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Description - The Isaac Newton School of Driving by Barry R. Parker

For some people, driving is an art; for others, it's a science. At the Isaac Newton School of Driving, though, every car is a laboratory on wheels and every drive an exciting journey into the world of physics. As explained by science writer and physics professor Barry Parker - whose father was a car mechanic and garage owner - almost every aspect of driving involves physics. A car's performance and handling relies on fundamental concepts such as force, momentum and energy. Its ignition system depends on the principles of electricity and magnetism. Braking relies on friction - yet another basic scientific concept - and if the brakes fail, the resulting damage, too, can be predicted using physics. Parker's first lesson describes the basic physics of driving: speed and acceleration; why you get thrown forward while braking or outward while turning; and why car advertisements boast about horsepower and torque. He goes on to discuss the thermodynamics of engines and how they can be more fuel efficient; and what friction and traction are and how they keep a car's tyres on the road, whether it's dry, wet, or icy. He also describes how simple laws of physics enable scientists to design aerodynamic cars and high-tech steering systems. Parker then explores the high-performance physics of auto racing, outlines how traffic accidents are reconstructed by police, uses chaos theory to explain why traffic jams happen, and describes what cars of the future might look like. Whether you drive a Pacer or a Porsche, "The Isaac Newton School of Driving" offers you better - and better-informed - driving through physics.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780801874178
ISBN-10: 0801874173
Format: Hardback
(178mm x 156mm x 24mm)
Pages: 264
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 12-Aug-2003
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Barry R. Parker

Barry Parker is a professor emeritus of physics at Idaho State University and the author of fifteen books, including Einstein's Dream, Relativity Made Relatively Easy, The Vindication of the Big Bang, and Cosmic Time Travel.

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