Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics
Gregory J. Gbur

Book cover image

Narrated By: David Stifel

Duration: 9 hours and 18 minutes

What to expect

How do cats land on their feet? Discover how this question stumped brilliant minds and how its answer helped solve other seemingly impossible puzzles.

The question of how falling cats land on their feet has intrigued humans since at least the middle of the nineteenth century. In this playful and eye-opening history, physicist and cat parent Gregory Gbur explores how attempts to understand the cat-righting reflex have provided crucial insights into puzzles in mathematics, geophysics, neuroscience, and human space exploration.

The result is an engaging tumble through physics, physiology, photography, and robotics to uncover, through scientific debate, the secret of the acrobatic performance known as cat-turning, the cat flip, and the cat twist. Listeners learn the solution, but also discover that the finer details still inspire heated arguments. As with other cat behavior, the more we investigate, the more surprises we discover.

Genre

Physics, History of science

Listen to a sample

“When the shelves in the science section of bookstores groan under the weight of tomes concerning String Theory and the Higgs Boson, this extremely well written popular science book concerning such a human-scale problem is refreshing.”

James Kakalios, author of The Physics of Superheroes

"Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics is a fascinating and fast-moving journey of a book. And author Greg Gbur is a virtuoso guide. The result is an addictively smart and funny don’t-miss exploration of science, from free-falling cats to the history of photography, quantum physics, eccentric scientists, and more.”

Deborah Blum, author of The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

“Even cats obey the laws of nature. In this engrossing book, Greg Gbur uses cats’ mysterious ability to land on their feet to explore how physics works in the real world.”