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Paperback Clouds in a Glass of Beer: Simple Experiments in Atmospheric Physics Book

ISBN: 0471624829

ISBN13: 9780471624820

Clouds in a Glass of Beer: Simple Experiments in Atmospheric Physics

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Memorable and thoroughly understandable science lessons, liberally sprinkled with humor, will fascinate beginning physics students as well as other readers in such chapters as "On a Clear Day You "Can't "See Forever," "Physics on a Manure Heap," "A Murder in Ceylon," and "Multiple Scattering at the Breakfast Table."

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Fascinating read for every science enthusiast

Craig F. Bohren writes science books with a delight that is infectious. There are few books like this where science and education are turned into an entertaining commentary. Bohren shows us that the things we see normally, in our day to day life, contain the science truths which can be used to teach concepts, useful for understanding and solving more complex problems. The book is an amazing survey of simple experiments that can be done to understand the concepts relevant to the cloud physics and atmospheric phenomena. A fascinating introduction to formation of clouds, including role of salt particles in nucleation, relies on carefully observing the bubbles formed in a glass of beer. Surface tension is introduced by example of dew formed on bath mirror. Concepts related to evaporative cooling or mixing clouds or relative humidity, come with a baggage of simple experiments that debunk scientific myths and illustrate essential physics. A textbook on Atmospheric Thermodynamics, published by the same author, is an entertaining and more course friendly account of the same ideas. The science of clouds by Tricker is an equally delightful text on classroom demonstrations and cloud physics inherent in simple observations. Bohren tackles many concepts of light scattering which are quite difficult to grasp initially or say teach to young students, in a brilliant series of examples about what we observe in our daily life. Be it a discussion about "blue moon" or colors of sea or rainbows, Bohren takes the essential ideas and expresses them with his characteristic wit and brilliance. He supplies you with a tangible set of experiments to illustrate the concepts further. Bohren's treatise on Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles (coauthored with Huffman) is most definitely the resource for looking at detailed physics and mathematics associated with scattering. The classic text by van de Hulst "Light Scattering by Small Particles" is a useful supplement for those interested in theory of small particle scattering. Bohren has written another book titled: "What Light through Yonder Window Breaks" with some more hand-on experiments about Atmospheric Physics. "Clouds in the Glass of Beer" and its sequel are two books that every atmospheric physics student must read and own. The books are throughly enjoyable for anyone even remotely interested in everyday science. No equations involved! No education beyond high school required! Only for fun loving scientists, who believe that true understanding comes when a difficult concept can be explained by simple analogies and in simple language. Highly recommended.

Something for (almost) everyone

Craig Bohren is a first-rate atmospheric scientist with an unusual knack for being able to explain difficult concepts to general audiences. Sure, some of the explanations can get complicated so most readers will have to pause and think or reread sections occasionally to understand. However, Dr. Bohren uses figures and analogies rather than equations to explain physical processes. The book does not assume any particular scientific background and should be accessible to almost anyone willing to put in a little bit of mental effort. The book is less than 200 pages so the effort feels like a pleasant jog rather than a marathon. What's more, the author's fascination with the world around him and mostly interesting anecdotes inspire and entice the reader all the way. The author manages to do all this without dumbing down the science in any way. The subtitle suggests that the main purpose of the book is to provide educators with handy demonstrations of atmospheric physics. While the book certainly does this, it is not a recipe book in any sense. What one sees during the demonstrations is described well enough that the reader does not actually need to do them to follow what is going on. Moreover, the underlying science is well described and related to things most people see regularly in the sky around them. I have no plans to assemble these demonstrations but enjoyed the book immensely nonetheless. I am sure many others with an interest in the atmosphere will as well. [The following autobiographical information is to help you evaluate this review. I hold a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, having done my thesis work on some issues regarding airborne particulate matter. I am an assistant professor in environmental engineering at a major US research university, where I teach and regularly publish peer-reviewed research papers on air pollution. While I do not claim to be as expert as Dr. Bohren on the topic of atmospheric optics (few people can), I feel qualified to evaluate this book both technically and otherwise.]

An excellent resource for teachers and professors

This book has been invaluable to me in teaching a university class on the Earth's climate. I've been able to pull off some of the clever demonstrations in the classroom. I've never read more understandable descriptions of pressure, "heat", the latent heat of vaporization, and blackbody radiation, including its relationship to the greenhouse effect. The author's dismissive comments towards global warming as just the current fad of 1982 have not stood the test of time. His book, however, will help educators explain to the public our dire circumstances so that something might be done about it.

Very clever

This is a very well written, creative and informative work. It's a league well above the cliche "amazing science experiments" books and offers detailed insight into atmospheric phenomena. The style is prose, not the boring step by step method that turns off many readers. You can use it to perform experiments, but it's a good readin itself. I highly recommend it to teachers - you'll learn some interesting stuff while getting your demo ideas.

Every aspiring aviator should have a copy of this book.

optics, meteorology and the evidence of my own eyes have all been endlessly fascinating subjects since chancing on this little gem. Should be a compulsary gift for every one of those slightly jaded 500 hour pilots who think they have seen it all

Clouds in a Glass of Beer: Simple Experiments in Atmospheric Physics Mentions in Our Blog

Clouds in a Glass of Beer: Simple Experiments in Atmospheric Physics in The Science of A Wrinkle in Time
The Science of A Wrinkle in Time
Published by Beth Clark • November 29, 2018
You don't have to be an expert in theoretical cosomology or quantum physics to love Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, but if your sense of wonder or insatiable curiosity is fascinated by the science of it, we're about to make your inner nerd very happy.
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