Science

Cats' Paws and Catapults

Mechanical Worlds of Nature and People

Author: Steven Vogel,Kathryn K. Davis

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393319903

Category: Science

Page: 382

View: 464

Examines the workings of nature's mechanical designs and man's technology and compares the design similarities and differences of both human and natural technologies.
Science

Cats' Paws and Catapults: Mechanical Worlds of Nature and People

Author: Steven Vogel

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393352951

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 1696

"Full of ideas and well-explained principles that will bring new understanding of everyday things to both scientists and non-scientists alike."—R. McNeill Alexander, Nature Nature and humans build their devices with the same earthly materials and use them in the same air and water, pulled by the same gravity. Why, then, do their designs diverge so sharply? Humans, for instance, love right angles, while nature's angles are rarely right and usually rounded. Our technology goes around on wheels—and on rotating pulleys, gears, shafts, and cams—yet in nature only the tiny propellers of bacteria spin as true wheels. Our hinges turn because hard parts slide around each other, whereas nature's hinges (a rabbit's ear, for example) more often swing by bending flexible materials. In this marvelously surprising, witty book, Steven Vogel compares these two mechanical worlds, introduces the reader to his field of biomechanics, and explains how the nexus of physical law, size, and convenience of construction determine the designs of both people and nature. "This elegant comparison of human and biological technology will forever change the way you look at each."—Michael LaBarbera, American Scientist
Science

Prime Mover

A Natural History of Muscle

Author: Steven Vogel

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393324631

Category: Science

Page: 370

View: 7268

A fascinating introduction to the world of muscle explores the role this important tissue plays in a host of important tasks, from maintaining a heartbeat to hunting prey. Reprint.
Science

Comparative Biomechanics

Life's Physical World, Second Edition

Author: Steven Vogel

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400847826

Category: Science

Page: 640

View: 5781

Why do you switch from walking to running at a specific speed? Why do tall trees rarely blow over in high winds? And why does a spore ejected into air at seventy miles per hour travel only a fraction of an inch? Comparative Biomechanics is the first and only textbook that takes a comprehensive look at the mechanical aspects of life--covering animals and plants, structure and movement, and solids and fluids. An ideal entry point into the ways living creatures interact with their immediate physical world, this revised and updated edition examines how the forms and activities of animals and plants reflect the materials available to nature, considers rules for fluid flow and structural design, and explores how organisms contend with environmental forces. Drawing on physics and mechanical engineering, Steven Vogel looks at how animals swim and fly, modes of terrestrial locomotion, organism responses to winds and water currents, circulatory and suspension-feeding systems, and the relationship between size and mechanical design. He also investigates links between the properties of biological materials--such as spider silk, jellyfish jelly, and muscle--and their structural and functional roles. Early chapters and appendices introduce relevant physical variables for quantification, and problem sets are provided at the end of each chapter. Comparative Biomechanics is useful for physical scientists and engineers seeking a guide to state-of-the-art biomechanics. For a wider audience, the textbook establishes the basic biological context for applied areas--including ergonomics, orthopedics, mechanical prosthetics, kinesiology, sports medicine, and biomimetics--and provides materials for exhibit designers at science museums. Problem sets at the ends of chapters Appendices cover basic background information Updated and expanded documentation and materials Revised figures and text Increased coverage of friction, viscoelastic materials, surface tension, diverse modes of locomotion, and biomimetics
Technology & Engineering

Invention and Evolution

Design in Nature and Engineering

Author: M. J. French

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521469111

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 367

View: 2504

This textbook provides an introduction to design for function, using many examples of manufactured artifacts and living organisms to demonstrate common themes and fundamental principles. Examples forcefully illustrate the importance of the basic design principles related to material properties, physical principles, and energy expenditure. The author also discusses the relation of aesthetic and functional design, the crucial connection of design to production in artifacts, and reproduction in organisms. The author has thoroughly updated this second edition with more examples and a new chapter with actual design case studies to illustrate key ideas. In addition, the text contains many new exercises that reinforce important points in the text.
Medical

Vital Circuits

On Pumps, Pipes, and the Workings of Circulatory Systems

Author: Steven Vogel,Rosemary Anne Calvert

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0195082699

Category: Medical

Page: 315

View: 6700

This book is a fascinating, often witty, and highly original guide to the heart, vessels and blood, with side trips into the neighboring fields of physics, fluid mechanics, and chemistry.
Nature

The Life of a Leaf

Author: Steven Vogel

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226859428

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 7725

In its essence, science is a way of looking at and thinking about the world. In The Life of a Leaf, Steven Vogel illuminates this approach, using the humble leaf as a model. Whether plant or person, every organism must contend with its immediate physical environment, a world that both limits what organisms can do and offers innumerable opportunities for evolving fascinating ways of challenging those limits. Here, Vogel explains these interactions, examining through the example of the leaf the extraordinary designs that enable life to adapt to its physical world. In Vogel’s account, the leaf serves as a biological everyman, an ordinary and ubiquitous living thing that nonetheless speaks volumes about our environment as well as its own. Thus in exploring the leaf’s world, Vogel simultaneously explores our own. A companion website with demonstrations and teaching tools can be found here: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/sites/vogel/index.html
Science

Life's Devices

The Physical World of Animals and Plants

Author: Steven Vogel

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691024189

Category: Science

Page: 367

View: 2125

Looks at how the structure of plants and animals help them cope with their surroundings and discusses materials, shapes, movements, and energy
Science

Why the Wheel Is Round

Muscles, Technology, and How We Make Things Move

Author: Steven Vogel

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022638117X

Category: Science

Page: 344

View: 7186

There is no part of our bodies that fully rotates—be it a wrist or ankle or arm in a shoulder socket, we are made to twist only so far. And yet there is no more fundamental human invention than the wheel—a rotational mechanism that accomplishes what our physical form cannot. Throughout history, humans have developed technologies powered by human strength, complementing the physical abilities we have while overcoming our weaknesses. Providing a unique history of the wheel and other rotational devices—like cranks, cranes, carts, and capstans—Why the Wheel Is Round examines the contraptions and tricks we have devised in order to more efficiently move—and move through—the physical world. Steven Vogel combines his engineering expertise with his remarkable curiosity about how things work to explore how wheels and other mechanisms were, until very recently, powered by the push and pull of the muscles and skeletal systems of humans and other animals. Why the Wheel Is Round explores all manner of treadwheels, hand-spikes, gears, and more, as well as how these technologies diversified into such things as hand-held drills and hurdy-gurdies. Surprisingly, a number of these devices can be built out of everyday components and materials, and Vogel’s accessible and expansive book includes instructions and models so that inspired readers can even attempt to make their own muscle-powered technologies, like trebuchets and ballista. Appealing to anyone fascinated by the history of mechanics and technology as well as to hobbyists with home workshops, Why the Wheel Is Round offers a captivating exploration of our common technological heritage based on the simple concept of rotation. From our leg muscles powering the gears of a bicycle to our hands manipulating a mouse on a roller ball, it will be impossible to overlook the amazing feats of innovation behind our daily devices.
Science

Why Things Break

Understanding the World By the Way It Comes Apart

Author: Mark Eberhart

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 0307422690

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 3266

Did you know— • It took more than an iceberg to sink the Titanic. • The Challenger disaster was predicted. • Unbreakable glass dinnerware had its origin in railroad lanterns. • A football team cannot lose momentum. • Mercury thermometers are prohibited on airplanes for a crucial reason. • Kryptonite bicycle locks are easily broken. “Things fall apart” is more than a poetic insight—it is a fundamental property of the physical world. Why Things Break explores the fascinating question of what holds things together (for a while), what breaks them apart, and why the answers have a direct bearing on our everyday lives. When Mark Eberhart was growing up in the 1960s, he learned that splitting an atom leads to a terrible explosion—which prompted him to worry that when he cut into a stick of butter, he would inadvertently unleash a nuclear cataclysm. Years later, as a chemistry professor, he remembered this childhood fear when he began to ponder the fact that we know more about how to split an atom than we do about how a pane of glass breaks. In Why Things Break, Eberhart leads us on a remarkable and entertaining exploration of all the cracks, clefts, fissures, and faults examined in the field of materials science and the many astonishing discoveries that have been made about everything from the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger to the crashing of your hard drive. Understanding why things break is crucial to modern life on every level, from personal safety to macroeconomics, but as Eberhart reveals here, it is also an area of cutting-edge science that is as provocative as it is illuminating. From the Hardcover edition.
Science

Flying Buttresses, Entropy, and O-rings

The World of an Engineer

Author: James L. Adams

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674306899

Category: Science

Page: 264

View: 4203

From Teflon to Velcro, from bandwidths to base pairs, the artifacts of engineering and technology reflect the broad scope--and frustrating limitations--of our imagination. Best-selling author James Adams takes readers on an enlightening tour of this exciting world, demystifying such endeavors as design, research, and manufacturing.
Nature

Why Size Matters

From Bacteria to Blue Whales

Author: John Tyler Bonner

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691152330

Category: Nature

Page: 176

View: 9016

John Tyler Bonner, one of our most distinguished and creative biologists, here offers a completely new perspective on the role of size in biology. In his hallmark friendly style, he explores the universal impact of being the right size. By examining stories ranging from Alice in Wonderland to Gulliver's Travels, he shows that humans have always been fascinated by things big and small. Why then does size always reside on the fringes of science and never on the center stage? Why do biologists and others ponder size only when studying something else--running speed, life span, or metabolism? Why Size Matters, a pioneering book of big ideas in a compact size, gives size its due by presenting a profound yet lucid overview of what we know about its role in the living world. Bonner argues that size really does matter--that it is the supreme and universal determinant of what any organism can be and do. For example, because tiny creatures are subject primarily to forces of cohesion and larger beasts to gravity, a fly can easily walk up a wall, something we humans cannot even begin to imagine doing. Bonner introduces us to size through the giants and dwarfs of human, animal, and plant history and then explores questions including the physics of size as it affects biology, the evolution of size over geological time, and the role of size in the function and longevity of living things. As this elegantly written book shows, size affects life in its every aspect. It is a universal frame from which nothing escapes.
Science

The Shark's Paintbrush

Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation

Author: Jay Harman

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1857889312

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 435

The wave of the future has been around since the beginning of times: it's called Nature. Let inventor and entrepreneur Jay Harman introduce you to stunning solutions to some of the world's thorniest problems. Why does the bumblebee have better aerodynamics than a 747? How can copying a butterfly wing reduce the world's lighting energy bill by 80%? How will fleas' knees and bees' shoulders help scientists formulate a near-perfect rubber? Today an interdisciplinary and international group of scientists, inventors and engineers is turning to nature to innovate and find elegant solutions to human problems. The principle driving this transformation is called biomimicry, and Harman shares a wide range of examples of how we're borrowing from natural models to invent profitable, green solutions to pressing industrial challenges. Aimed at a business audience, aspiring entrepreneurs, environmentalists and general science readers, The Shark's Paintbrush reflects a force of change in the new global economy that does more than simply gratify human industrial ambition; it teaches us how to live in harmony with nature and opens bright opportunities for a better future.
Transportation

Like Sex with Gods

An Unorthodox History of Flying

Author: Bayla Singer

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press

ISBN: 9781585442560

Category: Transportation

Page: 219

View: 3516

The author retraces humankind's fantasies and visions of flights, reconstructing a mythology through literature, art, and religion that directly contributed to the technology of flight.
Nature

Thinking Like a Mall

Environmental Philosophy After the End of Nature

Author: Steven Vogel

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262029103

Category: Nature

Page: 296

View: 8498

A provocative argument that environmental thinking would be better off if it dropped the concept of "nature" altogether and spoke instead of the built environment.
Technology & Engineering

Bebop to the Boolean Boogie

An Unconventional Guide to Electronics

Author: Clive Maxfield

Publisher: Newnes

ISBN: 9780080949505

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 568

View: 3598

This entertaining and readable book provides a solid, comprehensive introduction to contemporary electronics. It's not a "how-to-do" electronics book, but rather an in-depth explanation of how today's integrated circuits work, how they are designed and manufactured, and how they are put together into powerful and sophisticated electronic systems. In addition to the technical details, it's packed with practical information of interest and use to engineers and support personnel in the electronics industry. It even tells how to pronounce the alphabet soup of acronyms that runs rampant in the industry. CONTENTS: Section 1: Fundamentals Chapter 1 Analog versus Digital Chapter 2 Atoms, Molecules, and Crystals Chapter 3 Conductors, Insulators, and Other Stuff Chapter 4 Semiconductors (Diodes and Transistors) Chapter 5 Primitive Logic Functions Chapter 6 Using Transistors to Build Logic Gates Chapter 7 Alternative Numbering Systems Chapter 8 Binary Arithmetic Chapter 9 Boolean Algebra Chapter 10 Karnaugh Maps Chapter 11 Slightly More Complex Functions Chapter 12 State Machines Chapter 13 Analog-to-Digital and Vice Versa Section 2: Components and Processes Chapter 14 Integrated Circuits (ICs) Chapter 15 Memory ICs Chapter 16 Programmable ICs Chapter 17 Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) Chapter 18 Circuit Boards Chapter 19 Hybrids Chapter 20 System-in-Package (Sip) and Friends Chapter 21 Alternative and Future Technologies Section 3: Design Tools and Stuff Chapter 22 General Concepts Chapter 23 Design and Verification Tools Appendix A Assertion-Level Logic Appendix B Positive Logic versus Negative Logic Appendix C Reed-Müller Logic Appendix D Gray Codes Appendix E Linear Feedback Shift Registers (LFSRs) Appendix F Pass-Transistor Logic Appendix G More on Semiconductors Appendix H Rounding Algorithms 101 Appendix I Pass-Transistor Logic Appendix J An Interesting Conundrum Abbreviations and Acronyms Glossary Index *Written in conversational, fun style that has generated a strong following for the author and sales of over 14,000 copies for the first two editions *The Third Edition is even bigger and better, with lots of new material, illustrations, and an expanded glossary *Ideal for training incoming engineers and technicians, and for people in marketing or other related fields or anyone else who needs to familiarize themselves with electronics terms and technology
Geometry

Was Pythagoras Chinese?

An Examination of Right Triangle Theory in Ancient China

Author: Frank J. Swetz,T. I. Kao

Publisher: Penn State Press

ISBN: 9780271044910

Category: Geometry

Page: 75

View: 8621

Science

The Gecko's Foot

Bio-inspiration : Engineering New Materials from Nature

Author: Peter Forbes

Publisher: W W Norton & Company Incorporated

ISBN: 9780393062236

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 2458

An analysis of the unlikely relationship between nature and scientific design reveals how such innovations as Velcro, solar panels, and self-cleaning surfaces were created to mimic intricate mechanisms found in the natural world.