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

Dave Goldberg, Author, Jeff Blomquist, Author John Wiley & Sons $24.95 (296p) ISBN 978-0-470-49651-0
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.
Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 02/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 307 pages - 978-0-470-55947-5
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-470-55950-5
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-470-55951-2
Hardcover - 306 pages - 978-1-63026-020-0
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-1-63026-021-7
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