Universe Down to Earth

Overview

This witty and amusing exploration of the physical universe explains fundamental concepts in language that is clear to anyone with little or no scientific background. Tyson transforms everyday experiences into venues of cosmic enlightenment as he probes the philosophy, methods, and discoveries of science, including stellar evolution, the conservation of energy, the electromagnetic spectrum, gravity and thermodynamics. Deftly demystifying astronomical terms and concepts such as the Big Bang, black holes, ...

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Overview

This witty and amusing exploration of the physical universe explains fundamental concepts in language that is clear to anyone with little or no scientific background. Tyson transforms everyday experiences into venues of cosmic enlightenment as he probes the philosophy, methods, and discoveries of science, including stellar evolution, the conservation of energy, the electromagnetic spectrum, gravity and thermodynamics. Deftly demystifying astronomical terms and concepts such as the Big Bang, black holes, redshifts, syzygy, and Kirkwood Gaps, Universe Down to Earth traces the life of the stars from birth to death; presents the Periodic Table of Elements, highlighting noteworthy elements such as titanium, iron, and hydrogen; gives an unorthodox yet entertaining tour of famous constellations; and tackles modern-day astrology.

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Editorial Reviews

Skeptical Inquirer

A delightful, witty, informal, and wise guide to a sampling of essential principles, processes, and concepts of science.

Booknews
This often amusing exploration of the physical universe explains fundamental concepts in a language that is clear to the layperson with little or no science background. The author probes the philosophy, methods, and discoveries of science, including stellar evolution, the conservation of energy, the electromagnetic spectrum, gravity, and thermodynamics. Beginning with the history of counting, he demonstrates the universality of mathematics, then goes on to describe the scientific method, astronomy terms, and the periodic table. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231075619
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 11/16/1995
  • Pages: 277
  • Product dimensions: 5.63 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil D. Tyson is research scientist in astrophysics at Princeton University and Curator of Astronomy, Hayden Planetarium, American Museum of Natural History. A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science in New York City, Dr. Tyson received his B.A. in Physics from Harvard and his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Columbia. He is author of the question-and-answer book Merlin's Tour of the Universe, published by Columbia University Press

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgementsList of FiguresOne: Methods of Science1. A Sentimental Journey to the Googolplex

A romp through numbers big and small2. The Structure of Science

Behind the scenes of the scientific process3. Measure for Pleasure

Measurement is the lifeblood of all science4. The Confused Person's Guide to Astronomical Jargon

Names and words that do not always mean what they sayTwo: Some Unifying Ideas in the Physical Universe5. Center of Mass

You will never leave home without it6. Energy

Where it comes from and where it goes7. The Electromagnetic Spectrum

The world of light8. Shapes of Radiation

Why blue-hot is hotter than red-hot9. The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

The most unifying concept in all astronomy10. Highlights from the Periodic Table of the Elements

Some of your best friends are composed of elementsThree: Astronomy is Looking Up11. Menagerie

A cynic's guide to the constellations12. Horrorscope

An astronomer's rebuttal13. Celestial Windings

Making sense of heavenly motionsSuggested ReadingIndex

Columbia University Press

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