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Building Scientific Apparatus 4th Edition

26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521878586
ISBN-10: 0521878586
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Pre-Publication Praise: "This new edition includes updates throughout, and will continue to serve as a bookshelf standard in laboratories around the world. I never like to be too far from this book!"
Jason Hafner, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Pre-Publication Praise: "... the first book I reach for to remind myself of an experimental technique, or to start learning a new one. With valuable additions ..., the newest addition will be a welcome replacement for our lab's well-thumbed previous editions of BSA."
Brian King, McMaster University, Canada

Pre-Publication Praise: "... a mine of useful information ranging from tables of the properties of materials to lists of manufacturers and suppliers. This book would be an invaluable resource in any laboratory in the physical sciences and beyond."
George King, University of Manchester

Pre-Publication Praise: "... concentrating several careers' worth of equipment-building experience into a single volume-a thoroughly revised and updated edition of a 25-year-old classic.. It is a "must-have" on the shelf of every research lab."
Nicholas Spencer, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich

Pre-Publication Praise: "This book is a unique resource for the beginning experimenter, and remains valuable throughout a scientist's career. Professional engineers I know also own and enjoy using the book."
Eric Zimmerman, University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado

"... a fascinating and extremely useful reference work. Anyone who works with scientific apparatus will benefit from this book, undergraduate students, professors, technicians and postdocs. If you do not have one already, buy one now!"
Contemporary Physics

Book Description

Unrivalled in its completeness, this guide to the design and construction of scientific apparatus is essential reading for all scientists and students in physical, chemical and biological sciences, and engineering. Detectors, low-temperature measurements, and high-pressure apparatus, updated engineering specifications, are all new to this edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 658 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 4 edition (July 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521878586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521878586
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is an invaluable resource for any experimentalist. It's a startingly dense yet readable distillation of the information you really need to have at your fingertips if you're going to make an experiment work. The emphasis is on breadth and need-to-know rather than depth; this book will not replace (nor does it pretend to replace) specialized books on the sub-topics, but for, say, an optics person wanting to know what to say to a machinist to get a job done quickly, efficiently, with appropriate materials and tolerances, and most of all, to have it all work at the end without breaking the budget . . . this is your book. Covers mechanical design, materials, optics (photon and electron varieties), electronics, and temperature control.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Angelo Leung on July 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
As the title implies, this book is an excellent reference. You can learn what materials you need to perform the experiments; you can even find the suppliers' names from the book. Excellent!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My son chose to enter this year's science fair with an advance project that required vacume chamber construction, optics, and the original charged particle detection systems. This book is a perfect guide towards building most any mid-level research instrument.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 3, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No lab should be without a copy of this book! It has everything from lasers, to optical mounts, sand casting, screws, glass work, etc...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ATG on April 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
this is a great book to design and build instruments. It will give you a quick background on pretty much every thing you need to know for instrumentation. I'm a physicist by training, but I realized that when it comes to build stuff, there are many gaps in my 'tech' expertize. This book helps me fill those gaps.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Beauford on November 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had an early edition of this book and was very impressed with it, although some of the sections seemed a little dated. Now, with this new edition, the authors have done a fine job of updating the sections that have changed and added even more information and reference data to draw upon. I highly recommend this book if your a student in a lab or professional building out a new experiment or just basically want to some more in-depth knowledge on how to implement various scientific instruments.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Treadwell on November 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently purchased the updated edition of this book, after having owned the previous edition for many years. It is concise, well-written, expertly illustrated and thoroughly referenced.

The book covers a number of areas, all of which I've had occasion to use in my career as a materials scientist and chemist. The book is aimed at the practical aspects of design, construction and use of apparatus, primarily what might be termed "physics apparatus", but the principles may be applied to many scientific fields. It provides sufficient theory and mathematics necessary for an understanding of the designs, as well as pointing out common pitfalls.

When I am designing and building equipment this book is never out of reach.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Minty on September 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am studying a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, and I found this reference an excellent way to fill in the gap between engineering design (in which I am experienced) and the design of scientific apparatus. Designing and building is a unique and peculiar discipline, combining fastidious attention to detail and a slap-dash approach - all justified by scientific rigor on the one hand and limited budgets on the other.

This books gives a grounding in basic engineering skills and the technical data and summaries needed to apply most contemporary scientific gear. I found the overviews of electronics for signal conditioning, the basics of hooking together DAQs and sensors and the various small mechanisms that have evolved to fulfill the needs for accurate positioning and motion control.

If you are starting out building scientific apparatus, get equipment with excellent manuals and a copy of this book. Later on you might slap together an awesome measurement system from hand-me-downs and scrap and your awesome experience, but start with something basic. This book is an excellent way to get up to speed and make a start.
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