Wednesday, July 21, 2010
He Blinded Me with Science!
Sorry for the Thomas Dolby 80s reference but I thought it would get your attention. This week I thought I would talk about Roger Highfield's The Physics of Christmas. Not exactly the first book to come to mind when you think of the holidays, but hear me out. I'm a geek at heart. I love science and channel that through my baking. So imagine my surprise about finding this book.
Taken from the title page: Delight in the physics of snow. A single snowflake might contain on the order of 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 water molecules. Or shopping. Although the lines of people in a supermarket are subject to random delays, on average they tend to move at about the same rate. This is captured in a mathematical form called the Poisson process.
Interesting huh? So, if you have an interest in the more logical and reasoning side of the holidays why not pick up this book. You'll be fascinated at the thermodynamics of turkey, or the aerodynamics of reindeer. Who knows? Maybe this year, as you're trudging through those crowded malls during the holidays, you see everyone as a school of fish. That should add some cheer to your Christmas!