Surrounded by physics

This book is the result of a series of lectures that the author gave
during a number of years to fi rst year students in Applied Physics at
Delft University of Technology. The idea for such a course started from
discussions with our students. They made a plea for an extra physics
course in the fi rst year to get a better balance in the math and physics
courses. Their wish was granted and the author was asked to prepair a
series of lectures with as theme 'Physics of Daily Life'. This idea was of
course inspired by the series of books that Prof. Dr. M. Minnaert wrote in
the 30s of the 20th century. It should not be a course, that deals with
only one of the main theories of physics. On the contrary, the idea was
rather to stroll along all kinds of more or less familiar phenomena. By
touching on these phenomena, different parts of physics and the
accompanying theory would be discussed with the students. Being exposed to
phenomena and open questions and being encouraged to think as a physicist
was more important than providing the theoretical background along the
traditional lines of the sub-disciplines and theories of physics.
Various aspects from daily life were chosen for the examples. For
instance: what is the thickness of our atmosphere and can we make an
estimate based on common knowledge? Or, what is the temperature of the
earth without the greenhouse effect? Many more examples were in subsequent
years discussed. They are taken from the visible phenomena in the
atmosphere, from sound, from the kitchen or from sports, to name a few. In
the book they are grouped in six chapters.
Contents Preface 1. Elephant ears, dolphins and the balance equation
2. The sky has a limit 3. The sound in a cup of coffee 4. Flowing
water and air 5. Cooking, boiling, heating 6. Mechanics at work
Bibliography Index.

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