Dr. Len Fisher has written an exceedingly lively and entertaining book on the science of everyday life. Following the routine of a normal day, Fisher shows how the seemingly mundane can provide insight into the most profound scientific questions. He explores the art and science of dunking, how to boil the perfect egg, how to tally a supermarket bill, the science behind hand tools, the secrets of haute cuisine, catching a ball and throwing a boomerang, bath (or beer) foam, the physics of sex and much more. With wit and aplomb, How to Dunk a Doughnut uses easy-to-digest concepts and a sense of humor to show nonscientists what science is really all about.
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Len Fisher is an honorary research fellow in the Department of Physics, University of Bristol, England. The author of more than eighty scientific papers, Fisher has made more than 200 radio and television appearances worldwide.From Publishers Weekly:
Science is a way of life more than a set of answers, according to Fisher, an English physical chemist and Ig Nobel Prize winner. In his delightful book, he uses " `the science of the familiar' as a key to open a door to science, to show what it feels like to be a scientist, and to view from an insider's perspective what scientists do, why they do it, and how they go about it." Each of his nine chapters focuses on relatively mundane affairs-the best way to dunk a doughnut, how to catch a fly ball, how simple tools function, how to throw a boomerang, how an egg and a sperm manage to unite to form a new life-and each poses scientific questions about the underlying premises and principles involved. Real scientific lessons are embedded in each chapter (Fisher nicely explains the three laws of thermodynamics, for example, as well as the difference between heat and temperature), and the thoroughly engaging anecdotes serve to bring the process of science and the people who conduct scientific investigations to life. He successfully shows how science influences all aspects of our lives and how the "consequences of any particular scientific discovery are often not obvious, even to the discoverer." This view is increasingly important as politicians regularly favor applied research over the pure research so essential for meaningful progress. Fisher's humor and readability could go a long way toward making his perspective acceptable to a wide public. 70 illus., and charts. Scientific American Book Club alternate selection.
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