Cats Paws And Catapults by Steven VogelCats Paws And Catapults by Steven Vogel

Cats Paws And Catapults

bySteven Vogel

Paperback | January 13, 2000

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Nature and humans build their devices with the same earthly materials and use them in the same air and water, pulled by the same gravity. Why, then, do their designs diverge so sharply? Humans, for instance, love right angles while nature's angles are rarely right and usually rounded. Our technology goes around on wheels -- and on rotating pulleys, gears, shafts, and cams -- yet in nature only the tiny propellers of bacteria spin as true wheels. Our hinges turn because hard parts slide around each other whereas nature's hinges a rabbit's ear, for example: more often swing by bending flexible materials.

In this marvelously surprising, witty book, Steven Vogel compares these two mechanical worlds introduces the reader to his field of biomechanics, and explains how the nexus of physical law, size, and convenience of construction determine the designs of both people and nature.

Title:Cats Paws And CatapultsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:364 pages, 8.35 × 5.65 × 1.05 inPublished:January 13, 2000Publisher:W W NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393319903

ISBN - 13:9780393319903


From Our Editors

This fascinating book compares the diverse mechanical worlds of nature and people. Our designs diverge very sharply. For example, human mechanics often use right angles, whereas nature’s angles are usually rounded. Our hinges turn when hard parts slide around each other. Nature’s hinges, like a rabbit’s ear, swing by bending flexible materials. Cats’ Paws and Catapults changes the way you look at the mechanical world.

Editorial Reviews

"A book that should be enjoyed and understood by intelligent non-scientists as much as by scientists ... entertaining and illuminating."