Biggest Constituentsp. 343
Afterwordp. 353
Study Guidep. 355
Additional Resources, Notes, and Creditsp. 431
Illustration Creditsp. 441
Indexp. 443
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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