Black Holes: A Traveler's Guide Paperback – 30 Mar 1998
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From the Back Cover
BLACK HOLES A TRAVELER′S GUIDE
Clifford Pickover′s inventive and entertaining excursion beyond the curves of space and time.
"I′ve enjoyed Clifford Pickover′s earlier books . . . now he has ventured into the exploration of black holes. All would–be tourists are strongly advised to read his traveler′s guide." –Arthur C. Clarke.
"Many books have been written about black holes, but none surpass this one in arousing emotions of awe and wonder towards the mysterious structure of the universe." –Martin Gardner.
"Bucky Fuller thought big. Arthur C. Clarke thinks big, but Cliff Pickover outdoes them both." –Wired.
"The book is fun, zany, in–your–face, and refreshingly addictive." –Times Higher Education Supplement.
About the Author
CLIFFORD A. PICKOVER, Ph.D., is the author of numerous popular science and mathematics books, including Keys to Infinity, Chaos in Wonderland, and Mazes for the Mind. He is also the lead columnist for the "Brain Boggler" section in Discover magazine. He is a researcher at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, and his work in computer science has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Post, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, Omni, and Science News. For his work in computer graphics, he received first prize in the 1990 Beauty of Physics Competition.
Top Customer Reviews
The science fiction format features a creature called Mr. Plex that has a diamond exoskeleton and his human wife, Mrs. Plex. Mr. Plex is also the first officer of a space ship captained by the narrator. The three of them engage in adventures near black holes and describe the situation and the consequences of their actions. Sometimes interspersed and often separated from the adventures are the formulas that describe the black holes and what happens around them. To his credit and detriment, Pickover does not shy away from using the most advanced formulas. In general, a person would have to have the equivalent of a course in college level physics with a calculus prerequisite to understand all of them. Therefore, there is no question that the sales of the book were much less than they would have been if the formulas had generally left out. There are many illustrations and some computer code to illustrate the actions in an appendix.
I commend Pickover for including the formulas for black holes and doing a generally good job in explaining them. However, there is no way that this could be considered a popular book on black holes as the level of mathematics will overwhelm most people.
Oh yes, one last example...the formula on page 11 C(sub h)=(4*pi*G*M(sub h))/c^2. He lists G as newtonian's gravitational constant, and CLAIMS it is 1.327*10^11 km^3/s^2*M^2 where M= solar mass. He should NOT have done this, Newton's gravity constant is REALLY 6.672 59 x 10^-11 m^3/kg*s^2. Pickover converted the mass and radius of the sun into the needed values and did all the math without informing you he did this.Read more ›
I got a ton more information, education, joy and laughter from a scientist who in my estimation has far greater justification to be too pompous to bother with the likes of neophytes like myself. The book is The God Particle by Leon Lederman and Dick Teresi. The book is about particle physics and for all it's high-end physics terminology, it was the most fun I've ever had reading a book.
Mr.Pickover's book made me mad. We're not all math wizards and to title it a 'traveler's guide' is doing a wanting-to-learn relatively intelligent person like myself a disservice with its misleading title.
Overall it is an excellent overview of Black Holes, and a joy to read!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent book to give to anyone how are new to the subject of the physics concerning black holes. Read morePublished on 8 Aug. 1999
There was one reviewer below who claimed he did not like the way the formulas were presented. Pickover does it right and uses standard conventions. The formulas are accurate. Read morePublished on 30 Jun. 1999
This book is the most wonderful and useful introduction to black holes and parallel universes that I have ever read. Read morePublished on 27 Jun. 1999
This is an interesting combination of a science fiction short story written in the second person (odd, that) and a light series of lectures on the subject of black holes. Read morePublished on 5 Jun. 1999
Stimulating, educational. I'm a physics teacher and use this book in my classes. The book is quite accurate. I also like the humor.Published on 7 May 1999
I enjoyed this wonderful introduction to black holes. There's something here for everyone, from high school students to scientists. The graphics are gorgeous. Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 1999
I throughly enjoyed the book, Black Holes:A Traveler's Guide. I liked the format that he used by presenting a lot of information that was also entertaining at the same time. Read morePublished on 20 Jun. 1998
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