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By Brian Cox - Wonders of the Universe Hardcover – 16 Feb 2011


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Hardcover, 16 Feb 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Collins (16 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BR1PP9W
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 2.5 x 28.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Professor Brian Cox, OBE is a particle physicist, a Royal Society research fellow, and a professor at the University of Manchester as well as researcher on one of the most ambitious experiments on Earth, the ATLAS experiment on the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. He is best known to the public as a science broadcaster and presenter of the highly popular BBC2 series Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe. He was also the keyboard player in the UK pop band D:Ream in the 1990s.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mr T T R Spearing on 9 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
Professor Brian Cox's latest television series "Wonders of the Universe" was received with mixed appraise by the British public. Some found its presentation overly theatrical; others complained of the overblown soundtrack. Admittedly, I found that this follow up series was a little weaker in content than its fabulous predecessor, "Wonders of the Solar System", perhaps because this first series was far more focussed in terms of subject matter. Even so, I enjoyed WOTU thoroughly, and I speak only praise for Brian Cox's presentational style, which, as always, was delivered in an intelligible and enthusiastic manner - two qualities, I feel, that are the makings of good documentary television. Indeed, Brian himself responded to recent viewer complaints by saying: "At the end of the day it's a piece of film on television ... not a lecture" - I couldn't agree more.

As one would expect, the accompanying book is presented in a similar style: it draws on each of the four main themes of the series - light, cosmology, gravity, and time - using the analogies and case studies discussed on film. Though the book expands on this material, it does not go into prolonged or unnecessary detail, so those readers wishing to learn much more about the subjects explored in the tv series should look elsewhere. I, however, have found the book useful as a means of reiterating some of the more complex theories and principles behind cosmology, particularly with regard to particle physics, space-time, and stellar chemistry. The book is coherent and comprehensible, even to those with limited scientific capacity (like me); though I must admit that some of the mathematics and physics of it all was beyond my ability...
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134 of 137 people found the following review helpful By D. Lane on 10 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think, with regard to my review title, Brian Cox would be pleased. This book really is superb, it is written with a Childs sense of awe and wonder at the majesty of the world around us. An artist once said that a scientist doesn't see a flower in all it's beauty as if science detracts from the aesthetics of it, Richard Feynman - famous physicist - objected, saying I see the flower and so much more, it's beauty is not diminished with this new understanding. There is a strong thread of pride at the achievements of mankind running through this book, and so there should be! We have done some amazing things, and with equal measure Professor Cox pays homage to those great minds who have unravelled such tantalising mysteries as there are in the world and beyond. I'm a scientist myself but not in this field, I have however been looking at light phenomena and in particular about Fraunhofer lines. Professor Cox has done a brilliant job of explaining simply and in a connected way the light phenomena we experience. This is key to good storytelling that it is connected whilst expanding our view of the world and beyond.
Do yourself a favour, buy this book, get excited and enjoy the ride. The best of human endeavours is paraded before your very eyes, be humbled by it and better yet take part!
Thanks for reading
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133 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Beecrafty on 16 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a female pensioner in my 70's and a non scientist(the nearest I came was an O level in geology taken in my 40's) I can't reccomend Professor Brian Cox books and television series enough.I am delighted that he has just won 2 TV awards for his series. Professor Cox is a natural,I would never get bored watching and listening to him,he explains everything so that everyone from the youngest to the oldest can understand.The book is a 'must have'.The presentation and photography is excellent.Well done Brian and Andrew Cohen and thankyou for making the solar systems and universe so interesting.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Martin Peston on 12 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Sequel to the "Wonders of the Solar System" and companion to BBC TV series of the same name, Brian Cox takes us on a personal guided tour from the birth of the Universe to the end of time and beyond. Split into four main chapters Messengers, Stardust, Falling and Destiny, topics include; What is Light?, Time Travel, The Big Bang, Life and Death of Stars, Gravity and Relativity and the ultimate fate of the Universe.

The one thing for which this book stands out from other books of this subject is the way concepts are explained using real analogies here on Earth. This gives a sense of reality and something tangeable to relate to. For example, Brian Cox's explanation of entropy was especially clear using a simple example with sandcastles, a concept not easily understood for the lay-person and even the budding astrophycisist.

My one and only critique is that the style of graphics gives the book a retro 1980's feel... and in fact I felt that I have seen many of the images before in books from that period, although perhaps I am missing the point!

My personal favorite of the two books in the series. Highly recommended.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 20 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Enjoying the TV series. However, this gives a lot more detail and information, plus you can absorb some of the ideas at your own pace.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By King Nothing on 1 Mar. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This really is a fascinating read. Some undoubtedly complex concepts explained in a very easy-to-understand manner - perhaps too simple for anyone who already has a basic understanding, but inspiring nonetheless. Related to this, I found his almost poetic analogies to the central ideas a little irritating, but that is his style and my personal objection, and any tangents are always nicely stitched back into the main theme. My one big criticism is that this book doesn't work at all well on the Kindle: when you have a figure with a caption referring to sharp, red spots in the image and you are confronted with a blurry greyscale panel you can't help feeling as though you've paid for the whole book but are getting only half of it. Admittedly looking back on Amazon I see there is a disclaimer relating to this, but I didn't see it when I bought the book and it really makes a lot of the images useless.
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