Why The Wheel Is Round

Author: Steven Vogel
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022638117X
Size: 14.78 MB
Format: PDF
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There is no part of our bodies that fully rotates—be it a wrist or ankle or arm in a shoulder socket, we are made to twist only so far. And yet there is no more fundamental human invention than the wheel—a rotational mechanism that accomplishes what our physical form cannot. Throughout history, humans have developed technologies powered by human strength, complementing the physical abilities we have while overcoming our weaknesses. Providing a unique history of the wheel and other rotational devices—like cranks, cranes, carts, and capstans—Why the Wheel Is Round examines the contraptions and tricks we have devised in order to more efficiently move—and move through—the physical world. Steven Vogel combines his engineering expertise with his remarkable curiosity about how things work to explore how wheels and other mechanisms were, until very recently, powered by the push and pull of the muscles and skeletal systems of humans and other animals. Why the Wheel Is Round explores all manner of treadwheels, hand-spikes, gears, and more, as well as how these technologies diversified into such things as hand-held drills and hurdy-gurdies. Surprisingly, a number of these devices can be built out of everyday components and materials, and Vogel’s accessible and expansive book includes instructions and models so that inspired readers can even attempt to make their own muscle-powered technologies, like trebuchets and ballista. Appealing to anyone fascinated by the history of mechanics and technology as well as to hobbyists with home workshops, Why the Wheel Is Round offers a captivating exploration of our common technological heritage based on the simple concept of rotation. From our leg muscles powering the gears of a bicycle to our hands manipulating a mouse on a roller ball, it will be impossible to overlook the amazing feats of innovation behind our daily devices.

Cats Paws And Catapults

Author: Steven Vogel
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393319903
Size: 60.42 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Examines the workings of nature's mechanical designs and man's technology and compares the design similarities and differences of both human and natural technologies.

Prime Mover

Author: Steven Vogel
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393324631
Size: 31.68 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A fascinating introduction to the world of muscle explores the role this important tissue plays in a host of important tasks, from maintaining a heartbeat to hunting prey. Reprint.

The Life Of A Leaf

Author: Steven Vogel
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226859398
Size: 49.78 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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In its essence, science is a way of looking at and thinking about the world. In The Life of a Leaf, Steven Vogel illuminates this approach, using the humble leaf as a model. Whether plant or person, every organism must contend with its immediate physical environment, a world that both limits what organisms can do and offers innumerable opportunities for evolving fascinating ways of challenging those limits. Here, Vogel explains these interactions, examining through the example of the leaf the extraordinary designs that enable life to adapt to its physical world. In Vogel’s account, the leaf serves as a biological everyman, an ordinary and ubiquitous living thing that nonetheless speaks volumes about our environment as well as its own. Thus in exploring the leaf’s world, Vogel simultaneously explores our own. A companion website with demonstrations and teaching tools can be found here: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/sites/vogel/index.html

Comparative Biomechanics

Author: Steven Vogel
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400847826
Size: 51.64 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Why do you switch from walking to running at a specific speed? Why do tall trees rarely blow over in high winds? And why does a spore ejected into air at seventy miles per hour travel only a fraction of an inch? Comparative Biomechanics is the first and only textbook that takes a comprehensive look at the mechanical aspects of life--covering animals and plants, structure and movement, and solids and fluids. An ideal entry point into the ways living creatures interact with their immediate physical world, this revised and updated edition examines how the forms and activities of animals and plants reflect the materials available to nature, considers rules for fluid flow and structural design, and explores how organisms contend with environmental forces. Drawing on physics and mechanical engineering, Steven Vogel looks at how animals swim and fly, modes of terrestrial locomotion, organism responses to winds and water currents, circulatory and suspension-feeding systems, and the relationship between size and mechanical design. He also investigates links between the properties of biological materials--such as spider silk, jellyfish jelly, and muscle--and their structural and functional roles. Early chapters and appendices introduce relevant physical variables for quantification, and problem sets are provided at the end of each chapter. Comparative Biomechanics is useful for physical scientists and engineers seeking a guide to state-of-the-art biomechanics. For a wider audience, the textbook establishes the basic biological context for applied areas--including ergonomics, orthopedics, mechanical prosthetics, kinesiology, sports medicine, and biomimetics--and provides materials for exhibit designers at science museums. Problem sets at the ends of chapters Appendices cover basic background information Updated and expanded documentation and materials Revised figures and text Increased coverage of friction, viscoelastic materials, surface tension, diverse modes of locomotion, and biomimetics

Vital Circuits

Author: Steven Vogel
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195082699
Size: 34.95 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book is a fascinating, often witty, and highly original guide to the heart, vessels and blood, with side trips into the neighboring fields of physics, fluid mechanics, and chemistry.

Engineers And Engineering In The Renaissance

Author: William Barclay Parsons
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 46.86 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Calls attention to the technical achievements in civil engineer, mining engineer, the invention of machines, river-control, canal-building, bridge-building, and structural engineering on the continent of Europe.

Thinking Like A Mall

Author: Steven Vogel
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262029103
Size: 11.51 MB
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A provocative argument that environmental thinking would be better off if it dropped the concept of "nature" altogether and spoke instead of the built environment.

The Perfectionists

Author: Simon Winchester
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062652575
Size: 60.23 MB
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The revered New York Times bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement—precision—in a superb history that is both an homage and a warning for our future. The rise of manufacturing could not have happened without an attention to precision. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century England, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools—machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods resulted in the creation and mass production of items from guns and glass to mirrors, lenses, and cameras—and eventually gave way to further breakthroughs, including gene splicing, microchips, and the Hadron Collider. Simon Winchester takes us back to origins of the Industrial Age, to England where he introduces the scientific minds that helped usher in modern production: John Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden, and Joseph Whitworth. It was Thomas Jefferson who later exported their discoveries to the fledgling United States, setting the nation on its course to become a manufacturing titan. Winchester moves forward through time, to today’s cutting-edge developments occurring around the world, from America to Western Europe to Asia. As he introduces the minds and methods that have changed the modern world, Winchester explores fundamental questions. Why is precision important? What are the different tools we use to measure it? Who has invented and perfected it? Has the pursuit of the ultra-precise in so many facets of human life blinded us to other things of equal value, such as an appreciation for the age-old traditions of craftsmanship, art, and high culture? Are we missing something that reflects the world as it is, rather than the world as we think we would wish it to be? And can the precise and the natural co-exist in society?