Description

We take it for granted, but without it we perish and if we continue to abuse it, it may kill us in the end. This fascinating text provides an understanding and appreciation of the role that air plays in our environment and its importance in relation to human life and technology. Aimed at those who are scientifically curious but who have no specialist training, it contains no mathematical equations and relies upon the qualitative descriptions and analogies to explain the more technical parts of the text together with simple home experiments to illustrate a range of air-based phenomena. Liberally illustrated with a range of line drawings and photographs, it recommends further reading for those who are motivated to learn more. This book offers invaluable background reading for both physics teachers and students.

Key Features

  • Provides an understanding and appreciation of the role that air plays in our environment and its importance in relation to human life and technology
  • An introductory text for those who are scientifically curious but have no specialist training
  • Delivers qualitative descriptions and analogies and simple experiments that illustrate a range of air-based phenomena

Readership

Those who are scientifically curious but who have no specialist training

Table of Contents

  • About the Author
  • Dedication
  • Author’s Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Glossary
  • Chapter 1: Origin, Nature and Properties of Air
    • Publisher Summary
    • 1.1 WHAT IS AIR MADE OF?
    • 1.2 WHERE DID AIR COME FROM?
    • 1.3 GLOBAL WARMING
    • 1.4 HOW HIGH IS THE ATMOSPHERE?
    • 1.5 HOW DO SOLIDS, LIQUIDS AND GASES DIFFER?
    • 1.6 HOW DO WE DESCRIBE THE STATE OF A GAS?
    • 1.7 HOW DOES HEAT TRANSPORT ENERGY IN AIR?
    • 1.8 WHAT ARE THE ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES OF AIR?
    • 1.9 WHY IS THE SKY BLUE?
  • Chapter 2: Air: the Supporter of Life
    • Publisher Summary
    • 2.1 OXYGEN, THE GIVER OF LIFE
    • 2.2 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE BREATHE?
    • 2.3 OTHER ANIMAL BREATHING MECHANISMS
    • 2.4 PLANT RESPIRATION
    • 2.5 OCEANS AND RIVERS ALSO ’BREATHE’
  • Chapter 3: Aerodynamics and Flight
    • Publisher Summary
    • 3.1 THE NATURE OF FLUID FLOW
    • 3.2 WHAT MAKES AIR MOVE?
    • 3.3 VISCOSITY AND THE BOUNDARY LAYER
    • 3.4 LAMINAR AND TURBULENT BOUNDARY LAYERS
    • 3.5 BERNOULLI’S EQUATION
    • 3.6 HOW DO VISCOSITY AND THE BOUNDARY LAYER AFFECT AIRFLOW?
    • 3.7 THE DEVELOPMENT OF AEROFOILS FOR WINGS
    • 3.8 SAILS
    • 3.9 VORTICITY AND VORTICES
    • 3.10 FLUTTER
    • 3.11 SUPERSONICS AND SHOCK WAVES
    • 3.12 BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM
    • 3.13 SOME OTHER FLIGHT MECHANISMS
  • Chapter 4: Sound in Air
    • Publisher Summary
    • 4.1 WHAT IS SOUND?
    • 4.2 SOUND ENERGY
    • 4.3 EFFECTS OF AIR PROPERTIES AND CONDITIONS ON SOUND
    • 4.4 SOURCES OF SOUND
  • Chapter 5: Meteorological Phenomena
    • Publisher Summary
    • 5.1 ROTATION OF THE EARTH
    • 5.2 FRAMES OF REFERENCE AND INERTIA FORCES
    • 5.3 THE CORIOLIS EFFECT
    • 5.4 MOTION OF ATMOSPHERIC AIR
    • 5.5 CYCLONES

Details

No. of pages:
136
Language:
English
Copyright:
© 2009
Published:
Imprint:
Woodhead Publishing
eBook ISBN:
9781782424345
Print ISBN:
9781904275428

About the author

Frank Fahy

Frank Fahy University of Southampton, UK

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Southampton, UK