How Things Work;Site-seers;Reviews;Web Sites

10th April 1998 at 01:00
How things work. www.phys.virginia.eduEducationTeachingHowThingsWork.

This is an online opportunity to ask all those significant questions - such as how do planes stay in the air, why don't deep-sea fish get squashed by the pressure, how does a tape recorder work and can you get a suntan through glass? If you want to know the answers, Louis Bloomfield, a physics professor at the University of Virginia, is ready to oblige.

Already hundreds of questions have been asked and answered. The answers aim to put questions about everyday life into an understandable scientific context, applying the laws of physics to gadgets around the house. So if you want ideas for the application of the laws governing electricity, magnetism, light and sound, there are plenty of examples here.

However the illustration of the theory of relativity and the constancy of the speed of light left me absolutely none the wiser, but they gave me a strangely enjoyable sense of nostalgia for physics lessons in which nothing made the slightest sense.

If you have any questions of your own, you can send an e-mail to the professor from the Web site.

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