How does soap know what's dirt? How do magnets work? Why do ice cubes crackle in your glass? And how can you keep them quiet?
These are questions that torment us all. Now Robert L. Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, provides definitive - and amazingly simple - explanations for the mysteries of everyday life. Shattering myths (such as the common belief that salt melts the ice in your driveway)... providing insider secrets (like what lights up a neon sign)... and daring you to perform your own experiments (find out what happens when you use a sharp knife to scratch the inside of a beer glass filled with brew!), Dr. Wolke provides astounding facts, can't-lose bar bets, and sometimes shocking truths.
Why is the sky blue? A candle flame yellow? Or bleached clothes white? Don't stay in the dark. When it comes to unraveling the mysteries of modern living, maybe Einstein didn't know. But you can - even if you've never lit a Bunsen burner - with this fascinating, eye-opening book about our astonishing world.
©1997 Robert L. Wolke (P)2012 Tantor
"Entertaining... a fun read." (The San Diego Union-Tribune)
I'm a keen, if eclectic, reader.
What Einstein Didn’t Know is a book filled with the wonders of science in an easily digestible meal of molecule sized bites. Robert Wolke knows how to explain the mysteries of every day life by demystifying the science behind it.
But this would have been a better book without the constant injections of humour. Most of these attempts, I thought, fell flat and distracted from the real value of the prose. In addition, the author seemed to have issues with a list of professions which were the butt of many of his quips; lawyers, marketers, government and other easy targets. Sean Runnette, an excellent narrator, also seemed to struggle with this mix of “science explained” and “stand up comedy”.
As I write this review I remember many of the excellent explanations of atoms, molecules and ions and a few of the analogies to explain them, but none of the jokes.
explanations for laypersons
Explanation why champagne bubbles
Chemistry and cooking
Physical-chemistry something interesting
The title of the book is what is unexplainable. It is only for capturing readers that surprise because Einstein does not appear any more in the text.
I listened to this and the sequel "What Einstein told his cook" and was fascinated with both. With a background in science and engineering, I learned a few fun facts reading the book. I would recommend this to anyone, regardless of their level of scientific knowledge. The book is well written and narrated, except for a few bad puns and jokes (which I really did enjoy with a small smile ;-).
Interesting book. somewhat repetitive in its contents. the title is unfortunate. this book is more about the wonders of chemistry than anything else.
Barrage of facts. Easy to understand but dryly performed.
This book is good for the information it contains. Not the kind of trivia book that can be picked up at any point and just as easily understood though. It starts with some basic scientific principles and builds on many of them throughout the book. It is well written but not delivered as entertainingly as it could have been. The narration is adequate but not terribly enthusiastic. Tho same meter, pitch, and tone tends to blend together after awhile.
I really tried to like this one because it was such an interesting idea and a good way to get people interested in finding out more. Honestly though, try as I might I couldn't even get half way before the narration started getting too irritating and the tone of writing began seeming too much like my old chemistry teachers. Couldn't stand them then and this reminds me of why
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