This book uses basic calculations to help the student answer questions such as, “Why is the size of an atom roughly 10–8cm and not 1cm?” or “Why is the height of Mount Everest 10 km and not 100 km?” In short, “Why are things the way they are?” This book is an introduction to some methods of making rapid estimates, and shows how estimated answers can be made in just a few steps.
A physicist and a prolific writer, Dr G Venkataraman has had a distinguished career in science and technology at BARC, Mumbai, IGCAR, Kalpakkam, and Anurag, DRDO, Hyderabad. He was a Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow from 1984 to 1986. He has also served as Vice Chancellor and Honorary Professor at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prashanthi Nilayam. He is a recipient of many awards, including the Sir C V Raman Prize, C V Raman Centenary Medal, Padma Shri, Indira Gandhi Award and the Indian Science Congress Medal for his contributions to the popularisation of science.
Besides the Vignettes in Physics series, Dr Venkataraman has authored two monographs—Dynamics of Perfect Crystals and Beyond the Crystalline State. He is also the author of the widely acclaimed Journey into Light: Life and Science of C. V. Raman.
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