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Wonders of the Universe Hardcover – 3 Mar 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 257 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; First Edition edition (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007395825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007395828
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 2.7 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Professor Brian Cox’s previous books:

‘If you didn’t utter a wow watching the TV, you will while reading the book.’
The Times

‘Engaging, ambitious and creative’
Guardian

‘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.’
Sunday Express

‘Will entertain and delight … what a priceless gift that would be.’
Independent on Sunday

From the Back Cover

Experience our universe as you've never seen it before

13.7 billion years old. 93 billion light-years across. It contains over 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars. This infinite, vast and complex Universe has been the subject of human fascination and scientific exploration for thousands of years. The wonders of the Universe might seem alien to us and impossible to understand, but away from the telescopes, the labs and the white coats, Professor Brian Cox uses the evidence found in the natural world on Earth to brilliantly explain the truth of the cosmos.

Professor Cox will show how the vast and unfathomable phenomena of deep space can be explained, and even experienced, by re-examining the familiar here on Earth. He is determined to answer the most profound questions we can ask about ourselves and the world in which we live, but in a uniquely understandable way. The laws of light, gravity, time, matter and energy that govern us here on Earth are the same as those applied in the Universe. Using his expert knowledge and his infectious enthusiasm, Professor Cox shows us that if we can understand the impact of these governing laws on Earth it will bring us a step closer to an understanding of our Universe. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think, with regard to my review title, Brian Cox would be pleased. This book really is superb, it is written with a Childs sense of awe and wonder at the majesty of the world around us. An artist once said that a scientist doesn't see a flower in all it's beauty as if science detracts from the aesthetics of it, Richard Feynman - famous physicist - objected, saying I see the flower and so much more, it's beauty is not diminished with this new understanding. There is a strong thread of pride at the achievements of mankind running through this book, and so there should be! We have done some amazing things, and with equal measure Professor Cox pays homage to those great minds who have unravelled such tantalising mysteries as there are in the world and beyond. I'm a scientist myself but not in this field, I have however been looking at light phenomena and in particular about Fraunhofer lines. Professor Cox has done a brilliant job of explaining simply and in a connected way the light phenomena we experience. This is key to good storytelling that it is connected whilst expanding our view of the world and beyond.
Do yourself a favour, buy this book, get excited and enjoy the ride. The best of human endeavours is paraded before your very eyes, be humbled by it and better yet take part!
Thanks for reading
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Format: Hardcover
Professor Brian Cox's latest television series "Wonders of the Universe" was received with mixed appraise by the British public. Some found its presentation overly theatrical; others complained of the overblown soundtrack. Admittedly, I found that this follow up series was a little weaker in content than its fabulous predecessor, "Wonders of the Solar System", perhaps because this first series was far more focussed in terms of subject matter. Even so, I enjoyed WOTU thoroughly, and I speak only praise for Brian Cox's presentational style, which, as always, was delivered in an intelligible and enthusiastic manner - two qualities, I feel, that are the makings of good documentary television. Indeed, Brian himself responded to recent viewer complaints by saying: "At the end of the day it's a piece of film on television ... not a lecture" - I couldn't agree more.

As one would expect, the accompanying book is presented in a similar style: it draws on each of the four main themes of the series - light, cosmology, gravity, and time - using the analogies and case studies discussed on film. Though the book expands on this material, it does not go into prolonged or unnecessary detail, so those readers wishing to learn much more about the subjects explored in the tv series should look elsewhere. I, however, have found the book useful as a means of reiterating some of the more complex theories and principles behind cosmology, particularly with regard to particle physics, space-time, and stellar chemistry. The book is coherent and comprehensible, even to those with limited scientific capacity (like me); though I must admit that some of the mathematics and physics of it all was beyond my ability...
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Format: Hardcover
Sequel to the "Wonders of the Solar System" and companion to BBC TV series of the same name, Brian Cox takes us on a personal guided tour from the birth of the Universe to the end of time and beyond. Split into four main chapters Messengers, Stardust, Falling and Destiny, topics include; What is Light?, Time Travel, The Big Bang, Life and Death of Stars, Gravity and Relativity and the ultimate fate of the Universe.

The one thing for which this book stands out from other books of this subject is the way concepts are explained using real analogies here on Earth. This gives a sense of reality and something tangeable to relate to. For example, Brian Cox's explanation of entropy was especially clear using a simple example with sandcastles, a concept not easily understood for the lay-person and even the budding astrophycisist.

My one and only critique is that the style of graphics gives the book a retro 1980's feel... and in fact I felt that I have seen many of the images before in books from that period, although perhaps I am missing the point!

My personal favorite of the two books in the series. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Enjoying the TV series. However, this gives a lot more detail and information, plus you can absorb some of the ideas at your own pace.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'd been thinking about buying this book in the hardcover version but having just bought an iPad I thought it would be a great first buy in the kindle format. How wrong I was! Don't get me wrong, the reading experience is great and the text is wonderful both in content and layout. The problem is the graphics and images, which are one of the key attractions of this type of book, are sadly lacking both in clarity and resolution. For example the diagram/image that appears on page23-24 in the hardcover version, showing our position in the universe, has captions that are unreadable. I wish I'd bought a hard copy now. I wonder if the authors and publisher realise how poorly their work is being represented.

Note: I've updated my rating of the item to 5 stars as I'm advised that the rating is for the book in all it's forms, not just the Kindle version. I'm enjoying the book as a text but my comments re the Kindle version still stand.
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