Why Things Break

Why Things Break

Understanding the World by the Way It Comes Apart

Book - 2003
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Did you know-- • It took more than an iceberg to sink the Titanic. • The Challenger disaster was predicted. • Unbreakable glass dinnerware had its origin in railroad lanterns. • A football team cannot lose momentum. • Mercury thermometers are prohibited on airplanes for a crucial reason. • Kryptonite bicycle locks are easily broken. "Things fall apart" is more than a poetic insight--it is a fundamental property of the physical world. Why Things Break explores the fascinating question of what holds things together (for a while), what breaks them apart, and why the answers have a direct bearing on our everyday lives. When Mark Eberhart was growing up in the 1960s, he learned that splitting an atom leads to a terrible explosion--which prompted him to worry that when he cut into a stick of butter, he would inadvertently unleash a nuclear cataclysm. Years later, as a chemistry professor, he remembered this childhood fear when he began to ponder the fact that we know more about how to split an atom than we do about how a pane of glass breaks. InWhy Things Break, Eberhart leads us on a remarkable and entertaining exploration of all the cracks, clefts, fissures, and faults examined in the field of materials science and the many astonishing discoveries that have been made about everything from the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger to the crashing of your hard drive. Understanding why things break is crucial to modern life on every level, from personal safety to macroeconomics, but as Eberhart reveals here, it is also an area of cutting-edge science that is as provocative as it is illuminating.
Publisher: New York : Harmony Books, c2003
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400047604
1400047609
Branch Call Number: 620.112 EBERHART
Characteristics: ix, 256 p. ; 25 cm

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j
jvences
Apr 07, 2018

This book attracted my attention due its title. Although, the answer to "why things break?" is not provided, it keeps you entertained by giving multiple examples of important engineering events. From failures to discoveries that have happened in human history. Yes, it is a mixture of the author's memories with fine description of abstract concepts he encountered/learned along his education career-life.

Downside perhaps is that, effectively, the author sways frequently from the science and political fields by clearly noticing his disagreement with the government, regarding science. It is an enjoyable read, and for sure I highly recommend it to all those curious minds with likes into science matters. A most, for any engineering student or already engineer out there.

Now I know the great and importante difference between plutonium-238 and -239 (page 154).

l
Liber_vermis
Sep 17, 2013

On page 245, the author admits to his readers, finally, that "This book has been concerned as much with the system [aka bureaucracy] through which science is done as with the science of why things break." In fact, this very readable book is more a memoir than a layman's introduction to Fracture Mechanics 101. If you have a child who may have an interest in becoming a scientist, this book is a must read - inspirational, motivational, and honest. The author reveals how to break a Kryptonite bicycle lock too.

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j
jvences
Apr 07, 2018

jvences thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

l
Liber_vermis
Sep 17, 2013

Liber_vermis thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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