Age range 12 to 15
Have you ever noticed that the physical world works in certain ways? When you push an object it moves. Skateboarders use force and motion to perform tricks. If you jump up as high as you can, you'll quickly fall back to the ground. Baseball players use gravity to bring the ball back down when they throw it. When you flip a switch, electricity powers your toaster. Rock bands use electricity to put on a show. The fascinating science of physics helps you understand why forces, motion, gravity, electricity, light, and sound work in predictable ways.
Part of the Inquire and Investigate series, this interactive introduction to physics aims to give readers a working understanding of such topics as motion, electricity, and magnetism, presented through comics-style panels, allusions, and experiments. A skateboarder practicing tricks embodies principles like force and friction. For Newton's laws of motion, Gardner uses a theoretical train wreck as a way to discuss inertia and momentum (cartoon figures set up their own accident scenario with toy cars, and readers are invited to create their own car-wreck scenes). Physics computations are kept to a minimum, with the focus instead on providing a general familiarity with overarching ideas and sparking interest through hands-on methods. Ages 12-15. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.