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“The Way Things Work Now: From Levers to Lasers, Windmills to Wi-Fi, A Visual Guide to the World of Machines,” by David Macaulay, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 2016. This 400-page hardback is the latest update to the famous series from 1988. (However, I have one titled “The Way Things Work,” from 1967 translated from German.) The current volume has excellent full colored illustrations of numerous devices. It follows the scheme of physics with sections on mechanics, harnessing elements (floating, flying, heat and power), waves (light, photography, printing, sound/music, and telecommunications), electricity, and digital technologies.

Each article is well illustrated and includes an explanation of how the device works. The items covered includes the classics like the plow, the zipper, gears, wheels, watches, pulleys, etc. New updated items describe the smartphone, the photo copier, batteries, 3D printer, maglev train, x-rays, touchscreens, scanner, microchip, speech recognition, robots, computers, etc.

An epilogue section provides brief articles on the history of the technologies and inventions discussed earlier. A final section provides definitions of technical terms.

This book is effectively a one-volume encyclopedia of technology. The presentation is directed at the young mind (7th to 9th grade). It endeavors to explain the workings of many devices in clear, non-technical language. For those heading into STEM careers in physics or engineering, this is an excellent reference book. Good reading. Very informative. Index.
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