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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Factual examination of the question 'How Real is Star Trek?'
Factual examination of the question 'How Real is Star Trek?' The answer is both 'quite' and 'not at all'. Science Professor Krauss looks into the scientific reality of such concepts as Warp Drive (quite real) and how transporters work (unreal). Amusing and well written the science at times is dense but enjoyable. Krauss calculates that digitising the human body at the...
Published on 14 Jan. 2002 by billbrooks@blueyonder.co.uk

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun way to introduce and discuss several topics of physics
While the book uses star trek as its starting point it is not really about star trek but about physics. The book looks at some potentially dry and difficult areas of physics through the star trek universe and thus brings them to life. Easy to read and enjoyable even for the non physicist.
Published on 29 April 1999


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Factual examination of the question 'How Real is Star Trek?', 14 Jan. 2002
This review is from: The Physics of Star Trek (Paperback)
Factual examination of the question 'How Real is Star Trek?' The answer is both 'quite' and 'not at all'. Science Professor Krauss looks into the scientific reality of such concepts as Warp Drive (quite real) and how transporters work (unreal). Amusing and well written the science at times is dense but enjoyable. Krauss calculates that digitising the human body at the rate of 1Gb of information per centimetre would result in a data stream 10,000 light years long. Also lists his top ten scientific fallacies in Star Trek, including the 'in space no one can hear you scream' one along with why you could not see a phaser fire. Great fun.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How Physicists Think About Star Trek Movies and Series, 17 July 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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Did you know that many of the world's best physicists like to watch Star Trek, and then discuss what's right and wrong about the science displayed? Well, apparently they do.
Drawing on contacts within the scientific community and on-line bulletin boards, Professor Krauss has written a sprightly review of what physicists think about when they see these shows. He translates these observations into simple concepts that the average reader should be able to follow, assuming an interest in Star Trek or science.
As a non-scientist, I had always assumed that 70 percent of the "science" on a Star Trek show was just so much imagination. The reason I thought that was because I could see so many obvious errors (seeing phaser light in space, hearing sounds in space, effects occurring too soon on the space ship, holograms acting like they were made of matter, and permanent worm holes) based on what little I knew. Was I ever surprised to find out that these obvious errors were the bulk of all the errors in the shows!
Apparently the writers have been working closely with scientifically knowledgeable people to keep what is covered reasonably possible . . . along with some poetic license.
The physics of cosmology are fascinating, but I can quickly get lost in matching quantum mechanics to general relativity and so forth. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that I could follow the arguments much better when they used a familiar Star Trek episode as a reference. Like the child who learns math when it involves counting his or her own money, I can learn physics more easily when it relates to Star Trek. Very nice!
The book takes a look at the common Star Trek features like warp drive, transporters, replicators, phasers, sensors, subspace communications, and tractor beams. You also get special looks at less common features like multiple universes and special forms of radiation.
You can read this book from several perspectives as a result: (1) to appreciate what's happening in an episode; (2) to learn some science; (3) to think about where Star Trek could become real and where it is less likely to become so; and (4) what problems have to be solved in order for Star Trek technology to develop. I found the last perspective to be the most interesting. Professor Krauss's speculations about how rapidly technology might develop and what could be done with it were most fascinating.
Where the book fell down a little was in being quite strong in stating that certain "laws" of physics would never be changed. If we go back in 100 year increments, we find that a lot of earlier "laws" are later somewhat amended if not totally changed. That may happen in the future as well, as we learn more. Professor Krauss is a little too confident in many places that there is nothing else to learn. Most modern technology would look like Star Trek science fiction to someone living in 1700, despite being based on sound scientific principles not understood then.
After you finish enjoying this interesting book, think about what questions no one is trying to solve. Why not? What benefits would occur if they were solved? How could curiosity be stimulated about these questions?
Ask and answer important questions in interesting ways to make faster progress!
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How Physicists Think About Star Trek Movies and Series, 22 Sept. 2001
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Physics of Star Trek (Paperback)
Did you know that many of the world's best physicists like to watch Star Trek, and then discuss what's right and wrong about the science displayed? Well, apparently they do.
Drawing on contacts within the scientific community and on-line bulletin boards, Professor Krauss has written a sprightly review of what physicists think about when they see these shows. He translates these observations into simple concepts that the average reader should be able to follow, assuming an interest in Star Trek or science.
As a non-scientist, I had always assumed that 70 percent of the "science" on a Star Trek show was just so much imagination. The reason I thought that was because I could see so many obvious errors (seeing phaser light in space, hearing sounds in space, effects occurring too soon on the space ship, holograms acting like they were made of matter, and permanent worm holes) based on what little I knew. Was I ever surprised to find out that these obvious errors were the bulk of all the errors in the shows!
Apparently the writers have been working closely with scientifically knowledgeable people to keep what is covered reasonably possible . . . along with some poetic license.
The physics of cosmology are fascinating, but I can quickly get lost in matching quantum mechanics to general relativity and so forth. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that I could follow the arguments much better when they used a familiar Star Trek episode as a reference. Like the child who learns math when it involves counting his or her own money, I can learn physics more easily when it relates to Star Trek. Very nice!
The book takes a look at the common Star Trek features like warp drive, transporters, replicators, phasers, sensors, subspace communications, and tractor beams. You also get special looks at less common features like multiple universes and special forms of radiation.
You can read this book from several perspectives as a result: (1) to appreciate what's happening in an episode; (2) to learn some science; (3) to think about where Star Trek could become real and where it is less likely to become so; and (4) what problems have to be solved in order for Star Trek technology to develop. I found the last perspective to be the most interesting. Professor Krauss's speculations about how rapidly technology might develop and what could be done with it were most fascinating.
Where the book fell down a little was in being quite strong in stating that certain "laws" of physics would never be changed. If we go back in 100 year increments, we find that a lot of earlier "laws" are later somewhat amended if not totally changed. That may happen in the future as well, as we learn more. Professor Krauss is a little too confident in many places that there is nothing else to learn. Most modern technology would look like Star Trek science fiction to someone living in 1700, despite being based on sound scientific principles not understood then.
After you finish enjoying this interesting book, think about what questions no one is trying to solve. Why not? What benefits would occur if they were solved? How could curiosity be stimulated about these questions?
Ask and answer important questions in interesting ways to make faster progress!...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How Physicists Think About Star Trek Movies and Series, 17 July 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Did you know that many of the world's best physicists like to watch Star Trek, and then discuss what's right and wrong about the science displayed? Well, apparently they do.
Drawing on contacts within the scientific community and on-line bulletin boards, Professor Krauss has written a sprightly review of what physicists think about when they see these shows. He translates these observations into simple concepts that the average reader should be able to follow, assuming an interest in Star Trek or science.
As a non-scientist, I had always assumed that 70 percent of the "science" on a Star Trek show was just so much imagination. The reason I thought that was because I could see so many obvious errors (seeing phaser light in space, hearing sounds in space, effects occurring too soon on the space ship, holograms acting like they were made of matter, and permanent worm holes) based on what little I knew. Was I ever surprised to find out that these obvious errors were the bulk of all the errors in the shows!
Apparently the writers have been working closely with scientifically knowledgeable people to keep what is covered reasonably possible . . . along with some poetic license.
The physics of cosmology are fascinating, but I can quickly get lost in matching quantum mechanics to general relativity and so forth. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that I could follow the arguments much better when they used a familiar Star Trek episode as a reference. Like the child who learns math when it involves counting his or her own money, I can learn physics more easily when it relates to Star Trek. Very nice!
The book takes a look at the common Star Trek features like warp drive, transporters, replicators, phasers, sensors, subspace communications, and tractor beams. You also get special looks at less common features like multiple universes and special forms of radiation.
You can read this book from several perspectives as a result: (1) to appreciate what's happening in an episode; (2) to learn some science; (3) to think about where Star Trek could become real and where it is less likely to become so; and (4) what problems have to be solved in order for Star Trek technology to develop. I found the last perspective to be the most interesting. Professor Krauss's speculations about how rapidly technology might develop and what could be done with it were most fascinating.
Where the book fell down a little was in being quite strong in stating that certain "laws" of physics would never be changed. If we go back in 100 year increments, we find that a lot of earlier "laws" are later somewhat amended if not totally changed. That may happen in the future as well, as we learn more. Professor Krauss is a little too confident in many places that there is nothing else to learn. Most modern technology would look like Star Trek science fiction to someone living in 1700, despite being based on sound scientific principles not understood then.
After you finish enjoying this interesting book, think about what questions no one is trying to solve. Why not? What benefits would occur if they were solved? How could curiosity be stimulated about these questions?
Ask and answer important questions in interesting ways to make faster progress!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High School Physics made simpler!, 24 Aug. 2002
By 
This review is from: The Physics of Star Trek (Paperback)
As a 14 Year old student studying physics at a Key Stage 3 Level. I expected to find this book extremely challenging and complicated. It was merely the words "Quantum Mechanics" and dealing with atoms and suchlike that deterred me. To my surprise I found, upon reading the book, that Professor Krauss explains atomic theory and all it's related topics far better than any of my physics teachers ever could. The book is written with flair and subtle good humour while still maintaining all the professionalism of an informative physics textbook. I fully intend to use this book as a reference in all my future physics projects and would recommend it to troubled trekkies everywhere. Perhaps a better title may have been "The Physics of Star Trek: For Dummies".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bridging science and fiction in science fiction., 6 Feb. 1997
By A Customer
As a former aeronautical engineer who had the opportunity to study quantum physics, I very much enjoyed this book. The author was able to show that science fiction at the level of Star Trek carries on the dreams and hopes that we all have, and, more specifically, those from which physicists make their lives.

The ingenuity of Star Trek physics bases itself on what is already amazing in comtemporary quantum physics. Most of us would already be amazed by what quantum physicists are dealing with every day. The author also points out some amusing inconsistencies which are almost necessary for the sake of entertaining our 20th century peoples. Reading this book makes you want to learn quantum physics and feel that you already live in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun way to introduce and discuss several topics of physics, 29 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Physics of Star Trek (Paperback)
While the book uses star trek as its starting point it is not really about star trek but about physics. The book looks at some potentially dry and difficult areas of physics through the star trek universe and thus brings them to life. Easy to read and enjoyable even for the non physicist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you've looked this far, buy it., 19 Jan. 1998
By A Customer
I ran across this book accidentally while thumbing through some texts in a bookstore on Einstein, relativity, space science, etc. I've always been a Trekkie and have often heard rumors of the "scientific correctness" of the show and wondered how fine the line was between science and fiction. Well, this book helped answer a lot of those questions. You don't have to be totally familiar with the laws of physics to read this book, for the most part it's reader friendly. I do, however, recommend the reader acquaint him/herself with some of the terminology...or have a reference near-by.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but a bit out-of-date, 1 Jan. 2012
This review is from: The Physics of Star Trek (Paperback)
In this book, Prof. Krauss looks at all the technical wizardry in Star Trek, and asks if its possible from the point of view of physics. Some is, some isnt. But he uses it to introduce the reader to a whole heap of physics, so its a good way of making physics fun. I'm a science teacher, and I'll use parts of this to get the students thinking about physics. But some of it is totally out-of-date and most entertaining are the bits where he says "this isnt possible" and now we know it is. But its still a really good read, and an awesome teaching accessory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my brain hurt..., 26 May 1999
By A Customer
This books really surprised me.. I reread some parts several times to really grasp what he was saying because he delves into some pretty deep thinking and math based ideas. I highly recommend this to anyone who ever wondered how a transporter or warp drive could work and wanted a really good answer
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The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence Krauss (Paperback - 12 Mar. 2010)
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