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Flying Buttresses, Entropy, and O-Rings

Flying Buttresses, Entropy, and O-Rings

The World of an Engineer

James L. Adams

ISBN 9780674306899

Publication date: 04/01/1993

From Teflon to Velcro, from bandwidths to base pairs, the artifacts of engineering and technology reflect the broad scope—and frustrating limitations—of our imagination. Best-selling author James Adams takes readers on an enlightening tour of this exciting world, demystifying such endeavors as design, research, and manufacturing.


  • In these witty and engrossing pages, Adams demonstrates that engineering actually can be as divine an occupation as the clergy and as soulful as an aria… Adams’ literary tour is the next best thing to visiting a hands-on engineering exhibit.

    —Alex Raksin, Los Angeles Times Book Review


  • James L. Adams is a Professor in the Department of Values, Technology, Science and Society, Stanford University.

Book Details

  • 272 pages
  • 7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press