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Science of Spin: How Rotational Forces Affect Everything from Your Body to Jet Engines to the Weather

Science of Spin: How Rotational Forces Affect Everything from Your Body to Jet Engines to the Weather

Ennos, Roland

Regular price $28.00 Sale

From the time women first used rotating bobbins to twist thread and men whirled slings around their heads to throw stones, people have found spin fascinating and baffling in equal measure. Now, in The Science of Spin, Roland Ennos shows how rotational motion dominates the workings of the world around us. It has shaped the solar system, galaxies, and black holes. It controls our climate and weather—from the pattern of trade winds through to the local formation of hurricanes and tornadoes. Harnessing the power of spin helped launch civilization, from the first developments of the wheel to the systems that now power the industrial world—propellers, turbines, centrifugal pumps, and electric motors. Even our own bodies are complex systems of rotating joints and levers.

But scientists have a tendency to ignore the simple and straightforward. So, 17th-century scientists developed the science of mechanics to explain the phenomenon of the orbit of the planets rather than how machines work. And Newton’s laws have actually limited our understanding of spin because they focus on linear motion rather than on an intuitive grasp of rotation. As a result, few people realize how spin makes our planet habitable, or how it has been tamed by engineers to make our lives more comfortable.

In a lively and engaging style, Ennos presents a new approach to mechanics that not only helps us better understand the world, but also reveals unlikely links between tightrope walkers and tyrannosaurs, catapults and tennis players, stunt cars and long jumpers. By opening our minds, he shows how we can all learn to move about more gracefully, play sports more successfully and safely—and ensure that, like cats, we always land on our feet. A highly entertaining and informative read, whether it be natural or engineered, spin is what really makes the world go round.

Hardcover, July 18th 2023