Physicist Explains the Science Behind Everyday Items

I am reviewing books through the Blogging for Books program in an effort to support my community’s Little Free Library, thus the addition of book reviews outside of the usual sexual health topics to Your Sexy Librarian postings. After being reviewed, the book gets stamped “Always a Gift, Never for Sale” and placed into a Little Free Library for others to enjoy.

Guided by curiosity, my latest book selection is The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day by American physics professor and author James Kakalios, which was released on May 16, with a selling price of $26 for hardback.

Kakalios is the Taylor Distinguished Professor in the school of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota and the author of The Physics of Superheroes. Kakalios graciously acknowledges Domenica Alioto in The Physics of Everyday Things for suggesting his new book “follow someone through a typical day.” Alioto “coined the term ‘narrative physics’ to describe the book’s structure.” Her proposal was spot-on and helps transition the book from one item to another in a seamless manner.

The Physics of Everyday Things is an amazing foray into science that chronicles a person’s journey throughout his day, from that first cup of morning coffee to driving a car to taking an overnight business trip. This day of physics lesson is reminiscent of the Science television show How It’s Made as it encompasses the same style of knowledge appreciation.

Without spoiling The Physics of Everyday Things for other readers, my favorite sections are about how credit cards and proximity cards (such as work identification badges and hotel room cards) work. There are dozens of physics facts and lessons packed into this book, which would be great for high school students, college students and continual learner adults alike.

The cover of The Physics of Everyday Things is a creative and akin to The Big Bang Theory television show logo. The back cover copy consists of accolades for the book and for Kakalios. The dark serif and italic sans serif fonts used for the inside body copy are easy to read. Illustrations help convey Kakalios’ explanations.

While The Physics of Everyday Things is a book most of us will read over the course of several days or even weeks, it is a well-written science manual with take-away knowledge that is definitely worth any amount of reading time investment.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


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