Mrs. Perkins's Electric Quiltis a great book for anyone interested in the connections between mathematics and physics. Along the way, Nahin, author of many popular math books, shares many historical anecdotes about the problems and the people who studied them. . . . A teacher of general physics or introductory calculus will find many interesting discussions that can be included in an introductory course. (Choice)
Contents: Three examples of the mutual embrace -- Measuring gravity -- Feynman's infinite circuit -- Air drag--a mathematical view -- Air drag--a physical view -- Really long falls -- The Zeta function--the physics -- Ballistics--with no air drag (yet) -- Ballistics--with air drag -- Gravity and Newton -- Gravity far above the earth -- Gravity inside the earth -- Quilts & electricity -- Random walks -- Two more random walks -- Nearest neighbors -- One last random walk -- The big noise -- Electricity in the fourth dimension.
The mathematics largely dominates the physics in this book, the problems vary in the level of their physics difficulty but the math level stays pretty constant. In nearly all cases, understanding integrals, some of which are complex, is necessary if you are to understand the solution. Generally speaking, the physics problems are understandable by anyone that has a fundamental understanding of the principles of physics. A strong course in high school physics would be adequate preparation. … more