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Zoom: How Everything Moves: From Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees
     

Zoom: How Everything Moves: From Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees

5.0 1
by Bob Berman
 

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From the speed of light to moving mountains—and everything in between—ZOOM explores how the universe and its objects move.

If you sit as still as you can in a quiet room, you might be able to convince yourself that nothing is moving. But air currents are still wafting around you. Blood rushes through your veins. The atoms in your chair jiggle

Overview

From the speed of light to moving mountains—and everything in between—ZOOM explores how the universe and its objects move.

If you sit as still as you can in a quiet room, you might be able to convince yourself that nothing is moving. But air currents are still wafting around you. Blood rushes through your veins. The atoms in your chair jiggle furiously. In fact, the planet you are sitting on is whizzing through space thirty-five times faster than the speed of sound.

Natural motion dominates our lives and the intricate mechanics of the world around us. In ZOOM, Bob Berman explores how motion shapes every aspect of the universe, literally from the ground up. With an entertaining style and a gift for distilling the wondrous, Berman spans astronomy, geology, biology, meteorology, and the history of science, uncovering how clouds stay aloft, how the Earth's rotation curves a home run's flight, and why a mosquito's familiar whine resembles a telephone's dial tone.

For readers who love to get smarter without realizing it, ZOOM bursts with science writing at its best.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/05/2014
Veteran astronomy columnist Berman (Strange Universe) traverses the world as well as the archives to assemble a cheerful collection of popular science essays connected by their relation to movement. Whether it is the expansion of the universe or the growth of a fingernail, he explores significant truths like the fact that scientists are still baffled by what constitutes dark matter and dark energy—which make up most of our universe’s mass-energy—while providing ammunition for trivial pursuits (the speed of the fastest human: 23 mph), myth-busting (water does not swirl in opposite directions north and south of the equator), and weird lists (animals killed by meteors). The book presents a vast amount of stimulating material in breezy, accessible prose that even precocious adolescents can understand. Berman belongs to the school of writers who feel that education must be leavened by humor, best for readers who can appreciate this approach. (July)
From the Publisher
"Entertainingly kinetic.... [Berman] transmits science geekery in vivid prose stuffed with unexpected insights and arresting observations.... Absorbing."—Michael Benson, New York Times"

Vastly entertaining.... Zoom is invaluable for everyone who once knew Newton's three laws and would like a refresher, but it is more fun than that.... Bob Berman knows how to make science accessible."—Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe"

An engagingly quirky popular treatment of the ongoing debate about the nature of space and time in the universe and our place as both observers and participants."Kirkus Reviews"

Berman has a knack for clearly explaining potentially difficult scientific concepts in layman-friendly terms and applying these concepts to natural phenomena with engaging anecdotes.... Zoom is an entertaining journey through a variety of scientific fields, accessible even to readers with light science knowledge."—Tobias Mutter, Shelf Awareness"

A cheerful collection.... A vast amount of stimulating material in breezy, accessible prose that even precocious adolescents can understand."—Publishers Weekly"

One of the best-known and most widely-read astronomers in the world, Bob can translate complex scientific concepts into terms that are easily understood by the casual stargazer, yet meaningful to the most advanced researchers."—WAMC's Vox Pop"

This light-hearted expedition combines impeccably sound science with a caustic sense of humor...both enlightening and entertaining.... A thoroughly enjoyable and educational journey."—Frank L. Cloutier, The Post and Courier"

If ever there were a physics book to read at the beach, this is it.... Berman is an engaging writer, and Zoom is an entertaining read."—Sheilla Jones, Winnipeg Free Press"

Berman interweaves a formidable number of facts through the book that light up every page.... An entertaining read...."—Michael Banks, BBC Focus"

An absorbing account of how motion is everywhere around us."—Ben Beasley-Murray, The Daily Mail

Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-06
"We are embedded in a magical matrix of continuous motion," writes Astronomy columnist and Old Farmer's Almanac science editor Berman (The Sun's Heartbeat: And Other Stories from the Life of the Star that Powers Our Planet, 2011, etc.).The author explains how, following two days of heavy rain that wreaked havoc on his rural community, he decided "to probe the most amazing motions of nature." This led him to visit a mountain observatory in the Andes, where massive telescopes probe the far reaches of the universe in search of new galaxies. There, the author interviewed Dan Kelson, who has pioneered a new technology for "gathering the light from galaxies eight billion light-years away." Kelson's methods allow the detection of "objects rushing away from us at the astounding speed of 112,000 miles per second…more than half the speed of light." Berman then discusses the explosive rate at which the universe is inflating as new galaxies are created and older ones fly apart. He introduces some deeper issues of cosmology—e.g., whether the universe had a beginning and whether or not it is infinite—placing them in a historical perspective, from Aristotle's speculations to Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Switching gears, Berman looks at events in nature that are so slow that we fail to observe their motion. An example of this is the shift of the Earth's magnetic poles—not to be confused with their fixed geographic counterparts. The author also considers our subjective perception of motion, which is relative to the size of a moving object—e.g., an airplane slowing for a landing appears to be virtually motionless while birds in flight seem to move quickly—and the rapidity with which we and other living creatures process information.An engagingly quirky popular treatment of the ongoing debate about the nature of space and time in the universe and our place as both observers and participants.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316217408
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
06/24/2014
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Bob Berman, one of America's top astronomy writers, contributed the popular "Night Watchman" column for Discover for seventeen years. He is currently a columnist for Astronomy, a host on Northeast Public Radio, and the science editor of The Old Farmer's Almanac. He lives in Willow, New York.

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Zoom: How Everything Moves: From Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
edwardsx More than 1 year ago
If you like knowing things about how the world works, you will love this book.  This is the best book I have read in a long time. Dennis Edwards