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The Road to Reality
Roger Penrose
0679454438
Feb 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
If Albert Einstein were alive, he would have a copy of The Road to Reality on his bookshelf. So would Isaac Newton. This may be the most complete mathematical explanation of the universe yet published, and Roger Penrose richly deserves the accolades he will receive for it. That said, let us be perfectly clear: this is not an easy book to read. The number of people in the world who can understand everything in it could probably take a taxi together to Penrose's next lecture. Still, math-friendly readers looking for a substantial and possibly even thrillingly difficult intellectual experience should pick up a copy (carefully--it's over a thousand pages long and weighs nearly 4 pounds) and start at the beginning, where Penrose sets out his purpose: to describe "the search for the underlying principles that govern the behavior...


Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
Brian Greene
0375708111
February 2000
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
There is an ill-concealed skeleton in the closet of physics: "As they are currently formulated, general relativity and quantum mechanics cannot both be right." Each is exceedingly accurate in its field: general relativity explains the behavior of the universe at large scales, while quantum mechanics describes the behavior of subatomic particles. Yet the theories collide horribly under extreme conditions such as black holes or times close to the big bang. Brian Greene, a specialist in quantum field theory, believes that the two pillars of physics can be reconciled in superstring theory, a theory of everything.

Superstring theory has been called "a part of 21st-century physics that fell by chance into the 20th century." In other words, it isn't all worked out yet. Despite the uncertainties--"string theorists work to find...



A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes
Stephen Hawking
0553380168
September 1998
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history, wrote the modern classic A Brief History of Time to help nonscientists understand the questions being asked by scientists today: Where did the universe come from? How and why did it begin? Will it come to an end, and if so, how? Hawking attempts to reveal these questions (and where we're looking for answers) using a minimum of technical jargon. Among the topics gracefully covered are gravity, black holes, the Big Bang, the nature of time, and physicists' search for a grand unifying theory. This is deep science; these concepts are so vast (or so tiny) as to cause vertigo while reading, and one can't help but marvel at Hawking's ability to synthesize this difficult subject for people not used to thinking about things like alternate dimensions. The...


The Universe in a Nutshell
Stephen Hawking
055380202X
Jan 2001
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review's Best of 2001
Stephen Hawking, science's first real rock star, may be the least-read bestselling author in history--it's no secret that many people who own A Brief History of Time have never finished it. Hawking's The Universe in a Nutshell aims to remedy the situation, with a plethora of friendly illustrations to help readers grok some of the most brain-bending ideas ever conceived.

Does it succeed? Yes and no. While Hawking offers genuinely accessible context for such complexities as string theory and the nature of time, it's when he must translate equations to sentences that the limits of language get in the way. But Hawking has simplified the origin of the universe, the nature of space and time, and what holds it all together to an unprecedented degree, inviting nonscientists to share his obvious awe and love of the...



The Illustrated a Brief History of Time
Stephen Hawking
0553103741
Oct 1996
(Hardcover) - Revised Ed.
·
 
Book Review
Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history, wrote the modern classic A Brief History of Time to help nonscientists understand the questions being asked by scientists today: Where did the universe come from? How and why did it begin? Will it come to an end, and if so, how? Hawking attempts to reveal these questions (and where we're looking for answers) using a minimum of technical jargon. Among the topics gracefully covered are gravity, black holes, the Big Bang, the nature of time, and physicists' search for a grand unifying theory. This is deep science; these concepts are so vast (or so tiny) as to cause vertigo while reading, and one can't help but marvel at Hawking's ability to synthesize this difficult subject for people not used to thinking about things like alternate dimensions. The...


Universe
Robert Dinwiddie, et al
0756613647
October 3, 2005
Hardcover
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From Booklist
*Starred Review* Notable for its outstanding color illustrations, this work was written by a team of astronomers and science writers in language accessible to high-school students and the general reader. The topically arranged entries range in length from a short paragraph to several pages. This book should be of interest to anyone who appreciates the wonders of the universe and would enjoy a beautifully illustrated guided tour by experts.The volume is divided into three sections. The first, called "Introduction," presents an overview of basic concepts, organized under the broad topics "What Is the Universe?" "The Beginning and End of the Universe," "The View from Earth," and "Exploring Space." The next section, "Guide to the Universe," focuses on the features of the solar system, the Milky Way, and the regions beyond....


Reflections from Earth Orbit
Winston E. Scott
1894959221
July 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
It is a book about life as told through the memories, or reflections, of the author navy Captain Winston Scott. These reflections were prompted by events that occurred during two space shuttle missions as a NASA astronaut aboard the space shuttles Endeavour and Columbia.

About the Author
Captain Winston E. Scott is a former NASA astronaut and a public speaker who routinely discusses his space experiences to audiences around the United States. He lives in Melbourne, Florida.


Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension
Michio Kaku
0385477058
February 1995
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
How many dimensions do you live in? Three? Maybe that's all your commonsense sense perception perceives, but there is growing and compelling evidence to suggest that we actually live in a universe of ten real dimensions. Kaku has written an extraordinarily lucid and thought-provoking exploration of the theoretical and empirical bases of a ten-dimensional universe and even goes so far as to discuss possible practical implications--such as being able to escape the collapse of the universe. Yikes. Highly Recommended.

From Publishers Weekly
Since ingesting Einstein's relativity theory 50 years ago, physics fell down a quantum rabbit hole and, ever since, physicists' reports to the world of popular science have been curiouser and curiouser. This version, from the author of the graduate...


Rocket Propulsion Elements, 7th Edition
George P. Sutton, Oscar Biblarz
0471326429
December 29, 2000
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
Aerospace Engineering/Mechanical Engineering
The definitive text on rocket propulsion-now completely revised to reflect rapid advancements in the field
For more than fifty years, this seminal text has been regarded as the single most authoritative sourcebook on rocket propulsion technology. More comprehensive and coherently organized than any other book on the subject, Rocket Propulsion Elements guides readers evenhandedly through the complex factors that shape propulsion, with both theory and practical design considerations.
With more than a third of the text and illustrations either completely new or extensively revised, this latest edition includes current information on engine structures, nozzle theory, gas properties, thrust chambers, launch vehicles, and more. With a detailed table of...


Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
Brian Greene
0393058581
October 2003
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
There is an ill-concealed skeleton in the closet of physics: "As they are currently formulated, general relativity and quantum mechanics cannot both be right." Each is exceedingly accurate in its field: general relativity explains the behavior of the universe at large scales, while quantum mechanics describes the behavior of subatomic particles. Yet the theories collide horribly under extreme conditions such as black holes or times close to the big bang. Brian Greene, a specialist in quantum field theory, believes that the two pillars of physics can be reconciled in superstring theory, a theory of everything.

Superstring theory has been called "a part of 21st-century physics that fell by chance into the 20th century." In other words, it isn't all worked out yet. Despite the uncertainties--"string theorists work to find...



Hiding in the Mirror
Lawrence Krauss
0670033952
Nov 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
There are few scientific ideas as captivating as the notion that our universe might have other dimensions than the three (plus time) that we experience. Physicist Krauss offers an erudite and well-crafted overview of the role multiple dimensions have played in the history of physics. This isn't an easy book, even with a writer as talented as Krauss (whom some will recognize as the author of The Physics of Star Trek and Beyond Star Trek) serving as one's Virgil. Long on science and short on its connections with culture, the book is essentially an introduction to the physics and mathematics of extra dimensions with a few more or less disconnected chapters that touch on how these ideas show up in art and popular culture; there's more on brane-world and the ekpyrotic universe than on Plato's cave, whose inhabitants...


Big Bang
Simon Singh
0007162219
Jan 2004
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
A baffling array of science books claim to reveal how the mysteries of the universe have been discovered, but Simon Singh's Big Bang actually delivers on that promise. General readers will find it to be among the very best books dealing with cosmology, because Singh follows the same plan he used in his brilliant Code Book: he puts people--not equations--first in the story. By linking the progression of the Big Bang theory with the scientists who built it up bit by bit, Singh also uncovers an important truth about how such ideas grow. Death is an essential element in the progress of science, since it takes care of conservative scientists of a previous generation reluctant to let go of an old, fallacious theory and embrace a new and accurate one. As harsh as this statement seems, even Einstein defended an...


A First Course in General Relativity
Bernard F. Schutz
0521277035
January 31, 1985
Paperback
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Review
"Schutz has such mastery of the material that it soon becomes clear that one is in authoritative hands, and topics are selected and developed only to a point where they prove adequate for future needs." The Times Higher Education Supplement

"...ought to inspire more physicists and astronomers to teach--and learn--the other half of the 20th century's revolution in physics." Foundations of Physics

"The book is a goldmine of cleverly constructed problems and exercises (and solutions!)..." Nature

Book Description
General relativity has become one of the central pillars of theoretical physics, with important applications in both astrophysics and high-energy particle physics, and no modern theoretical physicist's education should be regarded as complete without some study of the...



An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics
Bradley W. Carroll, Dale A. Ostlie
0201547309
December 11, 1995
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
Topics include: the tools of astronomy, the nature of stars, and galaxies and the universe. Textbook. DLC: Astrophysics.

Book Info
Topics include: the tools of astronomy, the nature of stars, and galaxies and the universe. Textbook. DLC: Astrophysics.

See all Editorial Reviews


Nightwatch
Terence Dickinson
1552093026
Jan 1998
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
The third edition of Nightwatch continues its tradition of being the best handbook for the beginning astronomer. Terence Dickinson covers all the problems beginners face, starting with the fact that the night sky does not look the way a modern city-dweller expects. He discusses light pollution, how to choose binoculars and telescopes, how to pronounce the names of stars and constellations, telescope mounts, averted vision, and why the harvest moon looks especially bright. Most of the lovely photographs in the book were taken by amateurs, which gives the section on astrophotography a particularly inspirational gleam.

Dickinson's star charts are very handy, each covering a reasonable field of view and mapping the most interesting amateur objects. He gives good advice for planet watching, which he notes "is one of the few...



The Physics of Star Trek
Lawrence M. Krauss
0060977108
September 1996
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Sure, we all know Star Trek is fiction, but warp drives and transporters and holodecks don't seem altogether implausible. Are any of these futuristic inventions fundamentally outlawed by physics as we understand it today? The Physics of Star Trek takes a lighthearted look at this subject, speculating on how the wonders of Star Trek technology might actually work--and, in some cases, revealing why the inventions are impossible or impractical even for an advanced civilization. (Example: "dematerializing" a person for transport would require about as much energy as is released by a 100-megaton hydrogen bomb). The Physics of Star Trek deserves merit for providing a refresher course on topics such as relativity and antimatter, but let's face it: the reason most people will want to read this book is...


Destination Moon
Rod Pyle
0060873493
Nov 2005
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Pyle's useful survey of the Apollo moon program includes a brief summary of each flight and attempted flight of the great effort, from the fatal fire on Pad 34 in 1967 to the landing of a scientist on the moon in Apollo 17 in 1972. Apart from the narrative, each summary contains a modest but excellent selection of photographs and long passages of the recorded dialogue of the astronauts themselves. Much of the latter hasn't appeared in a volume as easily accessible to the general public as this one. Here are such well-known lines as "Houston, we have a problem" and "The eagle has landed." More important, here are a great many less--famous utterances. Many of them are technical, and all variously reflect the stresses, emotions, triumphs, and worries of men who really were boldly going where nobody had gone before....


New Foundations for Classical Mechanics (Fundamental Theories of Physics)
D. Hestenes
0792355148
December 1999
Paperback
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Book Description
This book provides an introduction to geometric algebra as a unified language for physics and mathematics. It contains extensive applications to classical mechanics in a textbook format suitable for courses at an intermediate level. The text is supported by more than 200 diagrams to help develop geometrical and physical intuition. Besides covering the standard material for a course on the mechanics of particles and rigid bodies, the book introduces new, coordinate-free methods for rotational dynamics and orbital mechanics, developing these subjects to a level well beyond that of other textbooks. These methods have been widely applied in recent years to biomechanics and robotics, to computer vision and geometric design, to orbital mechanics in government and industrial space programs, as well as to other...


Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts
Andrew L. Chaikin
0140272011
April 1998
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
A decade in the making, this book is based on hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews with each of the twenty-four moon voyagers, as well as those who contributed their brain power, training and teamwork on Earth. In his preface Chaikin writes, "We touched the face of another world and became a people without limits." What follows are thrilling accounts of such remarkable experiences as the rush of a liftoff, the heart-stopping touchdown on the moon, the final hurdle of re-entry, competition for a seat on a moon flight, the tragic spacecraft fire, and the search for clues to the origin of the solar system on the slopes of lunar mountains. "I've been there. Chaikin took me back."--Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 astronaut --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The Cosmic Landscape
Leonard Susskind
0316155799
Dec 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. As modern physics has developed a better understanding of how the universe operates at its most fundamental levels, one thing has become increasingly clear: we're damned lucky to be here at all. The laws of physics are precariously balanced, and were the value of one constant slightly different, life as we know it wouldn't exist. To explain the ridiculous improbability of it all, some physicists have turned to the "Anthropic Principle": the universe seems perfectly tailored to us because if it weren't, we wouldn't be here to observe it. The underlying rationale for this argument involves the "landscape" of potential laws of physics (which, it turns out, aren't so immutable after all), a whole bunch of extra dimensions and lots of particle physics. Luckily, Susskind—the father of string...


Riding Rockets
Mike Mullane
0743276825
Jan 2006
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
With a testosterone-fueled swagger and a keen eye for particulars, Mullane takes readers into the high-intensity, high-stress world of the shuttle astronaut in this rough-hewn yet charming yarn of low-rent antics, bureaucratic insanity and transcendent beauty. Mullane opens this tale face down on a doctor's table awaiting a colorectal exam that will determine his fitness for astronaut training. "I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses," he writes, setting the tone for the crude and often hilarious story that follows. Chosen as a trainee in 1978, Mullane, a Vietnam vet, quickly finds himself at odds with the buttoned-up post-Apollo NASA world of scientists, technocrats and civilian astronauts he describes as...

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