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The Isaac Newton School of Driving: Physics and Your Car

Hal Harris's picture
Mon, 03/01/2004 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

Many teachers of science use the automobile to exemplify the principles they wish to teach, whether it be the mechanics of acceleration or angular momentum, gearing, or the aerodynamics of drag. The author, Barry Parker, uses common experience as a platform for excursions into these areas and also in to less-predictable ones, such as the thermodynamics of gasoline and diesel engines, suspension systems, and chaos. He is clearly an enthusiast for the automobile, and his interest in the aesthetics of classic cars and interest in racing is infectious. The book is not a text (thank goodness), but it contains examples of practical technology that would certainly enhance and extend many courses. He uses "American" units throughout (even the English have abandoned them), which means that the science student and teacher for whom the book is largely intended will have to deal with feet, pounds and slugs rather than the SI units in which he/she almost surely is learning. As one might guess from the title, "The Isaac Newton School of Driving" is written in a light-hearted manner that is successful and appealing.

Pick Attribution: 

Barry Parker

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, January 1, 2003