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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 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 PhysicsParker 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 Fuel Efficient And What Friction And Traction Are And How They Keep A Car S Tires 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 Better And Better Informed Driving Through Physics

7 thoughts on “The Isaac Newton School of Driving: Physics and Your Car

  1. Ramses Ramses says:

    This is one of those jewels the well written, informative science book With minimum arithmetics, barry takes you through quantitative physicsof cars and driving, from mechanics to electricity, thermodynamics and Excellent prose, nice illustrations, direct easy going conversational tone,I really liked the book HIGHLY recommended.

  2. Rob H Rob H says:

    Nothing earth shattering in here It is a shame it is all in ridiculous imperial units, with lots of strange conversion factors It would have been interesting and relevant if it was in SI units.

  3. Only one, but a lion Only one, but a lion says:

    Try to find a reference book that explains the physics behind cars in a detailed, well written fashion, and you may be disappointed I know I was Two books I found that had the math and the equations I wanted were horribly written They had too much detail, and not enough breadth Worst of all, the poor and unedited English and grammar made both books very hard to read.When I saw the reviews for this book, and looked at a few pages in a preview, I thought I had found what I was looking for But when I got the book and read it, it was not the reference book I had hoped for It s interesting, well written, and fun to read But it s not a reference book It s written to be read, not referred to.So my search continues Still, I m glad to have this book It taught me a lot of things I did not know about the physics of cars, and reinforced, in an entertaining fashion, some of the things I did know While I had hoped for , this book was much closer to my ideal than any other book I ve found.

  4. Michael H Michael H says:

    The idea behind this book that many different aspects of physics are illustrated in your car is fantastic Electric circuits, Newton s laws of motion, batteries, pressure volume, and even silicon chips are discussed, along with many, many topics.All the topics are introduced at a beginner level, and some are adequately explained Some aren t Some are rushed, resulting in a paragraph of jargon and a mention that the topic is too complicated to address in detail Some are just abandoned.I found the diagrams to be completely inadequate small, poorly drawn, and too few.This book would have been phenomenal as a partnership between the author and David Macaulay, author and illustrator of The Way Things Work It begs for his sort of artwork.

  5. Chris Frost Chris Frost says:

    Barry Parker has written a book that gets down to the nitty gritty of how a car actually works All the way down to the physics of it There is actually alot to be learned from his book even if you re not a physics buff For example, I now understand the difference between a 2 and a 4 stroke engine I still can t explain the physics behind any of this stuff, but then again, I don t really want to If you have an interest in understanding cars, or an interest in physics, this book will keep you interested with Barry s down to earth writing style But if you don t like physics or math, it s not a total loss Those parts are easily skimmed or even skipped entirely.

  6. Alexius Hebra Alexius Hebra says:

    Barry Parker s book The Isaac Newton School of Driving is one of the few whose underlying message transcends the scope of the subject matter Like the tale of the sorcerer s apprentice who remembers the charm for hauling water from a nearby river into his master s bathtub, but has forgotten the magic words to timely stem the flood, so could Parker s writings be taken as the reminder of not to make the road of technological achievements into a one way street.In the fairy tale, only the timely interfering of his master saves the apprentice from drowning in the waters he himself has conjured, and us from missing out on his story altogether Likewise, Parker shows us the way to upgrade our consumer knowledge into solid know how Sorcerers haven t made it into our times, but we, their apprentices, are blooming We know all the charms that transmute our former hand tools into vacuum cleaners, television sets, and self propelled vehicles, to name only a few But did we follow up in learning the undo commands The abundance and sophistication of technological contraptions within reach of our pocket books calls for an understanding of not alone what they do, but principally how they do it, and reading instruction sheets alone will not help.The Isaac Newton School of Driving opens up with a crash course on the physical principles of maneuvering animated objects, vulgo automobiles We recall the basics of the four stroke engine, the machine some of us remember as the light weight primary mover which made aviation possible.While the Carnot Cycle is introduced as the thermodynamic principle behind it all, a glimpse at the Wankel rotary engine and the Volkswagen W engine conclude the introductory chapters What follows are easily understandable presentations of a car s electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic elements Of special interest are the author s applications of probability calculus, Mandelbrot s theory of chaos, and the Complexity Theory, on the flow of traffic and the preconditions on traffic congestion We cannot thank authors like Barry Parker enough for their efforts to open peoples eyes to the underlying principles of those engineering wonders we take for granted, and in particular the ones we operate on our daily trips to the office.

  7. Barbara Heintz Barbara Heintz says:

    Author has a patronizing tone and is sloppy with his physics The numerous errors could have been caught by a thorough peer review The chapter on aerodynamics was detailed and good I also liked the treatments of automatic transmissions and hybrid cars.