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Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries [Kindle Edition]

Neil deGrasse Tyson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

“[Tyson] tackles a great range of subjects . . . with great humor, humility, and—most important— humanity.” —Entertainment Weekly

Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with clarity and enthusiasm. Bringing together more than forty of Tyson's favorite essays, ?Death by Black Hole? explores a myriad of cosmic topics, from what it would be like to be inside a black hole to the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right. One of America's best-known astrophysicists, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies the complexities of astrophysics while sharing his infectious fascination for our universe.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1226 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (17 Nov 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #111,940 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If it's Tuesday, it must be Betelgeuse 3 April 2008
"And behold the greatest mystery of them all: an unopened can of diet Pepsi floats in water while an unopened can of regular Pepsi sinks." - From DEATH BY BLACK HOLE

On graduating from high school near the top of my class, I had visions of becoming an aeronautical engineer helping send missions to the stars. (This was in 1967 during the height of the "space race".) But, the realities of university-level physics and differential calculus soon brought me back to earth with a crash. And then I got drafted. If only I'd had DEATH BY BLACK HOLE to read, I might've been inspired to greater academic efforts. I could've become a superstar in the field of astrophysics, you think?

Well, probably not; I'm more of a Life Sciences kind of guy.

In forty-two chapters arrayed in seven sections, astrophysicist Neil deGasse Tyson guides us on a grand tour of the universe from the Big Bang 14 billion years ago to its projected end trillions of years hence when all energy is dissipated and cosmic death arrives with a whimper.

Section 1: "The challenges of knowing what is knowable in the universe" covers (the inadequacies of) our built-in human senses, the universality of physical laws, the ability of scientific observations to fool the observer, the potential trap of overabundant information, and what can be learned using the most rudimentary of measuring systems, which, in Tyson's example, is an upright stick stuck into the ground.

Did you know that Saturn's rings will be gone in about 100 million years? Book your seat on the tour early.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Jimbay
This is book as an awesome collection of writings by Dr Tyson on very interesting cosmological and astronomical topics. Dr Tyson has a great ability to describe complex and sophisticated concepts of cosmology in a simple and fun way. If you think the sun is yellow and it rises from east and sets in west, then I highly recommend to read this book!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 20 May 2008
This must be one of the most entertaining, intelligent and informative books on popular science I've read in years. Can't really fault it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 14 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am yet to see another book on creation of the universe and laws of the heathens that is as fun to read. This book is great, written in Tyson's famous style (watch a couple of his presentations and you will know what I am talking about), entertaining and funny. It is also insightful and isn't just collection of fun-fact, you get the whole picture. A great read if you are interested in the cosmos and how it came to be. Much easier to read than the bible!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book 17 Aug 2012
By XCoder
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of the best books I've read in long time. It will actually help you to understand what it takes to be a scientist. I really enjoyed the section "Knowledge of nature", which actually opened my eyes have ignorant I'm most of the time. Anyway, this is my first review, I have yet to gain skills in this field, the book is a must have for anyone who values rational thinking and any scientific knowledge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be scared by cosmology.... 26 May 2014
By Phil
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I came across this guy on YouTube and he was SO good at explaining tricky stuff. I watched a few more of his mini clips, then decided I needed a book. This one was the one most recommended by buyers and I have to say I find it totally fascinating.So much great info in it (easy to understand, and without jargon) that I find myself writing down numerous 'facts' just I can remember them. eg: * Over 200 planets not in our solar system have so far been discovered. * If the human eye could 'see' microwave energy, we would be able to spot police radar gun beams. * The moon doesn't exactly orbit the Earth - They both rotate around a point 1000 miles below the Earth's surface. Incidentally, black holes are just a tiny aspect of the book. Most of it is about new and updated information on astronomy and universe origins, etc. I really like this book. It's as interesting and easy to read as Bill Bryson's superb 'Short History of Nearly Everything.'
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Popular Highlights

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I do not know what I appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on a seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me. &quote;
Highlighted by 53 Kindle users
What are the lessons to be learned from this journey of the mind? That humans are emotionally fragile, perennially gullible, hopelessly ignorant masters of an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos. Have a nice day. &quote;
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The remarkable feature of physical laws is that they apply everywhere, whether or not you choose to believe in them. After the laws of physics, everything else is opinion. &quote;
Highlighted by 46 Kindle users

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