Mad about Physics (2001)

We list here the known corrections to the book that will be included in the 2nd & 3rd editions.


Apr 10, 2001      Problem 102   Page 36             A clear plastic 6 mm diameter straw with a very clean-cut 2 mm diameter circular hole works very well. Any slight jerky movement of the hand causes the water below the hole to drop out. Cut the hole before insertion, then insert and place finger on the top, and finally remove straw at about a 30 degree angle ever so slowly and tilt back to vertical.

Jan 15, 2003       Problem 238   Page 231           Column 1, Line 7: Replace r/R by  Arcsin  r/R

Apr 2, 2001         Problem 148   Page 199         Add at the end:  What we have here is not an interference problem but the consequences of a quadrupole radiation pattern. One tuning fork tine vibrating produces a dipole radiation pattern with lobes in the plane of vibration. Ditto for the other tine. Only with two tines does one get a lobe perpendicular to the plane of vibration, not from interference but from a pumping action pulling air into and pushing air out from the region between the tines.

Jun 17, 2003       Problem 203   Page 217           Replace the text and the reference with the following text and reference:   A voltmeter measuring between two points on a copper ring shows a voltage that depends upon both its electrical conductivity and A, the constant rate of change of magnetic flux. The case of an extremely long ideal solenoid completely confining the magnetic field and a ring composed of two small resistances R1 and R2 is discussed in detail in the reference. The voltmeter connected across resistance R1 (with leads on the same side of the solenoid as R1) will measure a voltage V1 = ± A R1/(R1 + R2), where the sign depends upon the current direction and the orientation of the two voltmeter leads. To the extent that the magnetic field exterior to the solenoid can be neglected, this result does not depend, in principle, upon whether the voltmeter leads are twisted or not or are arranged to lie close to one another.  REF: Romer, R.H., "What do 'voltmeters' measure: Faraday's law in a multiply connected region", American Journal of Physics 50(1982): 1089-1093.

Jun 17, 2003      Problem 51      Page 17 & Page 168      Title Rainbow is changed to Raindrops.  Add to end of the answer: Those who want to understand the physics details of the rainbow, a more dificult challenge,  should consult the Internet or the references.

Descarte, René, Discours de la Méthode Pour Bien Conduire Sa Raison et Chercher la Vérité dans les Sciences (second appendix) La Dioptrique (1637).

Boyer, Carl B. The Rainbow From Myth to Mathematics, Princeton University Press ISBN 0-691-08457-2 and 02405-7 (pbk) Dover (1959).

Ahrens, C. Donald, Meteorology Today West Publishing House ISBN 0-314-80905-8 (1999).