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Bang! The Complete History of the Universe Hardcover – 1 Oct 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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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 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 329,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

This stunningly illustrated book deals with a complicated subject in a way everyone can understand. --The Independent --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a great read
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
Bang! The Complete History of the Universe takes the lay reader through pretty much everything they could want to know about basic cosmology and current theories of the universe, from less than a second after the Big Bang to billions of years into the future. Unlike a Brief History of Time, this one can be read and understood! Equally important, with a generous selection of pictures, it can be enjoyed.

Holding this book in your hand, it becomes immediately obvious that a lot of effort has gone into producing it, from the "lenticular explosion" on the front cover, to the first class illustrations heading each chapter. The photographs of planets, stars and galaxies are glorious, and there are even a few taken by the authors themselves.

Bang! is more informative than most coffee-table books on this subject, but it still manages to avoid getting too bogged down in the detail. It does a good job in covering a lot of ground and covering it well, but there have to be limits for any book of this kind, and while it touches on some of the underlying science such as wave-particle duality, it chooses not to expand on it.

All in all, I highly recommend this book to readers both with and without a scientific background. The lay reader will find it an accessible read and an awe-inspiring introduction to cosmology. The more advanced reader will appreciate the work for what it is, and marvel at the photography. For those looking for something more in-depth, I would recommend Simon Singh's Big Bang, which is another excellent but very different kind of book.
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Format: Hardcover
This updated 4th edition(2012) of 'Bang! The Complete History of the Universe' is one of the most accessible books on cosmology/astronomy that I've come across.
After a brief illuminating introduction there is a chronological account of the evolution of the Universe with chapters headed 'Genesis: In the Beginning'; 'And Then There Was Light'; 'The Evolving Universe'; 'Stars and Planets'; 'The Emergence of Life'; 'Into the Future' & 'The End of the Universe'. This is followed by a chapter on Practical Astronomy by Patrick Moore, biographies of key figures in astronomy/cosmology, a time line of the Universe and a useful glossary of cosmological terms.
Brian May, Patrick Moore & Chris Lintott have written an exciting state-of-the-art guide to the wonders of our Universe.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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