Why Cats Land on Their Feet: And 76 Other Physical Paradoxes and Puzzles

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 2012 - Science - 190 pages
1 Review

Ever wonder why cats land on their feet? Or what holds a spinning top upright? Or whether it is possible to feel the Earth's rotation in an airplane? Why Cats Land on Their Feet is a compendium of paradoxes and puzzles that readers can solve using their own physical intuition. And the surprising answers to virtually all of these astonishing paradoxes can be arrived at with no formal knowledge of physics.


Mark Levi introduces each physical problem, sometimes gives a hint or two, and then fully explains the solution. Here readers can test their critical-thinking skills against a whole assortment of puzzles and paradoxes involving floating and diving, sailing and gliding, gymnastics, bike riding, outer space, throwing a ball from a moving car, centrifugal force, gyroscopic motion, and, of course, falling cats.


Want to figure out how to open a wine bottle with a book? Or how to compute the square root of a number using a tennis shoe and a watch? Why Cats Land on Their Feet shows you how, and all that's required is a familiarity with basic high-school mathematics. This lively collection also features an appendix that explains all physical concepts used in the book, from Newton's laws to the fundamental theorem of calculus.


  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Why Cats Land on Their Feet: And 76 Other Physical Paradoxes and Puzzles

User Review  - April - Goodreads

Too much math and science for me.......way too much. Read full review

Contents

1 Fun with Physical Paradoxes Puzzles and Problems
1
2 Outer Space Paradoxes
5
3 Paradoxes with Spinning Water
17
4 Floating and Diving Paradoxes
28
5 Flows and Jets
39
Bikes Gymnastics Rockets
57
7 Paradoxes with the Coriolis Force
77
8 Centrifugal Paradoxes
84
10 Some Hot Stuff and Cool Things
117
11 Two Perpetual Motion Machines
127
12 Sailing and Gliding
132
13 The Flipping Cat and the Spinning Earth
142
14 Miscellaneous
146
Appendix
161
Bibliography
187
Index
189

9 Gyroscopic Paradoxes
104

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Mark Levi is professor of mathematics at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of "The Mathematical Mechanic: Using Physical Reasoning to Solve Problems".

Bibliographic information