This book reveals some of the stories behind how engineers use specific elements to create the material world around us. In eight chapters, the EngineerGuy team exposes the magnificence of the innovation and engineering of digital camera imagers, tiny accelerometers, atomic clocks, enriching fissile material, batteries, anodizing metals, microwave ovens, and lasers. To help readers of all backgrounds, the book also includes introductions to the scientific principles necessary for a deeper understanding of the material presented in the chapters. The reader will be delighted by primers on waves, nuclear structure, and electronic transitions. It also features “In depth” sections on entropy, semiconductors, and the mathematics of capacitors.
This book forms the basis of the fourth series of EngineerGuy videos. The eight videos in the series serve as great introductions to the book. In typical EngineerGuy style they present a "snackable" distillation of the essential engineering underlying an object. The videos feature the hallmarks of an EngineerGuy video: Clear visuals, illustrative close-ups, and demonstrations - not a surprise because the same team created the succesful EngineerGuy videos that revealed how an LCD monitor worked, exposed the basics of a hard drive, and explained fiber optics.
Digital Cameras: How a CCD Works This chapter discusses how silicon-based pixels use the photoelectric effect to measure light intensity. It covers these topics:
How a Smartphone Knows Up from Down Accelerometers inside many electronic devices - tablets and phones - re-orient the screen as a user moves the device. This chapter opens by using a simple ball and spring device to explain the general principle of an accelerometer. It then describes:
How an Atomic Clock Works This chapter lays out the essential principles and operation of an atomic clock. Specifically, it includes:
Primer: Nuclear Structure This chapter gives a brief overview of nuclear structure. It describes:
The Hardest Step in Making a Nuclear Bomb The hardest step is obtaining isotope uranium-235, which must be separated from uranium-238. The chapter includes:
The Lead-Acid Battery: A Nineteenth Century Invention for the Twenty-first Century The lead-acid battery lies at the center of our technological world: The single largest use of batteries is for starting engines of cars and trucks. This chapter includes:
Anodizing, or the Beauty of Corrosion Apple’s ipod and laptops use gorgeous anodized aluminum. although it looks like a painted coating it is actually an integral layer grown into the aluminum. This chapter reveals how this process works. It includes:
Primer: Waves Many of the objects and processes described in the book depend on the movement of waves. This chapter covers a few basic definitions and principles of waves, including:
How a Microwave Oven Works Microwave ovens exist in nearly every American home, yet few realize that this modern device depends on an older technology: The vacuum tube. This chapter describes the operation of an oven, focusing on how its inner workings create microwave radiation. The chapter includes:
Primer: Electrons, Energy Levels, and Light Emission The final chapter discusses the operation of a laser. This chapter gives the essential details needed to understand its operation. It includes:
How a Laser Works This chapter reveals the essential engineering details in making a laser. It includes:
The book can be purchased in either paperbound, hardbound or ebook versions. We've made sure it's available on all major platforms.
Limited Edition Signed Hardcover No longer available
There are 500 of the first edition hardcover editions available. They are signed by all three authors. Details here.