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How to Fall Slower Than Gravity: And Other Everyday (and Not So Everyday) Uses of Mathematics and Physical Reasoning

Paul J. Nahin



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Princeton University Pres
01 December 2018
Mathematics & Sciences; Algebra; Calculus & mathematical analysis; Geometry; Trigonometry; Hobbies, quizzes & games
An engaging collection of intriguing problems that shows you how to think like a mathematical physicist

Paul Nahin is a master at explaining odd phenomena through straightforward mathematics. In this collection of twenty-six intriguing problems, he explores how mathematical physicists think. Always entertaining, the problems range from ancient catapult conundrums to the puzzling physics of a very peculiar kind of glass called NASTYGLASS - and from dodging trucks to why raindrops fall slower than the rate of gravity. The questions raised may seem impossible to answer at first and may require an unexpected twist in reasoning, but sometimes their solutions are surprisingly simple. Nahin's goal, however, is always to guide readers - who will need only to have studied advanced high school math and physics - in expanding their mathematical thinking to make sense of the curiosities of the physical world.

The problems are in the first part of the book and the solutions are in the second, so that readers may challenge themselves to solve the questions on their own before looking at the explanations. The problems show how mathematics - including algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and calculus - can be united with physical laws to solve both real and theoretical problems. Historical anecdotes woven throughout the book bring alive the circumstances and people involved in some amazing discoveries and achievements.

More than a puzzle book, this work will immerse you in the delights of scientific history while honing your math skills.
By:   Paul J. Nahin
Imprint:   Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 155mm, 
ISBN:   9780691176918
ISBN 10:   0691176914
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   01 December 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for How to Fall Slower Than Gravity: And Other Everyday (and Not So Everyday) Uses of Mathematics and Physical Reasoning

A fascinating tour de force of a variety of problems covering pure and applied mathematics, physics, and engineering that will keep your mind busy for days. You'll encounter lots of surprises, a healthy dose of challenging math, and many historical episodes told here for the first time. Highly recommended! --Eli Maor, author of To Infinity and Beyond In this thrilling book, Paul Nahin captures the soul of mathematical physics in tall tales and delightful stories that invite the reader to relive the calculations that guided great inventors and pioneers throughout history. --Christopher G. Tully, author of Elementary Particle Physics in a Nutshell

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