50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Universe Hardcover – 6 Jan 2011
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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 Universe - 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know, 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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I think it must have been ghost written by a non scientist because there are so many historical and factual errors it is embarrassing.
I give you just two; one from near the beginning and one from near the end. We are told that "objects become infinitely large as the approach the speed of light". Later "light from the Sun takes eight seconds to reach the Earth.
As any other, more robust, science book would state. Mass increases to near infinite size with the onset of near light speed and Sunlight takes approximately eight MINUTES to reach the Earth.
I can only surmise that these errors and others throughout the book meant it wasn't proof read, if read at all by the author. It was written by someone who didn't know a) the basics of relativity b) the speed of light and distance to the Sun. There are many other errors throughout the book.
The book might be fine for a teenager who has a GCSE grade 3 single science but for anyone else it is appalling. I am at a loss why so many other readers have given it 4 or 5 stars? Even for a teenager it would be near useless as the explanations are poor with no analogies used or the ones chosen being inappropriate. It has a style that takes theory as fact and that fact is correct, well because it is (often it isn't stated correctly anyway)!
The editing is non existent hence the endless repetition.Read more ›
I used to believe that there was a great deal that we didn't know about the universe. By reading this book, I've come to understand that we know many things - it was I who didn't know them. I literally feel as if I comprehend life and the universe on a greater scale now. My biggest conceivable commendation to the author. This needs to be introduced as a bona-fide schoolbook.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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.Published on 9 Oct. 2013 by Amazon Customer
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.Published on 28 Feb. 2013 by Grumpy bloke
To me I found this book very interesting and gripping to read, as every time I finished a chapter the topic of the next one always was intriguing so I read allot longer than I was... Read morePublished on 26 Feb. 2013 by George Chadwick
this book is good, not quite what i expected....a bit more kid like...but my dad loves it, so all is goodPublished on 23 Feb. 2013 by steph