The Handy Physics Answer Book, Third Edition

by Charles Liu, PhD
Handy Physics 3e

Armchair scientists will be happy to see “The Handy Physics Answer Book, Third Edition” by Charles Liu, Ph.D. beneath the tree. This Q-and-A format is easy to read, easy to browse, and fun to use.

-Bookworm Sez

… answers about 1,000 questions about physics. It organizes chapters by the order of how physics developed throughout the centuries, including the fundamentals of physics and key physicists, motion and force, momentum and energy, fluids, thermodynamics, waves, light and optics, electricity and magnetism, anatomic and quantum physics, and current research topics in physics.

-Protoview Book News

Revised for the first time in a decade, the completely updated third edition of The Handy Physics Answer Book makes physics and its impact on humans, the world, and the universe entertaining and easy to grasp.

[D]istills complicated physics concepts into bite-size explanations in question-and-answer format. The text is clear and easy to understand.

American Reference Books Annual (on previous edition)

The author does a good job explaining technical concepts simply. Answers are in plain nontechnical English, and formulas and jargon are kept to a minimum. This second edition will find its place with other popular physics books.

Booklist (on previous edition)

If your physics questions are specific, such as "What is Energy?" or "What is the difference between a dead load and a live load?" this book will work for you. Or if you want to page through and find answers to questions you did not know you had, this book will also work for you. The question and answer series is effective and clearly written. This book will be welcomed in the classrooms of middle school and high school, as well as a reference in libraries.

Children's Literature (on previous edition)

The Handy Physics Answer Book is geared toward the general audience but still of value to the scholar. Recommended.

Christian Library Journal (on previous edition)

This question-and-answer guide provides brief explanations suitable for quick reference and curious browsers. With a useful list of symbols and glossary.

Library Journal (on previous edition)

It is often not only convenient, but necessary, to have at hand a reference guide to answer basic questions regarding physics. This book does that and more. This is great book for anyone.

National Science Teachers Association (on previous edition)

The emphasis on practical applications of the principles of physics, including bridges, golf balls, lasers, calories, and electrical outlets, make this book a good selection for questions related to physics in the real world. This book will be a helpful reference for librarians, teachers, and with encouragement, for youth of all levels.

VOYA reviews (on previous edition)
An informative, accessible, easy-to-use guide to physics, covering the fundamental concepts and amazing discoveries that govern our universe!

We don’t need a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to know that everyone is governed by the laws of physics, but what are they? How do they affect us? Why do they matter? What did Newton mean when he said, "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?" What is gravity? What is Bernoulli’s Principle? Einstein’s Theory of Relativity? How do space, time, matter, and energy all interact? How do scientific laws, theories, and hypotheses differ? Physics can often seem difficult or complex, but it's actually beautiful and fun—and it doesn't need to be hard to understand.

Revised for the first time in a decade, the completely updated third edition of The Handy Physics Answer Book makes physics and its impact on us, the world, and the universe entertaining and easy to grasp. It disposes with the dense jargon and overly-complicated explanations often associated with physics, and instead it takes an accessible, conceptual approach—never dumbing down the amazing science, yet all written in everyday English.

The Handy Physics Answer Book tackles big issues and concepts, like motion, magnetism, sound, and light, and lots of smaller topics too—like, why don’t birds or squirrels on power lines get electrocuted?—and makes them enlightening and enjoyable for anyone who picks up this informative book. For everyone who has ever wondered about the sources of energy production in the United States, or how different kinds of light bulbs shine, or why wearing dark-colored clothes is warmer than light-colored ones, or even what happens when you fall into a black hole, The Handy Physics Answer Book examines more than 1,000 of the most frequently asked, most interesting, and most unusual questions about physics, including ...

  • How can I be moving even while I’m sitting still?
  • If the Sun suddenly disappeared, what would happen to the Sun’s gravity?
  • What is the energy efficiency of the human body?
  • Why do golf balls have dimples?
  • How can ice help keep plants warm?
  • What kinds of beaches are best for surfing?
  • What do 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G wireless networks mean?
  • Why shouldn’t metal objects be placed in microwave ovens?
  • Why does my voice sound different on a recording?
  • Can a light beam be frozen in time?
  • Why are soap bubbles sometimes so colorful?
  • Why does a charged balloon stick to a wall?
  • Is Earth a giant magnet?
  • What are gamma rays?
  • What happens when antimatter strikes matter?
  • What is quantum teleportation?
  • Are artificial intelligence systems able to think on their own?
  • What happens when two black holes collide?
  • How will the universe end?

    Useful and informative, The Handy Physics Answer Book also includes a glossary of commonly used terms to cut through the jargon, a helpful bibliography, and an extensive index. Ideal for students, curious readers of all ages, and anyone reckoning with the essential questions about the universe. This handy resource is an informative primer for applications in everyday life as well as the most significant scientific theories and discoveries of our time. And, we promise, no whiteboard needed.

  • About Charles Liu, PhD

    Charles Liu, PhD Charles Liu is a professor of astrophysics at the City University of New York's College of Staten Island and an associate with the Hayden Planetarium and Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. His research focuses on colliding galaxies, starburst galaxies, quasars, and the star formation history of the universe. In addition to his research publications, Liu also writes for students and general audiences; including Visible Ink Press’ popular The Handy Astronomy Answer Book and The Handy Physics Answer Book, as well as StarTalk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Jeffery Lee Simons. For his work with students, he has received the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award and the Award for Popular Writing on Solar Physics from the American Astronomical Society. Until recently, he served as Education Officer and Trustee of the American Astronomical Society, and he currently serves as president of the Astronomical Society of New York. He earned degrees in astronomy, astrophysics, and physics from Harvard and the University of Arizona, and he held postdoctoral positions at Kitt Peak National Observatory and at Columbia University. He and his wife have a daughter and two sons.

    Hometown: New Jersey

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