Beyond Star Trek: Physics from Alien Invasions to the End of Time

Lawrence M. Krauss, Author Basic Books $21 (208p) ISBN 978-0-465-00637-3
Combining hard science and popular culture, this delightful follow-up to Krauss's The Physics of Star Trek continues to explore the possibilities, principles and improbabilities of science fiction. To his credit, Case Western physics professor Krauss never plays the role of a party-pooping gadfly determined to eliminate the fun from SF, or of a pedantic hard-science bore. Instead, he fosters a cheerful interplay between the two realms, to excellent effect. Familiar pop culture icons from Madonna to episodes of The X-Files are not so much explained in scientific terms as used as jumping-off points for superb explanations of larger concepts. What is fascinating about this approach is that the science is often more fantastic than the fiction: shooting a laser-beam out the back of the Enterprise would eventually get it up to light speed--only not in the crew's lifetime. Independence Day and Star Wars, as well as quantum mechanics, Isaac Newton, tragic British computing pioneer Alan Turing and, of course, Star Trek faves, make cameos. Relaxed and full of lively conversation, Krauss is the physics teacher we all wish we had had in high school. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1997
Release date: 11/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 208 pages - 978-0-06-204087-9
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-06-097757-3
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