Books by Richard Kaufman

MATTER AND ENERGY by Robert Friedhoffer
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

Professional magician Friedhoffer, now devoting much of his time to science/magic shows at schools and museums, has written six books—the ``Scientific Magic'' series—covering the basic topics in beginning physics by alternating exposition, experiments, and magic tricks designed to illustrate scientific principles. The style is informal and breezy—the author is fond of the word ``stuff,'' for example—but it doesn't get in the way of the explanations. The tricks are not uniformly successful (``cutting'' a tape measure in half and then restoring it to show the constancy of measurements is a little inspired), but some - -e.g., those having to do with volume and air pressure—are good illustrations of scientific principles. The extent to which teachers could adapt some of this material will vary, but there's probably something here for everyone. And kids who are just after the tricks are sure to learn something in the process. The drawings also vary in effectiveness—in some cases, making the magical apparatus by following them would be a real challenge. An interesting, if unevenly developed, approach. (Nonfiction. 10+) Read full book review >