A User's Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty

A User's Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty

by Dave Goldberg
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Answers to science's most enduring questions from "Can I break the light-speed barrier like on Star Trek?" and "Is there life on other planets?" to "What is empty space made of?"

This is an indispensable guide to physics that offers readers an overview of the most popular physics topics written in an accessible, irreverent,

Overview

Answers to science's most enduring questions from "Can I break the light-speed barrier like on Star Trek?" and "Is there life on other planets?" to "What is empty space made of?"

This is an indispensable guide to physics that offers readers an overview of the most popular physics topics written in an accessible, irreverent, and engaging manner while still maintaining a tone of wry skepticism. Even the novice will be able to follow along, as the topics are addressed using plain English and (almost) no equations. Veterans of popular physics will also find their nagging questions addressed, like whether the universe can expand faster than light, and for that matter, what the universe is expanding into anyway.

  • Gives a one-stop tour of all the big questions that capture the public imagination including string theory, quantum mechanics, parallel universes, and the beginning of time
  • Explains serious science in an entertaining, conversational, and easy-to-understand way
  • Includes dozens of delightfully groan-worthy cartoons that explain everything from special relativity to Dark Matter

 Filled with fascinating information and insights, this book will both deepen and transform your understanding of the universe.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From Publishers Weekly
With a large measure of humor and a minimum of math (one equation), physics professor Goldberg and engineer Blomquist delve into the fascinating physics topics that rarely make it into introductory classes, including time travel, extraterrestrials, and "quantum weirdness" to prove that physics' "reputation for being hard, impractical, and boring" is wrong by at least two-thirds: "Hard? Perhaps. Impractical? Definitely not... But boring? That's where we really take issue." Breaking up each topic into common sense questions ("How many habitable planets are there?" "What is Dark Matter?" "If the universe is expanding, what's it expanding into-and"), the duo provides explanations in everyday language with helpful examples, analogies, and Blomquist's charmingly unpolished cartoons. Among other lessons, readers will learn about randomness through gambling; how a Star Trek-style transporter might function in the real world; and what may have existed before the Big Bang. Despite the absence of math, this nearly-painless guide is still involved and scientific, aimed at science hobbyists rather than science-phobes; it should also prove an ideal reference companion for more technical classroom texts. 100 b&w photos. 
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

• With a large measure of humor and a minimum of math (one equation), physics professor Goldberg and engineer Blomquist delve into the fascinating physics topics that rarely make it into introductory classes, including time travel, extraterrestrials, and "quantum weirdness" to prove that physics' "reputation for being hard, impractical, and boring" is wrong by at least two-thirds: "Hard? Perhaps. Impractical? Definitely not... But boring? That's where we really take issue." Breaking up each topic into common sense questions ("How many habitable planets are there?" "What is Dark Matter?" "If the universe is expanding, what's it expanding into-and"), the duo provides explanations in everyday language with helpful examples, analogies, and Blomquist's charmingly unpolished cartoons. Among other lessons, readers will learn about randomness through gambling; how a Star Trek-style transporter might function in the real world; and what may have existed before the Big Bang. Despite the absence of math, this nearly-painless guide is still involved and scientific, aimed at science hobbyists rather than science-phobes; it should also prove an ideal reference companion for more technical classroom texts. 100 b&w photos. (Mar.) (PublishersWeekly.com, March 29, 2010)

"If you've ever wondered what happened before the big bang or where the universe is expanding, then the new book A User's Guide to the Universe is for you. A hilariously serious journey through all the big questions (Can I build a time machine?) with answers from real-life physicist David Goldberg and sly illustrator Jeff Blomquist, this indispensable window on modern science makes a great nonfiction companion to the beloved, A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." (Christian Science Monitor)

Publishers Weekly - Library Journal
With a large measure of humor and a minimum of math (one equation), physics professor Goldberg and engineer Blomquist delve into the fascinating physics topics that rarely make it into introductory classes, including time travel, extraterrestrials, and "quantum weirdness" to prove that physics' "reputation for being hard, impractical, and boring" is wrong by at least two-thirds: "Hard? Perhaps. Impractical? Definitely not... But boring? That's where we really take issue." Breaking up each topic into common sense questions ("How many habitable planets are there?" "What is Dark Matter?" "If the universe is expanding, what's it expanding into?"), the duo provides explanations in everyday language with helpful examples, analogies, and Blomquist's charmingly unpolished cartoons. Among other lessons, readers will learn about randomness through gambling; how a Star Trek-style transporter might function in the real world; and what may have existed before the Big Bang. Despite the absence of math, this nearly-painless guide is still involved and scientific, aimed at science hobbyists rather than science-phobes; it should also prove an ideal reference companion for more technical classroom texts. 100 b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781630260217
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
02/28/2010
Pages:
306
Sales rank:
641,476
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Dave Goldberg is a professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Physics at Drexel University. He earned a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Princeton University, and currently works on issues in theoretical cosmology, especially on how gravity can distort our view of the universe. Dr. Goldberg is very interested in the interface between science and pop culture and is especially prone to nerdly excess of sci-fi references. He writes an "Ask a Physicist" column for io9.com, has been featured on NPR's Studio 360, and has contributed to Slate.com and the L.A. Times. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and daughters.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >