What's Science Ever Done For Us: What the Simpsons Can Teach Us About Physics, Robots, Life, and the Universe

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9780470114605: What's Science Ever Done For Us: What the Simpsons Can Teach Us About Physics, Robots, Life, and the Universe

A playful and entertaining look at science on The Simpsons

This amusing book explores science as presented on the longest-running and most popular animated TV series ever made: The Simpsons. Over the years, the show has examined such issues as genetic mutation, time travel, artificial intelligence, and even aliens. ""What's Science Ever Done for Us?"" examines these and many other topics through the lens of America's favorite cartoon.

This spirited science guide will inform Simpsons fans and entertain science buffs with a delightful combination of fun and fact. It will be the perfect companion to the upcoming Simpsons movie.

The Simpsons is a magnificent roadmap of modern issues in science. This completely unauthorized, informative, and fun exploration of the science and technology, connected with the world's most famous cartoon family, looks at classic episodes from the show to launch fascinating scientific discussions mixed with intriguing speculative ideas and a dose of humor. Could gravitational lensing create optical illusions, such as when Homer saw someone invisible to everyone else? Is the Coriolis effect strong enough to make all toilets in the Southern Hemisphere flush clockwise, as Bart was so keen to find out? If Earth were in peril, would it make sense to board a rocket, as Marge, Lisa, and Maggie did, and head to Mars? While Bart and Millhouse can't stop time and have fun forever, Paul Halpern explores the theoretical possibilities involving Einstein's theory of time dilation.

Paul Halpern, PhD (Philadelphia, PA) is Professor of Physics and Mathematics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and a 2002 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. He is also the author of The Great Beyond (0-471-46595-X).

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From the Back Cover:

Is the universe shaped like a donut?

Homer proposed such a theory.

Do three-eyed fish swim near nuclear power plants?

Bart managed to catch one.

Are perpetual-motion machines suitable for school projects?

Lisa constructed a working model.

The Simpsons®, the world's most popular and longest-running animated series, is a treasure-trove of scientific ideas and a clever mixture of fact and fancy. Now there's a guide to the science behind the show. In What's Science Ever Done for Us? you'll find answers to an amazing array of scientific questions raised in 26 classic episodes, including:

  • Can genetics explain Homer's dimwittedness and Lisa's brains?

  • Are shrink-rays and teleportation devices possible along the linesof Professor Frink's inventions?

  • Could androids, like the one that replaced Bart in one episode,ever have consciousness?

  • Do toilets in North America and Australia flush in opposite directions?

  • If Earth were in peril, should we try to escape on a rocket, like Marge, Lisa, and Maggie did, and attempt to colonize Mars?

  • Could we travel back in time, like Homer did, change the past, and find ourselves in a parallel reality?

Whether you're a Simpsons fan, a science buff, or both, get ready to laugh and learn as Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa, and the entire town of Springfield prove that science isn't just fun—it's hilarious!

About the Author:

Paul Halpern, PHD, is professor of physics and mathematics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and a 2002 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. He is the author of The Great Beyond, also from Wiley.

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