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This title in other editions

The Life of a Leaf

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The Life of a Leaf Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In its essence, science is a way of looking at and thinking about the world. In The Life of a Leaf, Steven Vogel illuminates this approach, using the humble leaf as a model. Whether plant or person, every organism must contend with its immediate physical environment, a world that both limits what organisms can do and offers innumerable opportunities for evolving fascinating ways of challenging those limits. Here, Vogel explains these interactions, examining through the example of the leaf the extraordinary designs that enable life to adapt to its physical world.
 
In Vogel’s account, the leaf serves as a biological everyman, an ordinary and ubiquitous living thing that nonetheless speaks volumes about our environment as well as its own. Thus in exploring the leaf’s world, Vogel simultaneously explores our own—answering questions about how objects get much hotter than air when in sunlight and far cooler when beneath a clear night sky; how air movement matters even when we can’t feel it; how objects such as trees avoid damage from storms; and how gases diffuse and bubbles form. He introduces us to ways leaves acquire the essential resources for growth and reproduction, resources not all that different from those needed by animals—humans included.
 
In considering science on our personal scale, Vogel refers complex concepts to everyday observations in our immediate experiences. Though the ideas he presents here hold surprises, he makes the case that they’re quite ordinary—so ordinary that, with the instructions provided, anyone can use everyday household materials to investigate how they work. Within these pages, he provides incredible food for thought and the tools for a new way of seeing the beauty and simplicity of the science of life. 

A companion website with demonstrations and teaching tools can be found here: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/sites/vogel/index.html

Review:

"Duke University biomechanist Vogel (Cats' Paws and Catapults) capably demonstrates how a scientist can unite micro and macro perspectives in looking at the natural world. Using the leaf of a plant as his model system of life, he explores aspects of structure, function, and physiology while embedding specific questions in a broader evolutionary context. Thus, as we learn how a leaf (and the plant to which it is attached) uses various strategies to maintain appropriate water balance, we also learn why these strategies are important. Those larger points allow Vogel and his readers to reach beyond botany to the entire natural world. He mixes the principles of biology with those of physics to great effect, demonstrating the constraints the physical world places on living organisms and the limited options available to evolution. Vogel does present a heavy dose of complex equations to support his reasoning, but they are relegated to footnotes and not essential to his message. The larger theme deals with the nature of scientific investigation: how scientists formulate and test hypotheses and the role that chance can play in those inquiries. His firsthand account of many of his own experiments, and the joy with which he recounts them, brings the scientific process to life. 47 color and 18 b&w illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

In its essence, science is a way of looking at and thinking about the world. In The Life of a Leaf,and#160;Steven Vogel illuminates this approach, using the humble leaf as a model. Whether plant or person, every organism must contend with its immediate physical environment, a world that both limits what organisms can do and offers innumerable opportunities for evolving fascinating ways of challenging those limits.and#160;Here, Vogel explains these interactions, examining through the example of the leaf the extraordinary designs that enable life to adapt to its physical world.

In Vogelandrsquo;s account, the leaf serves as a biological everyman, an ordinary and ubiquitous living thing that nonetheless speaks volumes about our environment as well as its own.and#160;Thus in exploring the leafandrsquo;s world, Vogel simultaneously explores our own.

A companion website with demonstrations and teaching tools can be found here: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/sites/vogel/index.html

About the Author

Steven Vogel is a James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of biology at Duke University. His most recent books include Catsandrsquo; Paws and Catapults and Glimpses of Creatures in Their Physical Worlds.

Table of Contents

Preface

1and#160; Starting the Story

2and#160; Seeking Illumination

3and#160; Diffusing Gases

4and#160; Flowing Gases

5and#160; Leaking Water

6and#160; Raising Water

7and#160; Interfacing with Air

8and#160; Keeping Cool

9and#160; Cleaning Surfaces

10and#160; Staying Unfrozen

11and#160; Staying Stiff and High

12and#160; Surviving a Storm

13and#160; Making and Maintaining

14and#160; Winding It Up

List of Symbols, Abbreviations, and Conversions

Notes

References and Index of Citations

General Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226859392
Author:
Vogel, Steven
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
Plants
Subject:
Biology-Evolution
Subject:
Botany-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20121031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
47 color plates, 18 halftones, 10 line d
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Science
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » Botany » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Botany

The Life of a Leaf New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$35.00 In Stock
Product details 320 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226859392 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Duke University biomechanist Vogel (Cats' Paws and Catapults) capably demonstrates how a scientist can unite micro and macro perspectives in looking at the natural world. Using the leaf of a plant as his model system of life, he explores aspects of structure, function, and physiology while embedding specific questions in a broader evolutionary context. Thus, as we learn how a leaf (and the plant to which it is attached) uses various strategies to maintain appropriate water balance, we also learn why these strategies are important. Those larger points allow Vogel and his readers to reach beyond botany to the entire natural world. He mixes the principles of biology with those of physics to great effect, demonstrating the constraints the physical world places on living organisms and the limited options available to evolution. Vogel does present a heavy dose of complex equations to support his reasoning, but they are relegated to footnotes and not essential to his message. The larger theme deals with the nature of scientific investigation: how scientists formulate and test hypotheses and the role that chance can play in those inquiries. His firsthand account of many of his own experiments, and the joy with which he recounts them, brings the scientific process to life. 47 color and 18 b&w illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
In its essence, science is a way of looking at and thinking about the world. In The Life of a Leaf,and#160;Steven Vogel illuminates this approach, using the humble leaf as a model. Whether plant or person, every organism must contend with its immediate physical environment, a world that both limits what organisms can do and offers innumerable opportunities for evolving fascinating ways of challenging those limits.and#160;Here, Vogel explains these interactions, examining through the example of the leaf the extraordinary designs that enable life to adapt to its physical world.

In Vogelandrsquo;s account, the leaf serves as a biological everyman, an ordinary and ubiquitous living thing that nonetheless speaks volumes about our environment as well as its own.and#160;Thus in exploring the leafandrsquo;s world, Vogel simultaneously explores our own.

A companion website with demonstrations and teaching tools can be found here: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/sites/vogel/index.html

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