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Bang! The Complete History of the Universe [Hardcover]

Brian May , CBE,DSc,FRAS,Sir Patrick Moore , Chris Lintott
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
Price: 17.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2007
In 2006, rock legend and experienced amateur astronomer Brian May joined the legendary expert Sir Patrick Moore and astrophysicist Chris Lintott to tell the story of the Universe from the moment time and space came into existence at the Big Bang, through to the infinite future and the ultimate fate that awaits us. Following the spectacular success of the first edition, they have got together again to extend and update the information in this accessible introduction to the history of the universe. Many of the pictures of the Universe obtained by instruments such as the Hubble Space Telescope or the Very Large Telescope in Chile are beautiful enough to be considered works of art in their own right. This book presents them in context, and uses extraordinary new artworks to explain the mind-blowing theories from the cutting edge of astronomy in a way that everyone can understand.

Frequently Bought Together

Bang! The Complete History of the Universe + The Cosmic Tourist: The 100 Most Awe-inspiring Destinations in the Universe + The Sky at Night: Answers to Questions from Across the Universe
Price For All Three: 47.74

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Carlton Books Ltd; Second Edition edition (1 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844422313
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844422319
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 28.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 362,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

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Product Description


This stunningly illustrated book deals with a complicated subject in a way everyone can understand. --The Independent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Though best known to the world as the lead guitarist for the supergroup Queen, Brian May also studied for a PhD in astrophysics before giving up the academic life for rock music. Patrick Moore is the world's best-loved astronomer, author of more than 100 books, and presenter of the world's longest running TV programme, BBC's "The Sky at Night". Chris Lintott is best-known as the co-presenter, with Patrick, of "The Sky at Night". He took his first degree in Physics at Cambridge, then his PhD in Astrophysics at University College London, and is now doing further research at Oxford.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STARS ROCK! 12 Nov 2006
By Alice
I can't remember when I was last so sorry to finish reading a book!

Well, the aim of Brian May, Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott was to make the wonderful story of astronomy available to the general reader - and since maths and physics dimwit me feels she has understood it, I think we can say they've done that!

BANG! is an incredibly beautiful book, worth getting just for the photographs of stars, planets and galaxies. It also contains useful diagrams explaining such things as timescales and star formation. Pictures really can't capture the cover of the book, which is a "lenticular explosion" - 8 pictures, starting with a tiny star and ending with a terrifying fireball - depending on the angle at which you view it. I spent the first few hours just playing with that before I actually got around to reading anything.

The first chapter ("Genesis: In the Beginning") which deals with the first less-than-a-second interval, is the hardest work, especially if you'd never heard of positrons and have to be reminded how standard form works. But they're very sympathetic. Without once going into actual maths, they put explanation boxes separate from the text, and diagrams where appropriate. Once the application of these difficult concepts becomes so clear, you really want to know!

Later, the pace changes from Planck time (ten to the minus forty-three seconds, and yes, you will want to know) to billions of years, and everything feels all over too quickly. Early on the Universe becomes transparent - that is to say, electromagnetic radiation can actually get through it - then the first generation stars begin to form, burn themselves out and die differently according to their size, and along come black holes . . .
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Starmaking Machinery 31 Dec 2006
It has taken 13.7 billion years, but the Universe has finally produced a coffee-table quality book to commemorate the Big Bang and its consequences. _Bang! The Complete History of the Universe_ (Carlton Books) by Brian May, Patrick Moore, and Chris Lintott is not massive, as coffee-table books go, but its big format is perfect for the dramatic sorts of pictures that the Hubble Space Telescope or the larger Earth-bound telescopes can give us. It isn't just pictures, however. The text does an exemplary job of covering a huge amount of information. Necessarily, in 190 pages laid over with photos, details are skipped; on one page are both the disaster of the Permian Extinction 250 million years ago and the Cretaceous Extinction (wiping out the dinosaurs) 65 million years ago. There is the most detail in the earliest pages of the book, dealing with the events before around 700 million years ago, when there started to be discrete objects like galaxies that we could have actually seen, had we been there at that time. (In a sense, we do see them at that time, as the Hubble's lovely deep field images can show.) This is also the part of the book that makes the least sense to those of us who are stuck in a Newtonian world. There are books with fuller explanations of the strangeness of the Universe immediately after the Big Bang, but none quite so much fun.

For fun is obviously part of the trip the three authors have taken, and it starts right on the cover, which above the book's title shows a huge, glowing, fragmented fireball, obviously the Big Bang in progress. "Our cover artwork is for fun only. There is no suggestion that any part of the Big Bang ever looked like this.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a fantastic book 16 Nov 2006
The images of space are stunning, but more important the conceptual images and diagrams to help one understand the meaning of life and everything are a complete breakthrough.

Many of us have struggled with Steven Hawkins, but this suddenly makes the concepts of what we, as current mankind, understand truely come alive.

It makes one realise both how amazing and irrelevant we are, all at the same time.

A joy to read and absord.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining outline 10 Jan 2007
On first reading this book it appears to be a fairly exhaustive account of the Universe from the big bang, through the present day and on to the ultimate end of the Universe. Consider it a little further however and you realise it is only scratching the surface of what is known or believed about the origins and ultimate destiny of the Universe. I found the treatment of Hawking radiation, for example, cursory to say the least, and caused me to ask obvious questions not dealt with in the text.

This isn't a bad thing, however. It is an accessible summary that completely avoids the use of mathematics. It provides sufficient detail to capture one's interest and provides a solid foundation from which you can begin to consider the more obscure details.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but simplistic 24 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Overall this is a good book, but i found it a little bit too simplistic. That said that may have been due to the fact that at the same time i was reading Big Bang: by Simon Singh which i have to say is really excellent, and therefore in comparison this book suffered.
The book is well set out with a logical continuity of the history. It is colourful with great pictures, but many times I was left feeling a little short of detail. I guess you can start with this book as an introduction and then explore each of the topics further in other books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars did what it said on the tin
A very interesting book, well written, & easy enough to understand. All except the HUGE numbers involved, which made my head ache! Read more
Published 22 days ago by Mr Philip Bradshaw
2.0 out of 5 stars Less Bang for your buck in this edition it seems
I am only part way through reading and am enjoying so far, but came back to amazon to check if what I received was what I expected. Read more
Published 3 months ago by A. L. B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bang
Often the great problem of writing about the cosmos is trying to understand it all. Well, Patrick Moore, Brian May, and Chris Lintott certainly get my vote for that. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
I haven't finished this book yet, but it is well-written and I will. It has the same effect on me as all astronomy books - you get drawn into an alternative univese here on earth... Read more
Published 5 months ago by L. J. McQuillin
5.0 out of 5 stars Bang On
The best book I have read which attempts to explain what once must have been unexplainable. There are still the moments when you want to know 'But how do they know that"... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Alexander Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars Bang! The Complete History of the Universe
This is a concise and readable history of our Universe, the "Sky at Night" format from the beginning of time.
Published 6 months ago by Samuelone
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Patrick Moore always explained everything in simple terms and this collaboration with Brian May and Chris Lintott makes fascinating reading.
Published 7 months ago by Pete
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, introductory overview.
A readable but non- trivial introduction to astronomy and astrophysics. However, there is a slight tendency towards a "hand-waving" and "broad brush" approach and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by TOMOS
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and entertaining
Brilliant read, not hard going but easy to follow and extremely informative. Explains a lot of issues in easy to understand chunks of facts
Published 7 months ago by Darren
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
For anyone that like me that wanted to understand what is up there this is essential reading. May, Moore and Lintott go into great detail without over complicating the text (the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by JohnS1923
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