Offbeat Physics : Machines, Meditations and Misconceptions book cover
1st Edition

Offbeat Physics
Machines, Meditations and Misconceptions

Edited By

P.I.C. Teixeira

ISBN 9781032021164
Published April 29, 2022 by CRC Press
276 Pages 94 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Offbeat Physics: Machines, Meditations and Misconceptions is a collection of articles on various topics in classical physics that have intrigued the author and their students throughout the years.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I -- Machines, comprises chapters that explain or model the workings of a number of machines (understood in a broad sense) on the basis of physical principles. These machines can be as simple as a rolling wheel or as complex as a jet engine. Then in Part II -- Meditations, the authors go beyond the standard examples, experiments and approximations discussed ad nauseam in most physics textbooks, but which are not always very exciting or realistic. For example, what happens when colliding bodies are not perfectly rigid -- as we know real bodies are not? Finally, Part III -- Misconceptions aims to correct misconceptions that students may have about physical phenomena or clarify issues that are often presented misleadingly, confusingly or imprecisely in textbooks, such as the relationship between angular momentum and angular velocity in rotational motion.

This is a book for all those who wish to learn physics beyond the textbooks and from more realistic problems, often occurring in engineering contexts. It will be useful to instructors at all levels, as well as highly motivated students taking General Physics courses in higher education.

Table of Contents


Section 1: Machines

1. Dynamics of Braking Vehicles: from Coulomb Friction to Anti-lock Braking Systems
J. M. Tavares

2. Simple Thermodynamics of Jet Engines
P. Patrício and J. M. Tavares

3. Surprises of the Transformer as a Coupled Oscillator System
J. P. Silva and A. J. Silvestre

4. Maximum Thermodynamic Power Coefficient of a Wind Turbine
J. M. Tavares and P. Patrício

Section 2: Meditations

5. Mutual Inductance between Piecewise Linear Loops
A. C. Barroso and J. P. Silva

6. The Hertz Contact in Chain Elastic Collisions
P. Patrício

7. Tilted Boxes on Inclined Planes
A. M. Nunes and J. P. Silva

8. Magnetic Forces Acting on Rigid Current-Carrying Wires Placed in a Uniform Magnetic Field
A. Casaca and J. P. Silva

9. Comparing a Current-carrying Circular Wire with Polygons of Equal Perimeter: Magnetic Field versus Magnetic Flux
J. P. Silva and A. J. Silvestre

10. The Elastic Bounces of a Sphere between Two Parallel Walls
J. M. Tavares

11. How Short and Light Can a Simple Pendulum Be for Classroom Use?
V. Oliveira

12. Experiments with a Falling Rod
V. Oliveira

13. Oscillations of a Rectangular Plate
V. Oliveira

14. Bullet Block Experiment: Angular Momentum Conservation and Kinetic Energy Dissipation
J. M. Tavares

15. The Continuity Equation in Ampère’s Law
J. P. Silva and A. J. Silvestre

Section 3: Misconceptions

16. On the Relation between Angular Momentum and Angular Velocity
J. P. Silva and J. M. Tavares

17. A Very Abnormal Normal Force
J. P. Silva and A. J. Silvestre

18. Rolling Cylinder on an Inclined Plane
V. Oliveira


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Paulo Teixeira is a Coordinator Professor at Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, Portugal.