Most of Bill's books have a companion videos or video series, many of the books can be downloaded for free.
Eight Amazing Engineering Stories reveals the stories behind how engineers use specific elements to create the material world around us. In eight chapters, the EngineerGuy team exposes the magnificence of the innovation and engineering of digital camera imagers, tiny accelerometers, atomic clocks, enriched uranium, batteries, microwave ovens, lasers, and anodized metals. In addition, short primers cover the scientific principles underlying the engineering, including waves, nuclear structure, and electronic transitions. "In Depth" sections cover entropy, semiconductors, and the mathematics of capacitors. Eight Amazing Engineering Stories forms the basis of the fourth series of EngineerGuy videos found on-line.
Michael Faraday's Chemical History of a Candle This book introduces modern readers to Michael Faraday’s great nineteenth-century lectures on The Chemical History of a Candle. This companion to the YouTube series contains supplemental material to help readers appreciate Faraday’s key insight that “there is no more open door by which you can enter into the study of science than by considering the physical phenomena of a candle.” Through a careful examination of a burning candle, Faraday’s lectures introduce readers to the concepts of mass, density, heat conduction, capillary action, and convection currents. They demonstrate the difference between chemical and physical processes, such as melting, vaporization, incandescence, and all types of combustion. And the lectures reveal the properties of hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, including their relative masses and the makeup of the atmosphere. The lectures wrap up with a grand, and startling, analogy: by understanding the chemical behavior of a candle the reader can grasp the basics of respiration. To help readers understand Faraday’s key points this book has an “Essential Background” section that explains in modern terms how a candle works, introductory guides for each lecture written in contemporary language, and seven student activities with teaching guides.
Fatal Flight brings vividly to life the year of operation of R.101, the last great British airship—a luxury liner three and a half times the length of a 747 jet, with a spacious lounge, a dining room that seated fifty, glass-walled promenade decks, and a smoking room. The British expected R.101 to spearhead a fleet of imperial airships that would dominate the skies as British naval ships, a century earlier, had ruled the seas. The dream ended when, on its demonstration flight to India, R.101 crashed in France, tragically killing nearly all aboard. Combining meticulous research with superb storytelling, Fatal Flight guides us from the moment the great airship emerged from its giant shed—nearly the largest building in the British Empire—to soar on its first flight, to its last fateful voyage. The full story behind R.101 shows that, although it was a failure, it was nevertheless a supremely imaginative human creation. The technical achievement of creating R.101 reveals the beauty, majesty, and, of course, the sorrow of the human experience. The narrative follows First Officer Noel Atherstone and his crew from the ship’s first test flight in 1929 to its fiery crash on October 5, 1930. It reveals in graphic detail the heroic actions of Atherstone as he battled tremendous obstacles. He fought political pressures to hurry the ship into the air, fended off Britain’s most feted airship pilot, who used his influence to take command of the ship and nearly crashed it, and, a scant two months before departing for India, guided the rebuilding of the ship to correct its faulty design. After this tragic accident, Britain abandoned airships, but R.101 flew again, its scrap melted down and sold to the Zeppelin Company, who used it to create LZ 129, an airship even more mighty than R.101—and better known as the Hindenburg. Set against the backdrop of the British Empire at the height of its power in the early twentieth century, Fatal Flight portrays an extraordinary age in technology, fueled by humankind’s obsession with flight.
Albert Michelson's Harmonic Analyzer: A Visual Tour of a Nineteenth Century Machine That Performs Fourier Analysis Albert Michelson’s Harmonic Analyzer celebrates a nineteenth century mechanical calculator that performed Fourier analysis by using gears, springs and levers to calculate with sines and cosines — an astonishing feat in an age before electronic computers. One hundred and fifty color photos reveal the analyzer’s beauty though full-page spreads, lush close-ups of its components, and archival photos of other Michelson-inspired analyzers. The book includes sample output from the machine and a reproduction of an 1898 journal article by Michelson, which first detailed the analyzer. The book is the official companion volume to the popular YouTube video series created by the authors.
How Engineers Create the World: The Public Radio Commentaries of Bill Hammack In over 200 delightful short essays Bill captures the creativity and impact of engineers. He talks of their spectacular achievements - jets, satellites, skyscrapers, and fiber optics—but draws his deepest insights from the everyday, the quotidian. He finds beauty, elegance and meaning in Ferris wheels, Tupperware, Slinkys, mood rings, waterless urinals and Velcro. Delivered originally on public radio between 1999 and 2005, each essay is a small slice of the world created by engineers. The essays also illuminate and inform about the important topics of our day by showing how intertwined engineering and technology are with terrorism, security, intellectual property and our cultural legacy.
Why Engineers Should Grow a Long Tail: A primer on using new media to inform the public and to create the next generation of innovative engineers This short primer, written in 2010, shows engineers how to think about new media by focusing on the deeper issues of communicating in this new user-generated era. Readers will grasp the mindset of new media; an understanding that will long outlast the latest social networking tools. It will empower practicing engineers to develop new, powerful ways to help the public understand what engineers do and why engineering is important; but perhaps most importantly this primer gives engineers the foundation for reaching the next generation of innovative engineers.