What We Are Reading Today: MH370: Mystery Solved by Larry Vance

Updated 24 May 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: MH370: Mystery Solved by Larry Vance

  • Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing in 2014
  • Australian Transport Safety Bureau believes the airliner most likely ran out of fuel

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March 2014 is one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries. Malaysia said on Wednesday that the search for the aircraft would end next week, after more than four years. Fragments of the Boeing 777, which was on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, were found washed up on islands off the African coast. 

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau believes the airliner most likely ran out of fuel and crashed after flying far off course. 

It believes all 239 passengers and crew on board were long dead inside a depressurized cabin and cockpit. “MH370: Mystery Solved,” written by Canadian air crash investigator Larry Vance, concludes that the pilot deliberately crashed the plane in an area where it would sink into unexplored depths of the Indian Ocean. Peter Foley, who coordinated the search for Malaysia, on Tuesday dismissed the book’s claim.


What We Are Reading Today: How to Fall Slower Than Gravity

Updated 14 November 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: How to Fall Slower Than Gravity

Author: Paul J. Nahin

Paul Nahin is a master at explaining odd phenomena through straightforward mathematics. In this collection of 26 intriguing problems, he explores how mathematical physicists think. Always entertaining, the problems range from ancient catapult conundrums to the puzzling physics of a very peculiar kind of glass called NASTYGLASS— and from dodging trucks to why raindrops fall slower than the rate of gravity. The questions raised may seem impossible to answer at first and may require an unexpected twist in reasoning, but sometimes their solutions are surprisingly simple. Nahin’s goal, however, is always to guide readers— who will need only to have studied advanced high school math and physics— in expanding their mathematical thinking to make sense of the curiosities of the physical world.
The problems are in the first part of the book and the solutions are in the second, so that readers may challenge themselves to solve the questions on their own before looking at the explanations. The problems show how mathematics — including algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and calculus — can be united with physical laws to solve both real and theoretical problems.

Historical anecdotes woven throughout the book bring alive the circumstances and people involved in some amazing discoveries and achievements.
More than a puzzle book, this work will immerse you in the delights of scientific history while honing your math skills.
Paul J. Nahin is the author of many popular math books, including In Praise of Simple Physics, Dr. Euler’s Fabulous Formula, and An Imaginary Tale (all Princeton).