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Wonders of the Universe Hardcover – 3 Mar 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 252 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 (252 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,003 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

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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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
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
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
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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