Browse Publications Books B-914
2003-01-01

The Isaac Newton School of Driving: Physics and Your Car B-914

For some people, driving is an art; for others, it's a science. In this fascinating book, every car is a laboratory on wheels and every drive an exciting journey into the world of physics. As explained by renowned 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 describes:

  • the basic physics of driving;
  • the thermodynamics of engines;
  • what friction and traction are and how they keep a car's tires on the road;
  • how simple laws of physics enable scientists to design aerodynamic cars;
  • the high-performance physics of auto racing;
  • how traffic accidents are reconstructed by police;
  • and more.

Whether you drive a Pacer or a Porsche, The Isaac Newton School of Driving offers better—and better-informed—driving through physics.

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