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Plant Physics

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From Galileo, who used the hollow stalks of grass to demonstrate the idea that peripherally located construction materials provide most of the resistance to bending forces, to Leonardo da Vinci, whose illustrations of the parachute are alleged to be based on his study of the dandelions pappus and the maple trees samara, many of our greatest physicists, mathematicians, and engineers have learned much from studying plants.
 
A symbiotic relationship between botany and the fields of physics, mathematics, engineering, and chemistry continues today, as is revealed in Plant Physics. The result of a long-term collaboration between plant evolutionary biologist Karl J. Niklas and physicist Hanns-Christof Spatz, Plant Physics presents a detailed account of the principles of classical physics, evolutionary theory, and plant biology in order to explain the complex interrelationships among plant form, function, environment, and evolutionary history. Covering a wide range of topics—from the development and evolution of the basic plant body and the ecology of aquatic unicellular plants to mathematical treatments of light attenuation through tree canopies and the movement of water through plants roots, stems, and leaves—Plant Physics is destined to inspire students and professionals alike to traverse disciplinary membranes.  

 

Synopsis:

For centuries, botanists and physicists have mutually benefitted from collaborations.  Galileo used the hollow stalks of grass to illustrate the idea that peripheral rather than centrally located construction materials provide most of the resistance to bending forces. Leonardo da Vincis interest in fluid mechanics was inspired by observing the cross-sectional areas of tree trunks, and his drawings illustrating the concept of a parachute and an auto-gyroscopic propeller are alleged to be based on his study of the dandelions pappus and the maple trees samara.

Plant Physics explores the contemporary insights that emerge when plants are studied with the aid of physics, mathematics, engineering, and chemistry.  It starts with such fundamental topics as the importance of plant life, the relationship between organic form and function, plant reproduction and development, the importance of multicellularity, and the developmental basis of the basic plant body plans. The work then explores how fundamental physical principles and processes affect plant growth and ecology.  Specific topics addressed include plant water relations, solid and fluid mechanics, electrophysiology, and optics in relation to plant form, function, and ecology.

Written by one of the worlds best known botanists, it is destined to inspire students and professionals alike to traverse disciplinary membranes.

About the Author

Karl J. Niklas is the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Plant Biology in the Department of Plant Biology at Cornell University. He is the author of Plant Biomechanics, Plant Allometry, and The Evolutionary Biology of Plants, all published by the University of Chicago Press.

Hanns-Christof Spatz is professor emeritus of biophysics in the Faculty of Biology at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universit�t Freiburg in Germany.

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Recommended Reading
Frequently Used Symbols

CHAPTER 1. An Introduction to Some Basic Concepts

 1.1 What is plant physics?

 1.2 The importance of plants

BOX 1.1 The amount of organic carbon produced annually

 1.3 A brief history of plant life

 1.4 A brief review of vascular plant ontogeny

 1.5 Plant reproduction

 1.6 Compromise and adaptive evolution

BOX 1.2 Photosynthetic efficiency versus mechanical stability

 1.7 Elucidating function from form

 1.8 The basic plant body plans

 1.9 The importance of multicellularity

CHAPTER 2. Environmental Biophysics

 2.1 Three transport laws

 2.2 Boundary layers

 2.3 Living in water versus air

BOX 2.1 Passive diffusion of carbon dioxide in the boundary layer in air and in water

 2.4 Light interception and photosynthesis

BOX 2.2 Absorption of light by chloroplasts

BOX 2.3 Formulas for the effective light absorption cross section of some geometric objects

BOX 2.4 Modeling light interception in canopies

 2.5 Phototropism

 2.6 Mechanoperception

 2.7 Thigmomorphogenesis

 2.8 Gravitropism

 2.9 Root growth, root anchorage, and soil properties

CHAPTER 3. Plant Water Relations

 3.1 The roles of water acquisition and conservation

 3.2 Some physical properties of water

 3.3 Vapor pressure and Raoults law

 3.4 Chemical potential and osmotic pressure

 3.5 Water potential

 3.6 Turgor pressure and the volumetric elastic modulus

 3.7 Flow through tubes and the Hagen-Poiseuille equation

 3.8 The cohesion-tension theory and the ascent of water

 3.9 Phloem and phloem loading

CHAPTER 4. The Mechanical Behavior of Materials

 4.1 Types of forces and their components

 4.2 Strains

 4.3 Different responses to applied forces

 4.4 A note of caution about normal stresses and strains

 4.5 Extension to three dimensions

 4.6 Poisson's ratios

BOX 4.1 Poissons ratio for an incompressible fluid

BOX 4.2 Poissons ratio for a cell

 4.7 Isotropic and anisotropic materials

 4.8 Shear stresses and strains

 4.9 Interrelation between normal stresses and shear stresses

 4.10 Nonlinear elastic behavior

 4.11 Viscoelastic materials

 4.12 Plastic deformation

 4.13 Strength

 4.14 Fracture mechanics

 4.15 Toughness, work of fracture, and fracture toughness

 4.16 Composite materials and structures

 4.17 The Cook-Gordon mechanism

CHAPTER 5. The Effects of Geometry, Shape, and Size

 5.1 Geometry and shape are not the same things

 5.2 Pure bending

 5.3 The second moment of area

 5.4 Simple bending

BOX 5.1 Bending of slender cantilevers

BOX 5.2 Three-point-bending of slender beams

 5.5 Bending and shearing

BOX 5.3 Bending and shearing of a cantilever

BOX 5.4 Bending and shearing of a simply supported beam

BOX 5.5 The influence of the microfibrillar angle on the stiffness of a cell

 5.6 Fracture in bending

 5.7 Torsion

 5.8 Static loads

BOX 5.6 Comparison of forces on a tree trunk resulting from self-loading with those experienced in bending

 5.9 The constant stress hypothesis

BOX 5.7 Predictions for the geometry of a tree trunk obeying the constant stress hypothesis

 5.10 Euler buckling

 5.11 Hollow stems and Brazier buckling

 5.12 Dynamics, oscillation, and oscillation bending

BOX 5.8 Derivation of eigenfrequencies

CHAPTER 6. Fluid Mechanics

 6.1 What are fluids ?

BOX 6.1 The Navier-Stokes equations

 6.2 The Reynolds number

 6.3 Flow and drag at small Reynolds numbers

BOX 6.2 Derivation of the Hagen-Poiseuille equation

 6.4 Flow of ideal fluids

 6.5 Boundary layers and flow of real fluids

BOX 6.3 Vorticity

 6.6 Turbulent flow

BOX 6.4 Turbulent stresses and friction velocities

 6.7 Drag in real fluids

 6.8 Drag and flexibility

 6.9 Vertical velocity profiles

 6.10 Terminal settling velocity

 6.11 Fluid dispersal of reproductive structures

CHAPTER 7. Plant Electrophysiology

 7.1 The principle of electroneutrality

 7.2 The Nernst-Planck equation

 7.3 Membrane potentials

BOX 7.1 The Goldman equation

 7.4 Ion channels and ion pumps

BOX 7.2 The Ussing-Teorell equation

 7.5 Electrical currents and gravisensitivity

 7.6 Action potentials

 7.7 Electrical signaling in plants

CHAPTER 8. A Synthesis: The Properties of Selected Plant Materials, Cells, and Tissues

 8.1 The plant cuticle

 8.2 A brief introduction to the primary cell wall

BOX 8.1 Cell wall stress and expansion resulting from turgor

 8.3 The plasmalemma and cell wall deposition

 8.4 The epidermis and the tissue tension hypothesis

 8.5 Hydrostatic tissues

BOX 8.2 Stresses in thick-walled cylinders

BOX 8.3 Compression of spherical turgid cells

 8.6 Nonhydrostatic cells and tissues

 8.7 Cellular solids

 8.8 Tissue stresses and growth stresses

 8.9 Secondary growth and reaction wood

 8.10 Wood as an engineering material

CHAPTER 9. Experimental Tools

 9.1 Anatomical methods on a microscale

 9.2 Mechanical measuring techniques on a macroscale

 9.3 Mechanical measuring techniques on a microscale

 9.4 Scholander pressure chamber

 9.5 Pressure probe

 9.6 Recording of electric potentials and electrical currents

 9.7 Patch clamp techniques

 9.8 Biomimetics

BOX 9.1 An example of applied biomechanics: Tree risk assessment

CHAPTER 10. Theoretical Tools

 10.1 Modeling

 10.2 Morphology: The problematic nature of structure-function relationships

 10.3 Theoretical morphology, optimization, and adaptation

 10.4 Size, proportion, and allometry

BOX 10.1 Comparison of regression parameters

 10.5 Finite element methods (FEM)

 10.6 Optimization techniques

BOX 10.2 Optimal allocation of biological resources

BOX 10.3 Lagrange multipliers and Murrays law

Glossary

Author index

Subject index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226586328
Author:
Niklas, Karl J.
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Author:
Spatz, Hanns-Christof
Subject:
Botany
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Anatomy and Physiology
Subject:
Botany-General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20120331
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
44 halftones, 40 line drawings, 9 tables
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Biophysics
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Science and Mathematics » Physics

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"Synopsis" by ,
For centuries, botanists and physicists have mutually benefitted from collaborations.  Galileo used the hollow stalks of grass to illustrate the idea that peripheral rather than centrally located construction materials provide most of the resistance to bending forces. Leonardo da Vincis interest in fluid mechanics was inspired by observing the cross-sectional areas of tree trunks, and his drawings illustrating the concept of a parachute and an auto-gyroscopic propeller are alleged to be based on his study of the dandelions pappus and the maple trees samara.

Plant Physics explores the contemporary insights that emerge when plants are studied with the aid of physics, mathematics, engineering, and chemistry.  It starts with such fundamental topics as the importance of plant life, the relationship between organic form and function, plant reproduction and development, the importance of multicellularity, and the developmental basis of the basic plant body plans. The work then explores how fundamental physical principles and processes affect plant growth and ecology.  Specific topics addressed include plant water relations, solid and fluid mechanics, electrophysiology, and optics in relation to plant form, function, and ecology.

Written by one of the worlds best known botanists, it is destined to inspire students and professionals alike to traverse disciplinary membranes.

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