Wonders of the Solar System Hardcover – 30 Sep 2010
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Praise for Professor Brian Cox’s work:
‘If you didn’t utter a wow watching the TV, you will while reading the book.’
‘Engaging, ambitious and creative’
‘In this book of the acclaimed BBC2 TV series, Professor Cox shows us the cosmos as we have never seen it before – a place full of the most bizarre and powerful natural phenomena.’
‘Will entertain and delight … what a priceless gift that would be.’
Independent on Sunday
About the Author
Professor Brian Cox, OBE is a particle physicist, a Royal Society research fellow, and a professor at the University of Manchester as well as researcher on one of the most ambitious experiments on Earth, the ATLAS experiment on the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. He is best known to the public as a science broadcaster and presenter of the highly popular BBC2 series Wonders of the Solar System. He was also the keyboard player in the UK pop band D:Ream in the 1990s.
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Top Customer Reviews
|Length: 1:47 Mins|
Many people thinking of purchasing this to acompany the series may be worried this is a limp spin-off that add's little or nothing to what the program itself showed. Well I hope I can put your mind at rest and tell you that this is well worth investing in.
The book (which is quite large - 28cm x 22cm) begins with a lovely and inspiring introducton. Very much of the style of the series, exhalting the ideals of exploration and celebrating the thirst for knowledge. To explore beyond the shore of our 'thin blue line'.
The rest of the format is much like the series, 5 more chapters on the same heading as the television show;
Chapter 2 - Empire of the Sun
Chapter 3 - Order out of Chaos
Chapter 4 - The Thin Blue Line
Chapter 5 - Dead or Alive
Chapter 6 - Aliens
Naturally, being the book of the series, it not going to veer off and cover other subjects. So we will be on familiar territory. Being a book, you get the feeling that it takes a little more time on the details and allows a more considered approach, perhaps acknowledging that it will be fans reading the book. Unlike a television series, which has to accomodate a very broad audience. Not that the book is more difficult to understand than the series itself, just that it elaborates some of the points from the series.
Just opening a random page and you are greeted with wonderful photos and great illustrations of various solar mechanics and actions of gravity etc. Very informative and easy to understand.
I hope you buy this book, and will enjoy it as much as I am enjoying it.
Truely for all ages. Inspiration has no limit.
However, I have given it a 3 star rating as a provisional evaluation and as a warning to potential buyers and existing readers. Normally, my intial view would have been to give it 4 stars, since I agree with another reviewer that the general layout is a little too fussy and not always clear; hence it fails to impress as much as the video.
The reason for knocking off one star from this initial assessment is that I was put on alert to the error mentioned by another reviewer (who only gave the book 1 star). Having reached page 27 I was surprised to read that the sun is "140,000 kilometres (865,000 miles) across and over 100 times the diameter of Earth ..." The glaring error should be apparent to a 10 year old or anyone who ever looks at their speedometer in their car. Since when did 86 mph equate to 14kmh? (60mph is equivalent to 97kmh). The sun's diameter is approximately 1,392,000 km, so clearly the figure was meant to be 1,400,000 kilometre.
Before anyone tells me I should get out more (possibly true!), I should say that I am now less comfortable reading a book, which I already know has 2 technical/typo errors within its pages. It won't stop me reading it, since I think the book has a lot to offer and I like Brian Cox's enthusiasm for the subject. However, my experience so far, makes me wonder how many other errors are lurking inside its covers. The above error was easy to pick up, but although I have some knowledge of the subject from reading and studying about earth sciences, I would be none the wiser over many other 'facts' that might be presented in this book, unless I have come across them elsewhere.Read more ›
Excellently written in an easy to understand way without feeling dumbed down in any way. Brian Cox manages to present such a vast and awe inspiring subject in a way that you will find very hard to put down indeed.
Can't recommend highly enough.
Just to stress the good points first - the subject is great and many of the pictures are fascinating.
My gripe is the lack of precision and accuracy. Brian Cox makes great play of the superiority of the scientific method in finding truth. To me one of the great virtues of the scientific approach is clear and accurate communication - what I found were diagrams that were misleading and language that was vague and fuzzy. Reading the text seemed more like a teenage novel than a professor attempting to explain the wonders of the solar system.
Some quick examples:
Firstly I do understand how the orbit of the earth and the tilt of the axis result in the seasons. But the diagram in the book shows four positions of the earth relative to the sum - one position implies the sun is above the arctic circle and one that it is above the antarctic circle.
Secondly I was fascinated in the death of the sun. Leaving aside the language referring to nuclear reactions as "burning" I was reading on - because I wanted to understand why the Helium produced from the Hydrogen would not then act as fuel for further reactions (as happens in other stars). Referring to the exhaustion of the supply of hydrogen the text says "it literally runs out of steam".
Come on Brian. If you want to use metaphor in a supposed scientific book that's OK - but "Literally"?? Seeing the word I stopped; do you mean there is water produced? and that now all the gaseous water has been dissipated? At this point my blood boiled (no, not literally!).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
On page six there is an introduction to the book. Chapter 1 The wonder. In the introduction there is a brief history of science. Starting with the An artificial planet. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ploddiefeet
An awesome book that I bought as a present for my Mum who loves it.Published 4 months ago by Nicola Barrand
Brought as a birthday present for the boyfriend he loves it. Got here quick with no damage.Published 5 months ago by Lucy