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    $26.40 list($40.00)
    1. The Road to Reality : A Complete
    $76.96 $55.00 list($99.95)
    2. Horizons : Exploring the Universe
    $10.85 $8.90 list($15.95)
    3. The Fabric of the Cosmos : Space,
    $93.00 $63.50 list($96.00)
    4. The Cosmic Perspective, Third
    $18.45 list($27.95)
    5. Parallel Worlds : A journey through
    $10.85 $9.00 list($15.95)
    6. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings,
    $99.00 $71.50
    7. The Cosmic Perspective: Media
    $27.95 $18.34
    8. The Privileged Planet: How Our
    $94.00 $55.50
    9. Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide
    $140.31 $63.50
    10. Fundamentals of Aerodynamics
    11. The Mechanical Universe : Introduction
    $11.86 $7.99 list($16.95)
    12. A Brief History of Time : The
    $129.00 $99.95
    13. Introduction to Airborne Radar
    $102.00 $70.00
    14. The Moon : Resources, Future Development
    $54.75 $54.70
    15. Space Mission Analysis and Design,
    $19.01 list($27.95)
    16. Big Bang : The Origin of the Universe
    $94.60 $68.99
    17. Essential Cosmic Perspective,
    $65.00 $37.45
    18. Astronomy: The Evolving Universe
    $88.95 $45.90
    19. Universe & CD-Rom
    $99.95 $93.81
    20. Aircraft Design: A Conceptual

    1. The Road to Reality : A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe
    list price: $40.00
    our price: $26.40
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    Asin: 0679454438
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-22)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 8504
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    2. Horizons : Exploring the Universe (with TheSky CD-ROM, Virtual Astronomy Labs, and InfoTrac)
    by Michael A. Seeds
    list price: $99.95
    our price: $76.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0534392687
    Catlog: Book (2003-05-06)
    Publisher: Brooks Cole
    Sales Rank: 54053
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This text, which uses a stars-first organizational approach, is intended for the introductory course in astronomy for non-science majors. The level of detail in this text makes it most appropriate for a one-semester or two-quarter course, although it may also be used in a two-semester sequence.This newly revised and updated 8th edition of HORIZONS shows students their place in the universenot just their location, but also their role as planet dwellers in an evolving universe. Fascinating and engaging, the book illustrates how science works, and how scientists depend on evidence to test hypotheses. Students will learn to focus on the scientific method through the strong central questioning themes of "what are we?" and "how do we know?" Through a discussion of this interplay between evidence and hypothesis, Mike Seeds provides not just a series of facts, but also a conceptual framework for understanding the logic of astronomical knowledge. The book vividly conveys the author's love of astronomy, shows students how the universe can be described by a small set of physical laws, and illustrates how they can comprehend their place in the universe by understanding these laws, rather than simply memorizing facts. By crafting a story about astronomy, Seeds shows students how to ask questions of nature and therefore gradually puzzle out the beautiful secrets of the physical world. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superb textbook - beautifully illustrated, clearly written!
    This is the Eighth Edition of a truly superb textbook for an introductory astronomy course, or for anyone (amateur astronomers?)who is looking for a great and beautifully illustrated general reference source on astronomy. I've been teaching intro astronomy for many years and keep my eye on all the textbooks. Aimed primarily at non-science majors, Seeds' book is a hum-dinger and really the best I see out there at this time.

    The author has a very clear and quite intertaining writing style, and each edition of the book is even more beautifully illustrated than the last. The artwork especially in the last two editions is simply super, and clearly illustrate many phenomena that students often have trouble with. This textbook covers every topic needed in a survey course from the nature of light, a bit of astronomy history and telescopes, properties and formation of stars and galaxies, the planets, and very current data on cosmology, dark matter, life in the universe and so on. Very up to date!

    Mike Seeds' book goes fairly easy on the math (although all important concepts are covered)compared to some other "intro astronomy" books. Overall, I find this book ideally suited to a survey course for non-science majors. For science majors or a textbook that might also be useful in somewhat higher level astronomy courses, I would recommend Kaufmann/Freeman's "Universe" as an excellent choice.

    Seeds' book is comprehensive and about 500 pages in length - similar to almost all intro astronomy textbooks. To a great extent, literally all these 500 page textbooks are way too lengthy for a one semester survey course. It is difficult to get students to read this much for each class. I keep hoping that Mike Seeds, and excellent author, will produce a 250-300 page (maximum) version of Horizons specifically for one semester courses. Until someone creates a shorter version of the same high quality, I'll keep recommending this textbook.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Can a good thing get better?
    As a freshman in college (majoring in Astronomy) I had to use Horizons 4e for an Intro Astronomy course, and fell in love with it. I loved it so much that I bought Horizons 6e! I think this great book just keeps getting better! The art and photos are fantastic, and tie in well with the text, which is an easy read, great for majors and non-majors alike. In summary, Horizons 6e is a great text, well worth the money.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book!
    Horizons: Sixth Edition is an all-color book talking about the cosmos, also known as the universe. I am currently using this book at UC Berkeley for the summer sessions course, Astronomy 10. It includes two CD-ROMs which are really helpful in your research. I recommend this book because my professor chose it and it is quite worth the seventy dollars.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pictures, inspires further interest in astronomy
    I thought this was a wonderful book. It has a lot of wonderful pictures and excelent diagrams. This book goes into many different areas of astronomy giving the reader a well rounded bounty of knowledge about our Universe. It is also rather easy to understant. You don't need to be an astro-physicist to understant this book, but after reading it you might want to become one! ... Read more

    3. The Fabric of the Cosmos : Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
    by Brian Greene
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
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    Asin: 0375727205
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-08)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 471
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    As a boy, Brian Greene read Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus and was transformed. Camus, in Greene's paraphrase, insisted that the hero triumphs "by relinquishing everything beyond immediate experience." After wrestling with this idea, however, Greene rejected Camus and realized that his true idols were physicists; scientists who struggled "to assess life and to experience the universe at all possible levels, not just those that happened to be accessible to our frail human senses." His driving question in The Fabric of the Cosmos, then, is fundamental: "What is reality?" Over sixteen chapters, he traces the evolving human understanding of the substrate of the universe, from classical physics to ten-dimensional M-Theory.

    Assuming an audience of non-specialists, Greene has set himself a daunting task: to explain non-intuitive, mathematical concepts like String Theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and Inflationary Cosmology with analogies drawn from common experience. For the most part, he succeeds. His language reflects a deep passion for science and a gift for translating concepts into poetic images. When explaining, for example, the inability to see the higher dimensions inherent in string theory, Greene writes: "We don't see them because of the way we see…like an ant walking along a lily pad…we could be floating within a grand, expansive, higher-dimensional space."

    For Greene, Rhodes Scholar and professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, speculative science is not always as thorough and successful. His discussion of teleportation, for example, introduces and then quickly tables a valuable philosophical probing of identity. The paradoxes of time travel, however, are treated with greater depth, and his vision of life in a three-brane universe is compelling and--to use his description for quantum reality--"weird."

    In the final pages Greene turns from science fiction back to the fringes of science fact, and he returns with rigor to frame discoveries likely to be made in the coming decades. "We are, most definitely, still wandering in the jungle," he concludes. Thanks to Greene, though, some of the underbrush has been cleared. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

    4. The Cosmic Perspective, Third Edition
    by Jeffrey Bennett, Megan Donahue, Nicholas Schneider, Mark Voit
    list price: $96.00
    our price: $93.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805387382
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-25)
    Publisher: Addison Wesley Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 23116
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The enhanced pedagogy, streamlined presentation, and integrated media of The Cosmic Perspective, Third Edition makes it easier than ever for readers to successfully navigate their way through introductory astronomy. Renowned for its up-to-date and expert coverage, this student-friendly book focuses on central ideas and unifying themes to provide a cosmic context. New chapter openers and end-of-chapter summaries expertly steer readers through key concepts, helping them stay focused on core learning goals. KEY TOPICS The Third Edition features expanded coverage on seasons, the solar system, chronological history, and astrobiology.For college instructors, students, or anyone interested in introductory astronomy. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Reviewed by an astronomy student
    As an astronomy student at the University of Colorado, I have used "The Cosmic Perspective" as a text book for two of my classes (one on stars and galaxies, and one on the solar system). This book is perfect for both: the text is clear and full of insight; the illustrations and photographs are abundant and extremely professional, and they complement the text superbly; the sections called "Mathematical Insight" give the reader a clear understanding of the science involved, and the sections called "Common Misconceptions" are as fun to read as they are informative.

    I have read this book cover-to-cover, and although it is intended as a text book, it reads like many of the very popular science books I have read. If you enjoyed reading Sagan's "Cosmos", Gribbin's "In Search of the Big Bang", Feynman's "The Character of Physical Law", Lederman's "The God Particle" or Hawking's "A Brief History of Time", you will enjoy this very well-conceived and well-written book.

    "The Cosmic Perspective" is very comprehensive. Besides covering the fundamental concepts of astronomy (such as light as the cosmic messenger; universal motion; celestial timekeeping; and telescopes), this book details how stars are born, evolve and die; the fundamentals of relativity; how the galaxies were formed, as well as how our solar system was formed; how vast space really is; how we know the distances to various objects in our universe; and how we know what happened at the early moments of the Big Bang. Since this book is new (published in 1999), it contains the latest facts and the latest thinking of modern astronomy. This book captured my interest and my enthusiasm the moment I began reading it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Most comprehensive astronomy book with clearest explanations
    For beginner or intermediate astronomy students, this book not only has all topics covered, but touches on many other branches of science that are essential to the understanding of astronomy. Clear, concise explanations with very careful attention to units in sample problems make many basic science concepts understandable. The depth of current knowledge covered on a wide variety of astronomical topics is remarkable for inclusiion in just one book. The graphic diagrams, drawings, charts, illustrations, and photographs are also outstanding in what they add to one's ability to visualize the material presented. Overall, this is by far the best astronomy book I've seen. ... Read more

    5. Parallel Worlds : A journey through creation, higher dimensions, and the future of the cosmos
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $18.45
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    Asin: 0385509863
    Catlog: Book (2004-12-28)
    Publisher: Doubleday
    Sales Rank: 13044
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    6. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
    by Brian Greene
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
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    Asin: 0375708111
    Catlog: Book (2000-02-29)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 354
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "[Greene] develops one fresh new insight after another...In the great tradition of physicists writing for the masses, The Elegant Universe sets a standard that will be hard to beat." --George Johnson, The New York Times Book Review

    In a rare blend of scientific insight and writing as elegant as the theories it explains, Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away the layers of mystery surrounding string theory to reveal a universe that consists of 11 dimensions where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter-from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas-is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy.

    Green uses everything from an amusement park ride to ants on a garden hose to illustrate the beautiful yet bizarre realities that modern physics is unveiling.

    Dazzling in its brilliance, unprecedented in its ability to both illuminate and entertain, The Elegant Universe is a tour de force of science writing-a delightful, lucid voyage through modern physics that brings us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works. ... Read more

    Reviews (371)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superb and exciting overview of superstring theory
    It is fascinating and gratifying to read about the recent progress that young geniuses like Brian Greene (the author) are making in theoretical physics. This book is an exposition on superstring theory, which has the promise of being a "theory of everything", seeking to explain the origin of elementary particles as being different resonant patterns of a string or perhaps a membrane, as well as the unification of the various forces and the evolution of the universe. This subject is extremely difficult mathematically -- it occupies the very highest talent level in physics -- and yet Dr. Greene does an extraordinary job of explaining the essential ideas in non-technical language for the intelligent lay person. The book conveys the excitement about the recent discoveries, and recounts some of Greene's own original work, providing the reader a fascinating glimpse into the creative process. The explanations of relativity and quantum mechanics are among the best non-technical explanations I have read. The need for superstrings (or ultimately M-theory) is well motivated and the basic idea of the theory is well explained. The theory's limitations are discussed forthrightly. I was inspired by the discussions about the future directions of the research and the large questions that remain unanswered. As an experimental physicist who is far removed from these developments, I am admittedly not in a position to judge the true accuracy of the book, but at least it seemed fairly clear. One improvement I could recommend if there is a future edition: Although the author did comment that the experimental confirmation and characterization of supersymmetry would be important, more emphasis of this point may be warranted since the tax paying public will be asked for millions of dollars for a next generation of particle accelerators.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A peek into answers of Life, the Universe, and Everything
    This book is absolutley amazing! Dr. Greene is an excellent writer and teacher. This book deals with the cutting-edge field of superstring theory--the idea that little vibrating loops of string are the most basic constituents of our universe, as opposed to "point" particles as presented for decades by the standard theory. Superstring theory may be the answer to Einstein's unrealized quest for a "Theory of Everything."

    The book begins with a very lucid explanation of Einstein's Special and General Theories of Relativity, then leads into Quantum Mechanics, and discusses the inconsistencies between these views of physics on a large scale (General Relativity) and physics on a very small scale (Quantum Mechanics). Dr. Greene then goes on to explain superstring theory and how this new framework smooths out many of the contradictions between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

    Using this new understanding of superstring theory, Dr. Greene leads the reader through a myriad of otherwise mind-boggling topics such as: the beginning of the Universe, the possible existence of other universes, 11-dimensional existence, time travel, tears in the fabric of space, and black holes. It's written on a level for the layperson (like me) and I think most people will be able to understand and appreciate all the concepts presented.

    2-0 out of 5 stars needed more about the elegant universe
    This books is over-rated, but still better than most books on the subjects he covers. I gave it two stars to get your attention. It is actually a 3 or 4 star book.

    I was dissappointed because the title suggested I'd read more about the mysteries of the beginning of the universe and some of the philosophical issues pertaining to the nature of existance and ultimate reality. While the author did give me some good mindfood at the end of the book, the coverage was too brief and far too restrained. I think he was aware of his peers reading it and was being too conservative.

    I skimmed a lot. I kept an eye out for places where he quit trying to teach me details and made some interesting comments. I'll give him credit--there were plenty of facinating paragraphs---but they were hidden in page after page of boring stuff. Lets face it, this is arcane stuff! But the implications are interesting, at least to me. I think the book should have been about half the length.

    I personally don't think it is possible to understand things like relativity without working some problems. When I took physics, I had to work a few problems to think about the stuff deeply enough to "get it." I don't think many readers are looking to work that much--most of us want a stimulating read. And as the author mentions, many believe that no one really understands quantum mechanics. Also, I did not like the analogies as much as some other readers.

    I recommend this book to really really smart readers or to readers who know how to skim without losing interest. Some of the insights were worth looking for.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Detailed but biased instroduction to string theory
    Toe central problem of physics today revolves around this conundrum: Gravity is governed by Einstein's relativity theory, which requires that space-time is smooth. Gravity has been experimentally verified. Atomic forces are govered by quantum mechanics, which requires that space-time is bumpy, foamy, and irregular. These atomic forces have been experimentally verified.

    How can space time be smooth for gravity, and yet be bumpy for quantum machanics? Enter string theory.

    This book is a terrific introduction not only to string theory, but to relativity and quantum mechanics as well. The first half of the book reviews the history and development of these theories, since they are a fundamental component of string theory. In particular, Greene's treatment of relativity uses some outstanding analogies to explain time dilation and gravitational warping. I thought I understood the basics of relativity; this book still taught me a few things.

    Analogies are this author's strength. He uses them at every step to avoid the need to complex mathematical formulae. There are no formulae in this book (some will think that a minus, but I view it as a plus.) Using analogies, he's able to provide a comprehensible view of what 10-dimensional spacetime would be like, and how expanding one of the other dimensions might affect life in the Universe. These 5 pages alone are probably worth the price of the book.

    If you want a glimpse of one of the cutting-edge areas of particle physics research without needing to study math for 10 years, this book can give it to you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The science of wonder
    I have to credit Brian Greene. He did what I thought was the impossible: he got me interested in science. I've been a liberal arts-type since I can remember. The exact rules and laws of science always left me kind of cold, and so I found myself drawn to literature, poetry and music as the more complete descriptors of human experience.

    But last Fall, I couldn't sleep one night and ended up staying up until dawn watching THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE. It was amazing and captivating. It got me excited in a way "science" hadn't since I was a kid, fascinated with the imaginative possibilities of space travel.

    I was hooked and had to get the book. The tv program proved to be a great distillation of the book, but if you saw the program and your interest was piqued by the magical dance of superstrings and the mind-bending extra dimensional possibilities, you'll enjoy the full feast of Greene's book even more.

    THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE is an enormous feat. It marries the rigor of scientific enquiry with the elegant, at times poetic, presentation of literature. Greene is such an able and down-to-earth explainer of complicated mathematical concepts that he makes even the most dyed-in-the-wool math hater think about signing up for some evening classes at the local college. ... Read more

    7. The Cosmic Perspective: Media Update
    by Jeffrey O. Bennett, Megan Donahue, Nick Schneider, Mark Voit
    list price: $99.00
    our price: $99.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805392017
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-14)
    Publisher: Addison Wesley Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 49263
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Built from the ground up on our new understanding of the universe, this reader-friendly book focuses on central ideas and unifying themes to provide a cosmic context. Scientific concepts are linked to everyday experience to help readers develop an appreciation for the scientific method and to see how physics and astronomy are foundations for understanding their world, and recent discoveries spark readers' curiosity in the universe as a whole.The book opens with an overview of the evolving universe to give readers a big picture that is returned to throughout the book. Departing from the traditional planet-by-planet facts and figures, the book emphasizes the similarities between planets by exploring connecting processes, as well as the evolving vision of galaxies and dark matter.For college instructors and students, or anyone interested in astronomy and physics. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Textbook Ever!
    This is the best textbook I have ever read.Not only is it informative, but the authors give the information in an interesting way.My entire class agrees that the best line is "we like to refer to Jupiter not as a failed starm but as a very successful planet."

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Quality Text Book
    I'm not an astronomer. I'm not even a scientist. I'm just a 2nd year college student that just finished a semester of astronomy for her science requirement. None the less, after reading the majority of this book, I do feel that I'm in a position to be able to review it properly.
    The beginning was a bit confusing for me, but once I read more, I began to understand the majority of the material presented.It's a very, very thorough text with excellent cd-rom resources that help you test yourself and review. I thought the chapters on the planets, particularly the jovian planets, and star formation were particularly well written and easy to understand. This is a great text for anyone wishing to teach or study astronomy. I would highly recommend it. ... Read more

    8. The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery
    by Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Wesley Richards
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $27.95
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    Asin: 0895260654
    Catlog: Book (2004-03)
    Publisher: Regnery Publishing
    Sales Rank: 28278
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (23)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Real Privilege to Read! Get it!
    This book is larger than life. It is one of those rare books on which, I suspect, fundamental issues turn, like Newton's Principia or Darwin's Origin of Species. Gonzalez and Richards combine a breadth of scientific detail with philosophical sophistication and nuance. But the book still manages to be a pleasure to read!

    I first heard about this book during a presentation I attended in which one of the co-authors discussed its main thesis and arguments. Everything I heard souned fresh and was well-supported, and thus I have been eagerly awaiting its publication. Needless to say, this book has even exceeded my expectations!

    The Privileged Planet is a seminal contribution to the growing debate over purpose and intelligent design in the universe. Most of the action in the last few years has taken place in biology, with the inevitably rancorous debates over neo-Darwinian evolution. It's very refreshing to read a book on design that doesn't having anything to do with that debate.

    The list of endorsers for this book is truly impressive, so one need not take my word for it. The Privileged Planet will give many of our elite scientists a lot to discuss over the coming years. This is not to say that non-scientists won't be talking about it, either, since it is well-written and can be understood by a general audience.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Are We Alone in the Universe?
    This books works on the eternal question: Are we alone in the Universe.

    It's clear that a tremendous number of things had to happen just exactly right for life to develop as it has. Just the right temperature, the amazing characteristics of water at this temperature range, exactly the correct amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other elements and compounds necessary for life.

    There was a school of thought centered around the late Carl Sagen that there must be a lot of life in the Universe. He estimated that there were as many as a million civilizations in the Milky Way alone. Since then a revisionist school has come about. The authors of this book have collected a massive amount of knowledge about the nature of life on our planet, much of it just developed in recent years. Their conclusion is that the circumstances surrounding life on earth make it more rare than previous studies might have believed.

    Does it prove that we are alone in the universe, absolutely not, it is theoretically impossible to prove a negative. You can only prove a positive, and this question will remain until we receive a signal from outer space or perhaps when a UFO joins the flight pattern at the airport in Washington, London or where ever.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Honesty Shines Through
    After reading a number of writings by scientists who lean towards an intelligent designer and also a number by those who support blind chance as a maker, I find that there seems to be a certain ring of "sincere honesty" to be found among the former, whereas the sheer speculation and real lack of suporting evidence for evolution leaves the latter in a position that almost makes forces them to seem dishonest in there theories. The Privileged Planet reflects this honesty to which I refer.

    Some have dismissed the Anthropic principle, reversing the reasoning to support evolution, yet, if the chances are that because of the sheer number of possible planets in the universe, life had to arise on one of them that was perfect for life (Earth) in an unguided way, then would it not also be reasonable to think that in a biologists perfect laboratory (out of all the labs worldwide) that a living cell could be developed from scratch (even with a highly intelligent designer and his technology). This has not happened in recent decades and doesn't seem likely it will happen in the anywere near future. A human being in full bloom with his conciousness and mental ability is a completely different matter. Honesty will have to lead us to accept the absolute neesessity of a designer

    5-0 out of 5 stars It turns out mediocrity isn't so wonderful.
    The book is a logical and quantitatively supported advancement of the implications of the so-called anthropic cosmological principle. Not only must a precise array of specific values be implemented if a universe that is stable on a large scale and materially complex is to exist, these same "fine tuned" values are necessary for life, for technological (intelligent) life, and for a viable "platform" for scientific discovery. Such a platform is our home, the planet Earth and its calculably favored location in space-time. "Our argument is subtle," say Gonzales and Richards, "Earth's conditions allow for a stunning diversity of measurements, from cosmology and galactic astronomy to stellar astrophysics and geophysics; they allow for this rich diversity of measurement much more so than if Earth were ideally suited for, say, just one of these sorts of measurement." If, as Fred Hoyle famously said, a super-intellect has "monkeyed" with the physics (and chemistry and biology) of our material world, then it likewise appears that this super-intellect has also presented us with unique opportunities for discovering this same precise array of specific values. The particular values that support intelligent life also provide the opportunity for knowledge of these particular values. Thus another in the growing number of "cosmic coincidences". The theological implications are, in a general sense, obvious to anyone who isn't pre-committed to excluding them. (Gonzalez is an astrophysicist, Richards a theologian and philosopher).
    The first section broadly quantifies the remarkable "habitability" of our host planet, treating such issues as the role of Earth's plate tectonics in maintaining the carbon cycle; the highly specific advantages of a rotating iron core (meteorological, magnetic, etc); the type and age of our star, the unique advantages of having a "twin" body with the parameters of Earth's moon; the protective function of the neighboring gas giants like Jupiter, and so forth. Also treated are Earth's surprising array of "data recorders" and their importance to scientific discovery. If intelligent beings are to ask questions about the nature of nature, Earth is a strangely ideal place for these questions to be asked.
    The second section considers the larger cosmos, quantifying the privileges of being between the spiral arms of a large (Andromeda and ours are the largest of the Local Group) and old galaxy, and well removed from the perils of a galactic center. Here also we consider the stunningly precise values required for stellar nucleosynthesis, the necessary advantages afforded to our location in time, the necessity of the fundamental force values being very narrowly "tuned", and so forth.
    Building on the quantification considered to this point, the third section examines "anthropic" and design implications, thoroughly debunks the Mediocrity Principle popularized by Drake and Sagan, and presents some general and specific predictions arising from a 'design' interpretation of the measurements and discoveries of the past century (and especially of the past three decades). The authors go on to anticipate and answer contradicting arguments, and in making their predictions they clearly challenge those who won't like their hypothesis. To be sure, some won't like it (the 'purposelessness' and 'mediocrity' faithful). But the inevitable detraction (and outright whining) will arise from personal psychological commitments and not from science.
    A fascinating book, highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Complex, provocative, interesting and useful
    I looked at the posted reviews before writing my own. The vast majority (more than half) rate the book at five stars. Does this prove that this is the greatest book ever written? Of course not. It is simply a result of the adage that "you will like this book, if this is the kind of book that you like." The next largest category is a rating of one star. And what does that prove? It proves that "you will not like this book, if this is the kind of book that you do not like." Apparently this book is not as simple, or as obvious as either group would tell you. In fact, I found this book to be quite complex, if one read it (or should one say, "studied") the book carefully. I would say that one has here three, or possibly four or more, "books" combined in one.

    First we have a book of "scientific information or facts." I found no criticism of these facts in the one star ratings. The facts are clear, complete, well reasearched and well referenced for those who wish to look further. Clearly this "book" deserves a five+ star rating.

    Another book is based on the "choice of facts to present." Some people may be unhappy that facts they would include, are excluded. Is this a problem? Only if you disadgee with the clear intent/agenda of the authors. There is nothing hidden here. The authors make it clear where they stand respecting the origin, and purpose, of life. One can disagree that life has a creator or designer. But that is a different premise that the one chosen by the authors. Given their premise. I would argue that the authors chose just the right science to present and to exclude.

    A third book involves "conclusions" derived from the presented facts. The idea that our planet is privileged to both our kind of life and also to scientific discovery, and the corolary that the requirements for both are intertwined, is intriguing. Nevertheless, I must say that I am not completely convinced respecting privilege in scientific discovery but the supporting material is 100% convincing respecting our kind of life.

    A fourth book, if one will, involves various conclusions respecting what one might call orthodox intelligent design. Here is where prior biases and ideas will make a big difference, ranging from a perfect five to an insignificant one. I happen to believe in a "designer" but am not a full supporter of orthodox ID, especially with respect to evolution theory. So what? Does one have to agree with the ultimate conclusions of a book to find it interesting, intriguing and even fascinating? Indeed, the readers who gave the book a one star rating, primarily because they do not believe in a "designer," still found a wealth of ideas and facts to consider - if only to reject.

    I would say that this is a must read whether you support or reject the ultimate conclusions because this book will make you think. And thinking is always a good thing. ... Read more

    9. Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe, Fourth Edition
    by Eric Chaisson, Steve McMillan
    list price: $94.00
    our price: $94.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131007270
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-23)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 75981
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A brief, introductory astronomy book designed for readers with little or no scientific background, A Beginner's Guide uses an exceptionally clear writing style. The authors present a broad view of astronomy without complex mathematics, yet the book discusses important concepts without simplification.The book's organization follows the popular and effective “Earth-Out” progression, starting with our planet and then moving through the solar system. A study of the Sun as a model star follows, then the book covers the Milky Way Galaxy, cosmology, and the universe as a whole.Because of its easy-to-read yet comprehensive coverage of astronomy, this book can serve as excellent reference material for those readers interested in learning about our universe. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Astronomy Text Book
    Text book arrived in excellent condition (brand spankin' new) and in a timely manner (about 3 business days). I got a great deal too! No problems whatsoever. Thanks a bunch!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Textbook
    For anyone who has a vague interest in astronomy, this would be the book to read. Albeit not entirely simple, this is a relatively straight forward book that uses excellent examples to explain difficult concepts. There are many charts and diagrams. How exactly does a black hole work? What's the difference between a nova and a supernova (not as simple as you might think)? Why do we get meteor showers? There is a bit of mathematics involved, but nothing too intimidating. This is an excellent textbook. Best of all, a CD-ROM is included with lots of multimedia content, study questions, and links to more sources. Avoid other dry textbooks and purchase this one.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not hard to read at all!
    This book is exactly what it claims to be: "A Beginners Guide to the Universe." I had a vague interest in astronomy and picked up this book to see if this interest could be further developed. There was information about a wide variety of topics: the planets, telescopes, and, of course, stars. While the reading was not thrilling, it never got too specified which would have made it hard to read. There were also some nice little pieces of history here and there, which I really liked. All in all, a good basic source of information about all aspects of astronomy. ... Read more

    10. Fundamentals of Aerodynamics
    by John D. Anderson
    list price: $140.31
    our price: $140.31
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0072373350
    Catlog: Book (2001-01-02)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math
    Sales Rank: 210447
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    * Offers a readable, thorough overview of basic aerodynamics, with numerous discussions of aviation history and development
    * Includes new coverage of the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and illustrations to help explain the material
    * More than a dozen "design boxes" draw the reader's attention and illustrate the practical applications
    ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Aerospace Engineering Reference
    This excellent book is full of examples and equations to help students relate to the fundamental concepts in an introductory aerodynamics class.

    The book is especially useful for reference, as it explains the derivations and many forms of complex equations such as the continuity equation. Furthermore, there are lots of examples of real-world design situations and historical backgrounds.

    Overall, one of the best books I have used in my undergraduate aerospace engineering curriculum.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
    Great book for first and second semester aerodynamics. Especially the sections on supersonics and hypersonics. Links the technical and historical aspects of aerodynamics to give a very good global perspective of the subject. Anderson also provides "roadmaps" which tend to help the reader stay on track as to where the discussion is going. Those are especially helpful for technical books such as this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fundamentals of Aerodynamics
    This book is one of the best written books I have. This book is well-organized, clearly written and easily understood. Each chapter contains a road map to keep the reader well aware of the proper flow of ideas and concepts.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A start for every aeonautics/aerospace engineer student
    This book with the the book "Computational Fuid Dynamiscs"of the same author, is a very strong tool for every student interested ion the field of aerodynamics and CFD. Very easy to read and understand, without any doub is the best book in the field that i have ever read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Looking for "Basical Publications" in Aero: Found one
    This book covers all the aerodynamics a basic research engineer in aerodynamics would like to know. From non viscous to viscous and from subsonic to hypersonics. boundary layer and schockwave theories all included. Every part starts clearly with a nice outline the book will follow to come to the desired theorie. We use it for our doctorate program at Delft Aerospace, Delft University of Technology. ... Read more

    11. The Mechanical Universe : Introduction to Mechanics and Heat
    by Richard P. Olenick, Tom M. Apostol, David L. Goodstein
    list price: $189.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0521304296
    Catlog: Book (1985-08-30)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Sales Rank: 549503
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    Book Description

    This important textbook is based on, though independent of, an educational TV series to be broadcast on public television in the United States. Its aim is to guide students and general readers to an understanding of how the physical world works; physics is presented as a human endeavour, with historical development forming a thread throughout the text. The prerequisites are minimal, only basic algebra and trigonometry since the necessary calculus is developed in the text, with physics providing the motivation. New concepts are introduced at the natural, logical point with many historical references to place physics in a social perspective. Many topics from twentieth-century physics are included, for example energy, low temperature physics, relativity and black holes. The book is attractively and profusely illustrated and will be welcomed by students and also by general readers for whom this will be a stimulating alternative to other, less-thorough treatments. ... Read more

    12. A Brief History of Time : The Updated and Expanded Tenth Anniversary Edition
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.86
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553380168
    Catlog: Book (1998-09-01)
    Publisher: Bantam
    Sales Rank: 1521
    Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A Brief History of Time, published in 1988, was a landmark volume in science writing and in world-wide acclaim and popularity, with more than 9 million copies in print globally. The original edition was on the cutting edge of what was then known about the origins and nature of the universe. But the ensuing years have seen extraordinary advances in the technology of observing both the micro- and the macrocosmic world--observations that have confirmed many of Hawking's theoretical predictions in the first edition of his book.

    Now a decade later, this edition updates the chapters throughout to document those advances, and also includes an entirely new chapter on Wormholes and Time Travel and a new introduction. It make vividly clear why A Brief History of Time has transformed our view of the universe. ... Read more

    Reviews (281)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A classical predecessor of the Elegant Universe
    Stephen Hawking is the first physicist who was able to combine the laws of the small - quantum mechanics - with the laws of the large - general relativity - to find out something fascinating: black holes evaporate. He was also the first man who published a book on theoretical physics that has become popular world-wide (about 9 million copies have been sold). Many readers have learned a lot of exciting things about our universe from this book. So did I - even though I was a student of theoretical physics. Although this book is not as perfect as Brian Greene's "The Elegant Universe", the successor of the Hawking's book in the position of the book on theoretical physics causing such a stir, "A Brief History of Time" will remain a tour de force, a pioneering work which began a new interest in physics among masses of people. That is why do I recommend you to read this book about the big bang, black holes, the quest for the ultimate theory and many other issues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Scientific Literacy
    In the modern era, natural science is more than a lot of abstract thoughts and boring jargon--it is a leader of society. Newton's theory of physics, Darwin's theory of evolution, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle--all have changed the way we think about the world, influenced other disciplines, and ultimately changed society.

    Because of this profound effect science has on society, it is important for the general public to understand the ideas and development of science. Unfortunately, it becomes increasingly difficult to do so as science becomes more specialized and technical.

    Enter Stephen Hawking and 'A Brief History of Time.' The book is one of many great books that increase scientific literacy for ordinary people like me.

    Only someone who fully understands the basic concepts of theoretical physics could put it into clear and easy prose as Hawking does. He outlines the progress of theoretical physics and the theories that attempt to describe the universe, all in plain English.

    Hawking paints a picture of the universe--its beginning, its end, the direction of time, black holes-- with the wonder and curiosity of the child plus the style and confidence of a brilliant mind. One of the most brilliant minds in this century, as a matter of fact.

    The final sentence about knowing the mind of God--"the ultimate triumph of human reason"--reminded me of that timeless scene in the Bible where the serpent convinces Adam and Eve to eat the apple.

    Figuratively (*figuratively*) , that triumph is what we left Eden for. We have left Paradise for unknown horizons, for questions instead of answers, for a world of wonders. That quest is what A Brief History of Time is about. Do yourself a favor and read this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a marvel of a book
    This book is truly a gem.. small volume but packed with a density of information..
    Explore fascinating topics you could not think about in your wildest DREAMS.. topics are Black holes, Entropy, Origins of universe, Time Travel.

    Hawkings is truly a genius among geniuses.
    (...) If you can finish the book, the knowledge is well worth it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction for the Curious Mind
    For anybody who does not have sufficient knowledge to read some of Hawking's more complex writings, this is the perfect book to get started on. It introduces you to the concepts of astrophysics, in which are explained very well. Stephen Hawking uses humor and everyday scenarios to explain some difficult concepts of astrophysics. It is a great way to simply expand your knowledge by understanding the big bang, quantum mechanics, and even sub-atomic particles. Stephen Hawking is an excellent writer, not to mention the Albert Einstein of our time; he makes this book almost seem like a novel more than a non-fiction book. I highly recommend this book to pretty much anyone, because it introduces you to astrophysics, as well as just answering questions regarding time travel, or where we came from.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hawking is succinct, even-handed, and even funny.
    A Brief History of Time is 3 things at once:

    First, it is a chronology of the various important scientists and discoveries over the centuries, all leading to where we are now.

    Second, it explains, between the beginner and intermediate levels, an understanding of concepts such as black holes, worm holes, the beginning and potential end of time, particles and waves, quantum mechanics, and other issues in science.

    Third, it is almost an autobiography of Dr. Hawking's scientific life. He interjects wonderful bits of humor and explains the concepts carefully and as simply as he can.

    He is also respectful of religion, briefly interjecting his ideas about how religion does not have to be incompatible with the rapidly expanding ideas of science, and that religion should embrace science more.

    One part I found humorous was his explanation of a bet he lost with a colleague (he seems to have a lot of long-standing bets going). He owned up to being wrong, and paid the penalty, which was a "one-year subscription to Penthouse, to the outrage of [his colleague's] liberated wife."

    This book is for physics experts as well as people who know nothing about science and just want to learn some of the basic concepts. Like the universe, expand your mind. ... Read more

    13. Introduction to Airborne Radar (Aerospace & Radar Systems)
    by George W. Stimson
    list price: $129.00
    our price: $129.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1891121014
    Catlog: Book (1998-01-01)
    Publisher: SciTech Publishing
    Sales Rank: 201922
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The completely rewritten and revised Second Edition updates a famous work originally published by the Hughes Aircraft Company. Much more than a simple introduction, the book is actually a history, reference, tech manual, and textbook rolled into one beautiful illustrated volume, packed with full color photos, drawings, tables and charts, plus knowledgeable, informative text.

    Twelve new chapters cover all the sophisticated stealth radar techniques. Over 90% of the illustrations are in color as the book describes over a dozen airborne radar systems currently in service, from long-range surveillance to environmental monitoring. The first three chapters can be used as a stand-alone briefing on modern radar for readers who need a quick introduction.

    Key Features:

    - Brilliantly illustrated full-color photographs, graphs, and figures

    - 12 new chapters completely update the content

    - Excellent for both specialists and nonspecialists

    ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not easy reading
    I bought this book because I work with radar and would like to improve my understanding of it. This book is a good middle ground, but for a dummy like me, several chapters require re-reads. One of the most annoying things is that when the author describes related material, he doesn't compare and contrast as much as write one paragraph on the attributes of thing A and then another paragraph on thing B using all but two words that were used in the first paragraph. The reader must wade through this writing and then compare and contrast themself.
    So, it's a good book and probably a great book if you have a better than average technical background, but it's not as easy as the first few pages (Amazon free preview) lead you to believe.

    5-0 out of 5 stars amazing book
    This is a very good book. It is interesting to read although you are not an engineer in electrical or eletronics. Very informative. Recommended for all students who interested to study avionics.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good into book
    Its a good introductory book. The illustrations are helpful. Its a good place to start for someone who does not have experience in signal processing or communications.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Introductory Book for New Radar Systems Engrs Like Me
    This book is a great reference for any radar related questions. I felt it was organized fairly well and especially geared for novices in the field like me. The illustrations aided me in understanding some of the tougher concepts and I especially enjoyed the historical sidebar descriptions that spanned the history of radar-equipped airplanes. For the next edition, I hope the authors expand their appendices to include more expansive summary set of equations and concepts as even a quicker reference.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A radar book for EVERYBODY!
    Great Book! Generations of Radar Teachers at the Technical School of the German Airforce have been using this book as a source for information. The author is capable of explaining complex issues with simple words and a few little slides. So his book helps us to prepare Radar lessons for our pupils: radar technicians (air defense radar). We are happy that this book is available for everybody, finally! ... Read more

    14. The Moon : Resources, Future Development and Colonization (Wiley-Praxis Series in Space Science and Technology)
    by DavidSchrunk, BurtonSharpe, BonnieCooper, MadhuThangavelu, Madhu Thangavelu
    list price: $102.00
    our price: $102.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471976350
    Catlog: Book (1999-07-27)
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
    Sales Rank: 761855
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This unique, visionary and innovative book describes how the Moon could be colonised and developed as a platform for science, industrialization and exploration of our Solar System and beyond.
    Thirty years ago, the world waited with baited breath to watch history in the making, as man finally stepped onto the moon's surface. In the last few years, there has been growing interest in the idea of a return to the moon. This book describes the reasons why we should now start lunar development and settlement, and how this goal may be accomplished.
    The authors, all of whom are hugely experienced space scientists, consider the rationale and steps necessary for establishing permanent bases on the Moon. Their innovative and scientific-based analysis concludes that the Moon has sufficient resources for large-scale human development. Their case for development includes arguments for a solar-powered electric grid and railroad, creation of a utilities infrastructure, habitable facilities, scientific operations and the involvement of private enterprise with the public sector in the macroproject.
    By transferring and adapting existing technologies to the lunar environment, the authors argue that it will be possible to use lunar resources and solar power to build a global lunar infrastructure embracing power, communication, transportation, and manufacturing. This will support the migration of increasing numbers of people from Earth, and realization of the Moon's scientific potential. As an inhabited world, the Moon is an ideal site for scientific laboratories dedicated to geosciences, astronomy and life sciences, and most importantly, it would fulfil a role as a proving ground and launch pad for future Solar System exploration.
    The ten chapters in this book go beyond the theoretical and conceptual. With vision and foresight, the authors offer practical means for establishing permanent bases on the Moon. The book will make fascinating and stimulating reading for students in astronautics, space science, life sciences, space engineering and technology as well as professional space scientists, engineers and technologists in space projects.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best introduction to lunar development
    This book is the best up-to-date introduction to lunar development, focusing on the primary technical infrastructure necessary to expand from an initial base via In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) to global development of what the authors term "Planet Moon". The book makes a clear case first for why we should do this, and then in quite detailed outline, how. While some technical components, such as remote robotic tele-operation, or lunar materials mining and processing, still require research and development work, nothing in this project is far from mundane things we already know how to do. The book isn't entirely self-consistent and the logical separation of topics sometimes seems a bit odd, but the range of material covered is satisfyingly broad: lunar topography and composition; railways, telecommunications and materials transport; requirements on construction and chemical processing equipment; human-suitable habitats, life support, agriculture, and "cislunar" transport and logistics, and more. Beyond the technical discussion of the physical, chemical, and engineering issues are several sections of the book dealing with lunar government, including a proposal for creation of a "Lunar Economic Development Authority" (LEDA) following a port authority model, which looks extremely promising. At least as valuable as the 10 main chapters are the 20 appendixes, to which over half the book's pages are devoted. These appendixes, based heavily on work published elsewhere, bring a lot of information together in one place available for ready inter-comparison. Perhaps the most interesting is also the longest, Appendix E, which thoroughly covers the proposed processes for lunar oxygen extraction and related chemical processing. This book is an essential guide for anybody hoping to work on lunar development and participate in, as the authors phrase it, the "Planet Moon Project".

    5-0 out of 5 stars immediate classic - ambitious primer with vision & scope
    Take your pick of "must buy", "immediate classic", or "ambitious Primer with Vision and Scope". Not a few people have taken a hard in depth look at what it will take to establish a permanent outpost on the Moon - as if that was an end all and be all goal in and of itself. In this new volume, Schrunk and his team are clearly out to do more. Seeing the Moon in the much wider light as a world with considerable mineral resources and its strategic location on the shoulder of Earth' gravity well, they outline a feasible, realistic scenario for the coming century. Their goal is not "a" moon base. It is a global integration of the Moon into Earth's economy. Looking at the Moon's resources, where they are located, and at which parts of the Moon have special advantages, they take us from a first south polar outpost step by step into a future when humans will be busy all over the Moon, and making money doing so. Their vision is grounded on established technologies, never depending on developments or breakthroughs that may or may not ever happen. On the airless Moon, good old fashion electric railroads (eventually MagLev) will be the principal way of moving goods and materials from one part of the globe to another. Relying solely on solar power, they manage the long lunar nightspans by setting up grids that loop both poles at approximately 85° N and S, latitudes, depending on the terrain, of course. The Moon will produce power for Earth, and become the principal spaceport by which we open the rest of the Solar System and beyond. By the turn of the next century, hundreds of thousands of people, and maybe more, will live and work on the Moon. Profusely illustrated with B/W sketches, the authors take us through every well-reasoned and grounded step. For all of us interested in the Moon, this book is a must read. Do buy it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars instant classic - ambitious primer with vision & scope
    Take your pick of "must buy", "immediate classic", or "ambitious Primer with Vision and Scope". Not a few people have taken a hard in depth look at what it will take to establish a permanent outpost on the Moon - as if that was an end all and be all goal in and of itself. In this new volume, Schrunk and his team are clearly out to do more. Seeing the Moon in the much wider light as a world with consi-derable mineral resources and its strategic location on the shoulder of Earth1s gravity well, they outline a feasible, realistic scenario for the coming century. Their goal is not "a" moon base. It is a global integration of the Moon into Earth1s economy. Looking at the Moon1s resources, where they are located, and at which parts of the Moon have special advantages, they take us from a first south polar outpost step by step into a future when humans will be busy all over the Moon, and making money doing so. Their vision is grounded on established technologies, never depending on developments or breakthroughs that may or may not ever happen. On the airless Moon, good old fashion electric railroads (eventually MagLev) will be the principal way of moving goods and materials from one part of the globe to another. Relying solely on solar power, they manage the long lunar nightspans by setting up grids that loop both poles at approximately 85° N and S, latitudes, depending on the terrain, of course. The Moon will produce power for Earth, and become the principal spaceport by which we open the rest of the Solar System and beyond. By the turn of the next century, hundreds of thousands of people, and maybe more, will live and work on the Moon. Profusely illustrated with B/W sketches, the authors take us through every well-reasoned and grounded step. For all of us interested in the Moon, this book is a must read. Do buy it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Some day this all might become true!
    I've been reading a lot of books about the moon and it's exploration lately. Some deal with the Apollo past but also some about the (near) future. This book gives a good overview of the aspects involved in developing a permanent base on the moon. It even deals with long term development of cities containing thousands of people. The concepts presented are viable although it presents some concepts that are to far into the future to my likings. It not only presents the theorectical concepts but also the work that has been done in relevant research areas and the problems encountered. It is not science fiction. Not only does the book cover the technical challenges but it also deals with economical and political aspects of a lunar base. If you want to get a clear picture of the current state of the art of lunar development this book is a very good starting point. ... Read more

    15. Space Mission Analysis and Design, 3rd edition (Space Technology Library)
    list price: $54.75
    our price: $54.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1881883108
    Catlog: Book (1999-10)
    Publisher: Microcosm Press
    Sales Rank: 49799
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This practical handbook for Space Mission Engineering draws on leading aerospace experts to carry readers through mission design, from orbit selection to ground ops. SMAD III updates the technology, provides greater emphasis on small spacecraft design and the cost-reduction process, and includes more detail on multi-satellite manufacturing, space computers, payload design and autonomous systems. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good and bad
    I teach a Space Systems Engineering class and have used this book as a class text. I've found it to be both good and bad.

    On the good side, SMAD provides a very good overview of the satellite and mission design process. It's full of realistic and experience-based design information, and useful data and algorithms for sizing and costing.

    Especially useful are the "Process" tables, which map out the design process into several distinct steps.

    The book has its downsides, though.

    The various authors are usually far too verbose -- their points are often lost in the blizzard of words. The length of the book could be profitably cut by at least 100 pages.

    Also, the authors often come to the table with a distinct agenda, which leads them to say things which are not necessarily accurate. (See, e.g., Wertz's diatribes on autonomous orbit determination and maneuver planning -- the latter is almost a veiled advertisement for a software product being sold by Wertz's company.) The effect is to cut off consideration of other valid options.

    Finally, the book can be extremely uneven in the level of technical knowledge required. For example, Chapter 9 (Payload Design) presupposes a tremendous amount of detailed knowledge of, say, optical payloads, to the effect that: if you knew all of the stuff required, you wouldn't need SMAD; and if you don't know the stuff, SMAD won't help you.

    Despite these problems, it is still a very good and useful book -- you just have to be careful sometimes in how you use it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding inclusive text on satellites
    This is an outstanding text covering all aspects of space missions and satellites. Orbital geometries, payload design, spacecraft design, subsystems, communications, operations, propulsion, launch systems, reliability. You name it, it's covered. It has become a valuable and indispensable resource in my personal library! ... Read more

    16. Big Bang : The Origin of the Universe
    by Simon Singh
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $19.01
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0007162200
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
    Publisher: Fourth Estate
    Sales Rank: 13133
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    Book Description

    We've all heard of the Big Bang, and yet few of us truly know what it is.

    Renowned for making difficult ideas much less difficult than they might first appear, Simon Singh is our perfect guide to explaining why cosmologists believe that the Big Bang is an accurate description of the origin and evolution of the universe.

    This highly readable and entertaining book tells the story of the many brilliant, often eccentric scientists who fought against the establishment idea of an eternal and unchanging cosmos. From such early Greek cosmologists as Anaximander to recent satellite measurements taken deep in space, Big Bang is a narrative full of anecdotes and personal histories. With characteristic clarity, Simon Singh tells the centuries-long story of mankind's attempt to understand how the universe came to be, a story which itself begins some 14 billion years ago (give or take a billion years). Simon Singh shows us that it is within the capability of all of us -- in his expert hands -- to understand the Big Bang: the fundamental theory in all of science, and a high point -- perhaps the high point -- of human achievement.

    ... Read more

    17. Essential Cosmic Perspective, The (3rd Edition)
    by Jeffrey O. Bennett, Megan Donahue, Nicholas Schneider, Mark Voit
    list price: $94.60
    our price: $94.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805389334
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-16)
    Publisher: Addison Wesley
    Sales Rank: 31768
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Essential Cosmic Perspective, Third Edition, built from the ground up on our new understanding of the universe, has been revised and streamlined to make it easier for readers to navigate and learn from. Chapter openers, headers, callouts, and chapter summaries make learning goals more explicit and tie together important concepts. Key content has been consolidated and reorganized, with a new emphasis on a planet-by-planet approach. The material is linked to everyday life, helping readers develop an appreciation for the scientific method and see how physics and astronomy are foundations for understanding their world. Supplementing the book is an expanded and easy-to-use media package.Developing Perspective, Key Concepts for Astronomy, Learning From Other Worlds, Stars, Galaxies and Beyond, Life on Earth and Beyond.For college instructors and students, or anyone interested in issues relating to astronomy. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you want to know, plus a great CDRom!
    This book is really good, especially for those interested in the universe and its formation. It also comes with a CDRom with video clips and a study guide for students. A useful, and interesting book! ... Read more

    18. Astronomy: The Evolving Universe
    by Michael Zeilik
    list price: $65.00
    our price: $65.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0521800900
    Catlog: Book (2002-01-15)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Sales Rank: 493597
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Thoroughly updated and re-conceived, Astronomy, Ninth Edition, equips the introductory astronomy student with the essential tools for understanding the cosmos. Michael Zeilik has revised the pedagogy of his successful textbook based on recent research in astronomy education. Significantly shorter than the previous edition, the ninth edition is organized into four concept clusters: Cosmic Distances, Heavenly Motions, Celestial Light and Spectra, and Scientific Models. Material has been streamlined throughout to make the descriptions, concepts, and explanations clearer. Each chapter ends with a concise summary of the concepts in each cluster.Each chapter contains at least one Celestial Navigator, a concept map that provides a visual guide of major concepts in the chapter and explicity shows their connections.Throughout, illustrations have been updated to be clearer and more understandable to the novice student. Michael Zeilik, Professor of Physics and Astronomy and former Presidential Lecturer at the University of New Mexico, specializes in innovative, introductory courses for the novice, non-science major student.In 1998, he was appointed a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Science Education.Zeilik's work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Exxon Educational Foundation, and the Slipher Fund of the National Academy of Sciences.In 1997, the 8th edition of Astronomy: The Evolving Universe won a Texty Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association. In 2002 he was awarded the Astronomy Education Prize by the American Astronomical Society. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Starry, starry night...
    Zeilik's book is one of the earliest systematic astronomy texts I ever read, beginning with the third edition back in 1982. That edition had four primary sections - Part I: Changing Concepts of the Cosmos; Part II: The Planets, Past and Present; Part III: The Universe of Stars and Galaxies; and Part IV: Cosmic Evolution.

    Part I looks at the general structure of the universe, how it was conceived in the past, and how it is viewed today. Much of what is covered here falls under the general heading of cosmology. Zeilik has an interest in the history of astronomy, and it shows clearly in the text. He explores, among other topics, the Anasazi prehistoric astronomy discoveries, the Ptolemaic geocentric model, Tycho Brahe/Kepler's achievements, the discoveries of Newton and Galileo, and finally the birth of modern astrophysics. Some basic physics is introduced along the way, to make sense of radiation and optics, as well as gravitation and space-time concepts.

    Part II looks at the nine planets of our solar system, including their satellites (moons), and the asteroids and other solar system objects (comets, etc.). Planetary sciences are among the fastest developing sciences around, so a lot of the information contained here is basic, and some updating is required. There is no mistake that the most current version of this text is now in its ninth edition. The final chapter in this subject looks at some of the theories of the origin and development of the solar system.

    Part III looks at the universe beyond the planets, looking first at the sun as a typical small star, and then going further afield to look at the Milky Way, our local galaxy in some detail. This includes a look at other major formations and stars within the galaxy - some named stars of interest as well as celestial objects such as nebulae, and a discussion of interstellar distances and distribution (Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, etc.). The structure, kinematics and dynamics of spiral galaxies are explored, and then other types of galaxies (elliptical, etc.) and galactic clusters.

    The final section, Part IV, looks at general evolution and development of the universe. Stellar evolution is the first subject, as one of the primary vehicles of universal development. The different ways in which a star dies are explored - white dwarves, neutron stars, supernovae, black holes, pulsars. The larger ideas of the origins and ultimate fate of the universe (cosmology again, at the end) are explored, including a brief discussion of the origins of life in the universe, and short discussions on topics such as SETI (called CETI here, Communication with ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence).

    One of the useful aspects of this text is the 'Beyond the Book' sections after each chapter. These include information about periodicals (often the best way to find the latest information on astronomy topics), additional books and other resources. There are learning objectives listed at the beginning of each chapter, and convenient summaries, and some short exercises at the end of each chapter also.

    There are several useful appendices, including lists of stars, planetary data, periodic table, and other such information. A very good glossary and index round out the book, making it an excellent text book for both classroom and independent use.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great book for all
    If you were ever interested in what is going on above in heavens, but didn't want to trouble yourself with too much equations and other non-esential stuff, then this is the book for you. It is a textbook, and it reads as a textbook. You'll find that everything is included: from our Solar system, to the nuclear processes in the stars, to the black holes. Descriptions are as they should be for the non-pros: comprehensive and simple (yet not trivial), well presented (love those many color pictures) and to the point. Great for an occasional star-gazer as well as astronomy students to revise their knowledge. And the Night Spectra Quest is a neat beginner's tool to examining star spectra. If you get more interested after studying this book, I recommend "An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics", which goes more deeply into the study of astrophysics and cosmology. ... Read more

    19. Universe & CD-Rom
    by William J. Kaufmann, Roger Freedman
    list price: $88.95
    our price: $88.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0716746476
    Catlog: Book (2001-07-09)
    Publisher: W. H. Freeman
    Sales Rank: 230478
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent, informative, illuminating
    This is a premier text for the fields of astromony and comsmology. Thorough, deep, professional, concise, technically and scientifically accurate, but also, imaginative, filled with the wonder of discovery and learning. Beginning with the ancient origins of astronomical pursuits, the reader is taken through the unfolding world of space and time. The electromagnetic spectrum, light and optics, telescopes, planet and solar system formations, stars-their nature, galaxies, quasars, black holes, all of these wonders are explored. Do yourself a flavor-get it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars beautiful!
    This book is beautiful. Well written, easy to read, with
    nice and informative illustrations all over, full of
    interesting details. The CD is also very interesting,
    not only for Starry Night, but also because of very
    illustrative simulations.
    The level is between popular and introductory professional.
    There is not much hard theory inside, but that was
    probably not the aim of the authors.
    Apart from a great thing to read for oneself, the niceness
    of the edition makes it also a nice gift in my opinion.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buy it, if just for the CD
    Excellent, informative, interesting book. Also, the CD-ROM contains some very interesting things. Especially informative is the Starry Night software that allows you to view and travel to the cosmos in person. It is both educational and also quite fun!

    5-0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets
    I had the fortune, and sometimes misfortune, to read a fair number of textbooks. All of them did promise to teach, though some proofed rather very disappointing on closer inspection.

    This book on the other hand most certainly holds everything one can expect.

    The book is divided into four parts: first, there is a small introction into the basics of astronomy, followed by a more in depth discussion of the solar system. The third part then covers stars and stellar evolution, while the final part is devoted to galaxies and cosmology.

    The math required is minimal (i don't think the average high school graduate should have any problems), and a wealth of pictures and graphs, together with elaborate explanations in the text make sure, that this book will be a pleasure to learn from for the interested college student.

    Every chapter (30 in all) ends with a short recapitulation of the most important concepts learned, a good number of review questions (to which the answers are supplied in the back of the book) and suggestions for further reading (books, magazines and weblinks).
    The book comes also with a CD, on which there are further review tests to all chapters (of course with answers), as well as additional animations and much more.
    As if that were not enough, there is a companion webside that offers additional tests and answers plus updated information, since after all, astronomy is progressing swiftly.

    All in all, there cannot be much doubt that this is one of the best and most well rounded astronomy textbooks on the market. If you have to learn the basics of astronomy due to a course, or if you simply want to enrich your horizon, this book will make either task both easier and more enjoyable.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Universe by Kaufmann & Freedman
    Very well written for the typical college freshman or bright high school student. Requires little mathammatics, mostly algebra. Also colorfull, with many references including the internet. ... Read more

    20. Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach (Aiaa Education Series)
    by Daniel P. Raymer
    list price: $99.95
    our price: $99.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1563472813
    Catlog: Book (1999-08-01)
    Publisher: AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics & Ast
    Sales Rank: 56899
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This set includes the award winning book as well as its companion software. Buy both and save!

    This highly regarded textbook presents the entire process of aircraft conceptual design—from requirements definition to initial sizing, configuration layout, analysis, sizing, and trade studies—in the same manner seen in industry aircraft design groups. Interesting and easy to read, the book has more than 900 pages of design methods, illustrations, tips, explanations, and equations, and has extensive appendices with key data essential to design. The book is the required design text at numerous universities around the world and is a favorite of practicing design engineers.

    RDS-STUDENT aircraft design software is a valuable complement to the text. RDS-STUDENT incorporates the design and analysis methods of the book in menu-driven, easy-to-use modules. Like the book, the program is now metric-friendly and all inputs and outputs can be interchanged between metric and fps units with the press of a button. A 69-page user’s manual is provided with the software, along with the complete data files used for the Lightweight Supercruise Fighter design example in the back of the book.

    RDS-STUDENT runs on any PC-compatible system (486 or better) and runs on any version of Windows or DOS. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars BEST AIRCRAFT DESIGN BOOK EVER
    We use this book for Aircreaft design I and II at Embery Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach Florida. Great Book...Iy you are a professional or an amateur and want just one book to learn almost everything about aircraft design this is definitely the book for you...There is a lot of information in the book..great for a 2 semester course. from structures to aerodynamics to structures to stability and control to final conceptual design...

    5-0 out of 5 stars this book is cool
    This book goes over the entire design of airplane and is a great place to start if you want to be in the airplane design business. it is published by the american institute of aeronautics and astronautics so they probably know what they are talking about. i definitely recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Information required
    Kindly request is made .how to procure these books ,I am an indian and staying at Secunderabad -India .Kindly send me your Email address and communication address with the Price list of the books mentioned below.
    Also request if you could kindly send me other aerodynamics/aircraft design,jet engines,aircraft structures /related books so that in future we can place the order to you.

    Request is made to kindly firnish the following details as soon as possible.

    1.Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach (Aiaa Education Series) by Daniel P. Raymer, J. S. Przemieniecki

    2.Rds-Student: Software for Aircraft Design, Sizing, and Performance, Enhanced and Enlarged Version 4.2

    3.Theory of Wing Sections
    by Ira H. Abbott, Albert E. Von Doenhoff

    4.Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach (Aiaa Education Series) by Daniel P. Raymer

    5.Aerodynamics of Wings and Bodies
    by Holt Ashley, Marten Landahl (Photographer)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding summary of conceptual aircraft design
    Mr. Raymer has managed to explain a very complicated process in a way that is both understandable and interesting. Conceptual aircraft design (i.e., starting with nothing but a set of performance criteria to be met) is a multi-variable problem in which the value of most of the variables depend on other variables. The solution of such problems require initial approximations with subsequent iterations. Mr. Raymer explains the conceptual design process, gives historic values used for first approximations and makes good use of actual examples. Two conceptual designs, one a homebuilt aerobatic aircraft and the other a supersonic fighter, are provided in the Appendix to illustrate the procedures described in the book. I found the book interesting both in subject matter and writing style. Although written as a college textbook, the use of actual aircraft to illustrate various points and the author's obvious desire to be precise about his descriptions makes the book easy to follow and fun to those interested in the subject. ... Read more

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