Journals Higher Education



Published: 01 April 1993

336 Pages | 64 line illus.

5-5/16 x 8 inches

ISBN: 9780195082692

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Bookseller Code (04)


Vital Circuits

On Pumps, Pipes, and the Workings of Circulatory Systems

Steven Vogel
Illustrated by Rosemary Anne Calvert

Why is it a bad idea to hold your breath when you strain? Why does dust collect on the blades of a fan? These seemingly unrelated questions--and many, many more--are answered in the pages of Vital Circuits, an original and often witty guide to the workings of the circulatory system. Vogel ranges across physics, fluid mechanics, and chemistry to show how an enormous--and enormously complex--system of pumps and pipes works to keep the human body functioning. Using everyday points of reference, such as heating systems, kitchen basters, cocktail parties, and balloons, Vogel illustrates potentially daunting concepts with clarity and ease. We relive the groung-breaking discoveries of such scientists as William Harvey and Otto Loewi, and we consider the circulatory systems of such fellow earth-dwellers as octopuses, hummingbirds, sea gulls, alligators, snailes, snakes, and giraffes. Vital Circuits communicates not just information, but the excitement of discovering information, revealing Vogel as an eloquent advocate for the cause of science as the most interesting of the humanities. Anyone curious about he workings of the body, whether afflicted with heart trouble or addicted to science watching, will find this book a goldmine of information and delight.


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