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The Flying Circus of Physics

Witness astounding feats of physics

Hurry! Hurry! Come one, come all. Meet a man who can pull two railroad passenger cars with his teeth and a real-life human cannon ball. Come face to face with a dead rattlesnake that still bites. And unlock the secrets to the magician’s bodiless head.

Welcome to Jearl Walker’s Flying Circus of Physics, 2nd Edition, where death-defying stunts, high-flying acrobatics, strange curiosities, and mind-bending illusions are all part of everyday life. You don’t need a ticket; you only need to look to the world around you to uncover these fascinating feats of physics.

Completely updated and expanded, this Second Edition of Jearl Walker’s best-selling book features more than 700 thoroughly intriguing questions about relevant, fun, and completely real physical phenomena. Detailed explanations and references to outside sources guide your way through the problems.

You’ll discover answers to such questions as:

  • Can you start a fire with ice?
  • Why does the sky turn green just before a tornado?
  • Why do wintergreen LifeSavers glow in the dark when you bite them?
  • If you are falling in an elevator, should you try to jump up at the last second or lay flat against the floor?
  • How do electric eels produce their electric field?
  • Why is wet sand darker than dry sand?
  • What causes an oasis mirage?
  • Why do stars twinkle?
  • Could you drive a car on a ceiling?
Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface. Chapter 1. Slipping Between Falling Drops. (Motion). Chapter 2. Racing on the Ceiling, Swimming Through Syrup. (Fluids). Chapter.3. Hiding Under the Covers, Listening or the Monsters. (Sound). Chapter 4. Striking at the Heat in the Night. (Thermal Processes). Chapter 5. Ducking First a Roar and Then a Flash. (Electricity and Magnetism). Chapter 6. Splashing Colors Everywhere, Like a Rainbow. (Optics). Chapter 7. Armadillos Dancing Against a Swollen Moon. (Vision). Index.

About the Author

Jearl Walker, professor of physics at Cleveland State University, received his BS in physics from MIT in 1967 and his PhD in physics from University of Maryland in 1973. His book The Flying Circus of Physics was published 30 years ago, has been translated into at least 10 languages, and is still being sold world wide. For 16 years he toured his Flying Circus talk throughout the U.S. and Canada, introducing such physics stunts as the bed-of-nails demonstration and the walking-on-hot-coals demonstration to countless physics teachers, who then proceeded to hurt themselves when they repeated the stunts in their own classrooms. These talks led to his PBS television show Kinetic Karnival which ran nationally for years and which earned an Emmy.

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