The Physics of Banjos - A Conversation with David Politzer

by Howard Burton (Author)
Buy for $2.84 Excerpt

This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and David Politzer, 2004 Nobel Laureate and the Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech. This extensive conversation examines many of the intriguing aspects associated with the physics of banjos, including the ocarina effect, string-stretching, the subtleties of how we hear pitch, transient growth, and the mysterious ringing sound of banjos; while also touching briefly on contemporary issues in black holes and particle physics.

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Dancing To His Own Tune, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

The Feynman Experience - Inspirational encounters
Love at First Sound - The joy of the banjo
The Holy Grail - The challenge of qualifying sound
The Ocarina Effect - Probing the effect of rim height of the open-back banjo
Hearing Pitch - Not so simple
Relative Strengths - Break angles
Transient Growth - Coupled, damped oscillators
The Working Physicist - Ruminations from the front lines
The Journey Continues - Joys, frustrations, and the banjo brotherhood

About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series:

This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert in a focused yet informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks. For other books in this series visit our website:

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Publication date
September 30, 2020
File size
1 MB

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