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50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Universe [Hardcover]

Joanne Baker
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

6 Jan 2011

For millennia humanity has gazed in wonder at the night sky, tracked the motions of the planets and attempted to explain our place in the Universe. But only in our own time has the true scale, the astonishing variety and the remarkable strangeness of the cosmos come clearly into focus.

The pace and sophistication of recent scientific discovery has been breathtaking, but breakthroughs are often difficult to understand and their impact is hard to fully appreciate. In 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Universe, Joanne Baker clearly and concisely explains all of the essential concepts, major discoveries and the very latest thinking in astrophysics, including: the basic principles of astronomy - from heliocentrism to Newton's theory of optics; the constituent parts of the Universe, its creation and evolution; the key concepts of cosmology including the theory of relativity, supermassive black holes and 'multiverses'; the very latest developments in our understanding of quasars, exoplanets and astrobiology.

From dwarf planets to dark energy; and from the Big Bang to the death of stars, this book is the perfect introduction to the cutting-edge science that is shaping our understanding of our place in the Universe and that could lead to the next great discovery - the detection of life beyond Earth.


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50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Universe + 50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas You Really Need to Know series) + 50 Mathematical Ideas You Really Need to Know
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (6 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857381237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857381231
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 304,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

For millennia humanity has gazed in wonder at the night sky, tracked the motions of the planets and attempted to explain our place in the Universe. But only in our own time has the true scale, the astonishing variety and the remarkable strangeness of the cosmos come clearly into focus. The pace and sophistication of recent scientific discovery has been breathtaking, but breakthroughs are often difficult to understand and their impact is hard to fully appreciate. In 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Universe, Joanne Baker clearly and concisely explains all of the essential concepts, major discoveries and the very latest thinking in astrophysics, including: the basic principles of astronomy - from heliocentrism to Newton's theory of optics; the constituent parts of the Universe, its creation and evolution; the key concepts of cosmology, including the theory of relativity, supermassive black holes and 'multiverses'; the very latest developments in our understanding of quasars, exoplanets and astrobiology. From dwarf planets to dark energy and from the Big Bang to the death of stars, this book is the perfect introduction to the cutting-edge science that is shaping our understanding of our place in the Universe and that could lead to the next great discovery - the detection of life beyond Earth.

From the Back Cover

Planets. Heliocentrism. Kepler's laws. Newton's law of gravitation. Newton's theory of optics. The telescope. Fraunhofer lines. Doppler effect. Parallax. The Great Debate. Olbers' paradox. Hubble's law. Cosmic distance ladder. The Big Bang. Cosmic microwave background. Big Bang nucleosynthesis. Antimatter. Dark matter. Cosmic inflation. Cosmological constant. Mach's principle. Special relativity. General relativity. Black holes. Particle astrophysics. The God particle. String theory. Anthropic principle. Hubble galaxy sequence. Galaxy clusters. Large-scale structure. Radio astronomy. Quasars. X-ray background. Supermassive black holes. Galaxy evolution. Gravitational lensing. Stellar classifications. Stellar evolution. Stellar births. Stellar deaths. Pulsars. Gamma-ray bursts. Variability. The Sun. Exoplanets. Formation of the solar system. Moons. Astrobiology. Fermi paradox.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to astrophysics 20 Mar 2011
Format:Hardcover
The fifty ideas in this book are very interesting to enthusiasts of astronomy and physics and are presented in a good and explained without a drop of maths.

This book is divided in three parts. The first part handles general concepts, the second the basis of astronomy and the third shows a few specific concepts of astronomy, although those parts are mingled.

The first part, as I already wrote, is about general concepts of physics, mainly, but slightly oriented to astronomy. Doppler effect, Fraunhofer lines and dark matter are just a few of them.

Kepler's laws, the cosmic inflation and others compose the second part, the basis of astronomy.

The third part has the most interesting ideas of the book. The stuff like quasars, pulsars or supermassive black holes makes us think how small we are. Just imagine a black hole the size of the solar system.

Then, there are some ideas which don't fit anywhere, like the string theory, but are just as interesting.

Have in notion that this isn't the index of the book, but I think that is better organized.

Everyone should read and enjoy it.

Till next time,
M.I.T.H. (ManInsideTheHelm)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing - accessible concepts 12 Mar 2011
Format:Hardcover
Bought this casually in a discount bookshop and I'm very excited about it. Joanne Baker writes very well and I feel I can trust her information. It's an accessible digest of highly significant scientific revelation!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brief History of the Universe 2 Jan 2012
By L. Davidson VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I've recently developed an interest in astrophysics having read a lot of philosophy and I want to know more about the philosophy of religion.Therefore it makes sense that I should at least try to understand scientific explanations for how the universe was created and how it works.I read a few Stephen Hawking books , but found them quite heavy going, so I was pleased to pick up this book in a discount bookstore as it seemed more accessible.Having now read it I am pleased to say that it is indeed accessible and does its best to explain some quite difficult concepts in fairly easy to digest bite sized chunks of information. To fully understand it requires a broader knowledge of astrophysics but hopefully , having read it, I now have a wider general knowledge about the subject ,can follow the debates on the subject more easily and will be able to revisit the Hawking books and make more sense of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise easy read 28 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well structured and easy to read. A few errors though, our Sun is white not yellow and light from it takes 8 minutes not seconds to reach earth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting 'dip in' book 9 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is filled with lots of very simple to understand facts about the Universe and is ideal for a person who is interested in such matters.
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