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The world's oceans account for roughly 71 percent of the planet's surface and 99 percent of its livable volume. Any study of this huge habitat requires a solid foundation in the principles that underlie marine biology and physical and chemical oceanography, yet until now undergraduate textbooks have largely presented compilations of facts rather than explanations of principles. How the Ocean Works fills this gap, providing a concise... more...

In Long Hops, physicist Mark Denny explains, in a clear, conversational style, the science of bird migration―from the intricacies of bird aeronautics to the newly unraveled mysteries of their magnetic compasses. While providing wherever possible examples of indigenous Hawaiian species, the book surveys the migration phenomenon as a whole, showing that birds are breathtaking works of engineering with spectacular capabilities for... more...

How do meteorologists design forecasts for the next day's, the next week's, or the next month's weather? Are some forecasts more likely to be accurate than others, and why? Making Sense of Weather and Climate takes readers through key topics in atmospheric physics and presents a cogent view of how weather relates to climate, particularly climate-change science. It is the perfect book for amateur meteorologists and weather enthusiasts,... more...

Power generation is a relatively recent concern because humans had little need for sustained power until the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Today, modern civilization is wholly dependent on the production and distribution of power. Without it, our way of life would be extinguished. In Lights On!, Mark Denny reveals the mysterious world of power generation. He takes us on a fun tour, examining the nature of energy, tracing the... more...

In today’s world of online maps and travel directions delivered wirelessly to hand-held devices, getting from place to place requires little thought from most of us—which is a good thing, since accurate navigation can be tricky. Get your bearings with Mark Denny—an expert at explaining scientific concepts in non-technical language—in this all-encompassing look at the history and science of navigation. Denny’s tour kicks off... more...


The science of ballistics has a long history and starts with one question: How does a projectile move through the air? Even before physicists worked that one out, military engineers had been tinkering with ballistic devices for centuries. The trebuchet of the Middle Ages has given way to rocket power, and the science of ballistics has evolved to match the technology. Mark Denny’s survey covers this dynamic subject from prehistory to... more...

An estimated 4.1 million people in the United States participate in recreational sailing. Yet the large library of sailing literature leaves many of them high and dry. On one side are technical guides for America’s Cup boat-builders; on the other, simplistic books for weekend sailors with little interest in science. In Float Your Boat! professional and amateur boaters alike will find intelligent and understandable answers to such... more...

Ingenium is medieval English vernacular for "an ingenious contrivance." In this fascinating book, physicist Mark Denny considers five such contrivances—the bow and arrow, the waterwheel, the counterpoise siege engine (including the trebuchet), the pendulum clock anchor escapement, and the centrifugal governor—and demonstrates how they literally changed the world. Interweaving an entertaining narrative with diagrams, equations, and... more...

Ever wonder where the bubbles in your beer came from, which way they are going, and why? Have you considered the physical differences among ales, lambics, and lagers? Do you contemplate your pint? Accomplished homebrewer and physicist Mark Denny has crafted a scientifically sound and witty investigation of the physics and chemistry of beer. He recounts and explains the history of and key technological advances in brewing, provides... more...

The alarm calls of birds make them difficult for predators to locate, while the howl of wolves and the croak of bullfrogs are designed to carry across long distances. From an engineer’s perspective, how do such specialized adaptations among living things really work? And how does physics constrain evolution, channeling it in particular directions?Writing with wit and a richly informed sense of wonder, Denny and McFadzean offer an expert look at... more...