Quantify!: A Crash Course in Smart Thinking by Göran Grimvall
(Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011, 218 pages)
Here’s a science book that won’t put you to sleep. It kept me up past 11:30 pm. That was on a weekday night, mind you. The author is a physics professor and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is a frequent contributor to local news, radio and tv programs, and he’s very enthusiastic about promoting science, especially physics.
The book has seven chapters, each chapter includes several essays focusing on a main subject. Most of the essays can be read independently of each other. Fascinating stories and daily examples are told and scientific interpretations are explained. This is an excellent read for high school students, college students, or anyone who just enjoys science. How about a teaser from chapter seven, a problem that has been given in an entrance exam to Finnish University of Technology:
A beaker is two-fifths filled with water. An apple floats in the water, with a certain fraction of the apple’s volume submerged in water. Then one adds as much olive oil as there is water in the beaker. How large a fraction of the apple’s volume is now submerged in water? (a) A larger fraction. (b) A smaller fraction. (c) The fraction is unchanged.