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1. Parallel Worlds : A journey through
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2. The Fabric of the Cosmos : Space,
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3. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings,
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4. The Privileged Planet: How Our
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5. A Brief History of Time : The
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6. The Moon : Resources, Future Development
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7. Big Bang : The Origin of the Universe
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8. Modern Cosmology
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9. The Illustrated Theory of Everything:
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10. The Theory of Everything: The
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11. Cosmos
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12. Interferometry and Synthesis in
13. Quantum Mind: The Edge Between
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14. The Science of God
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15. The Constants of Nature : From
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16. Hyperspace: The Universe and Its
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17. Adaptive Optics for Astronomical
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18. The Universe: 365 Days
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19. The New Physics and Cosmology
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20. Introduction to Cosmology

1. Parallel Worlds : A journey through creation, higher dimensions, and the future of the cosmos
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Asin: 0385509863
Catlog: Book (2004-12-28)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 13044
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2. The Fabric of the Cosmos : Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
by Brian Greene
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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

3. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
by Brian Greene
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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

4. The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery
by Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Wesley Richards
list 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

5. A Brief History of Time : The Updated and Expanded Tenth Anniversary Edition
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
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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

6. 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
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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

7. Big Bang : The Origin of the Universe
by Simon Singh
list price: $27.95
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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

8. Modern Cosmology
by Scott Dodelson
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Asin: 0122191412
Catlog: Book (2003-03-07)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 114411
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Modern Cosmology begins with an introduction to the smooth, homogeneous universe described by a Friedman-Robertson-Walker metric, including careful treatments of dark energy, big bang nucleosynthesis, recombination, and dark matter.From this starting point, the reader is introduced to perturbations about an FRW universe: their evolution with the Einstein-Boltzmann equations, their generation by primordial inflation, and their observational consequences. These consequences include the anisotropy spectrum of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) featuring acoustic peaks and polarization, the matter power spectrum with baryonic wiggles, and their detection via photometric galaxy surveys, redshift distortions, cluster abundances, and weak lensing. The book concludes with a long chapter on data analysis.

Modern Cosmology is the first book to explain in detail the structure of the acoustic peaks in the CMB, the E/B decomposition in polarization which may allow for detection of primordial gravity waves, and the modern analysis techniques used on increasingly large cosmological data sets. Readers will gain the tools needed to work in cosmology and learn how modern observations are rapidly revolutionizing our picture of the universe.

*Provides foundations, calculations, and interpretations which illuminate current thinking in cosmology
*Covers the major advances in cosmology over the past decade
*Includes over 100 unique, pedagogical figures
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great text
I haven't used another cosmology text for comparison, but have been very pleased with this one. The text is everywhere clear, reasonably concise, and the author uses good judgment in determining which calculations to present as examples and which to reserve for practice, all of which make this a very easy text to read. My only reservations are that necessary assumptions and approximations do not always seem fully justified, and the reader is often asked to wait until later in the text for certain approximations to be justified, which at times disrupts the logical flow of the text. The text is also somewhat incomplete in the sense that Dodelson does not always start from first principles. In my case I considered this an advantage as it allowed for quicker reading and less overhead before important results are presented. The discussion of inflation was less complete than I had hoped, but sufficient to prepare me for the literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars the BEST book on cosmology for the advanced student
Without question, Dodelson's book beats out a herd of books at the present redshift for the de rigeur text to be bandied about by grad students. I haven't looked back at Padmanabhan's Structure formation in awhile, but it was written before the COBE discoveries, and so it's a bit "old fashioned" now; there are a number of other books worth looking at, of course.

Couple Dodelson with Kolb & Turner's Early Universe text (which has some more in depth treatments of QCD- and high energy-related effects such as the axion), and perhaps with the old -- but still excellent -- Peebles book on large scale structure, and you're ready to hit the ground running in the literature.

Especially commendable aspects of Dodelson's book:

1. A great literature review at the end of each chapter allows you to dip deeper (or clarify things.) Dodelson should also be praised for his evenhandedness.

2. His in depth solutions -- meaning, you and he crunch the algebra together down the page -- are a great antidote to the "it can be shown" attitude of many cosmology papers (and sometimes textbooks!)

5-0 out of 5 stars Approachable Cosmology
This book is a must-have for the cosmos-curious. Well organized and indexed and excellently written, the author puts difficult information within reach of the student who aspires to understand one of the most complex disciplines. A superb accomplishment by a fine teacher and consummate scientist that should become the definitive text for all would-be cosmologists.

5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive even at a first look
I stumbled across the title of this book when I was browsing around somebody's cosmology course website. I know that Scott Dodelson is a quite well-known cosmologist, so I start searching for more information. After reading the preliminary detailed table of contents (I found it somewhere on the web) and the book description from Academic Press, I decided to pre-order the book. The book arrived just on March 31. I tried to take a quick but thorough view before write this comment. I haven't read the book in full. Here i would just like to write the Table of Contents in more detail by including the sections.

1. The Standard Model and Beyond. The expanding universe, Hubble diagram, Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN), Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), beyond Standard Model.

2. The Smooth, Expanding Universe. General relativity (crash course), distances, evolution of energy, cosmic inventory (photons, baryons, matter, neutrinos, dark energy, epoch of matter-radiation equality).

3. Beyond Equilibrium. Boltzmann equation for annihilation, BBN (neutron & light elements abudance), recombination, dark matter.

4. The Boltzmann Equations (BE). BE for harmonic oscillator, the collisionless BE for photons (0th and 1st order), collision terms: Compton scattering, BE for photons, BE for Cold Dark Matter (CDM), BE for baryons.

5. Einstein Equations. Perturbed Ricci tensor and scalar, two components of Einstein Equations, tensor perturbations, decomposition theorems, gauges.

6. Initial conditions. Einstein-Boltzmann equations at early times, the horizon, inflation, gravity wave production, scalar perturbations.

7. Inhomogeneities. Prelude, large scales (super-horizon & through horizon crossing), small scales (horizon & sub-horizon crossing), growth function, beyond CDM.

8. Anisotropies. Overview, large-scale anisotropies, acoustic oscillations (tightly coupled), diffusion (Silk) damping, inhomogeneities to anisotropies (free streaming, C_{l}s), anisotropy spectrum (Sachs-Wolfe, small scales), cosmological parameters.

9. Probe of Inhomogeneities. Angular correlation, peculiar velocities, redshift space distortions, galaxy clusters.

10. Weak Lensing and Polarization. Gravitational distortion, geodesics and shears, ellipticity, weak lensing power spectrum, polarization, quadrupole and Q/U (or E/B as in recent literatures) decomposition, polarization power spectra, detection of gravity waves.

11. Analysis. Likelihood function, signal covariance matrix, Karhunen-Loeve & optimal quadratic, Fisher matrix, mapmaking & inversion, systematics, foregrounds.

Appendix A. Solution to Selected Problems
Appendix B. Numbers
Appendix C. Special Functions
Appendix D. Symbols.

In addition, each chapter is ended with a summary and further reading list. Quite nice indeed. The bibliography are extensive: there are classic, pioneering papers, recent papers, textbooks. There are some color plates in the middle part of the book.

In my opinion, this book is far better than Peacock in discussing new aspect of anisotropies and inhomogeneities. Lots of topics that were only previously available in research papers, review articles, summer school lectures, preprints, are brought together to the form of a decent book. The chapter of analysis is quite interesting, since the subject has become very demanding but there are still no single treatment of it.

Dodelson said in the preface that the expected audience are advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students. Some of the necessary materials (GR, inflation, are introduced in the text).

I myself suggests, however, that the reader should have a proficient knowledge in standard undergraduate physics (mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, quantum physics), mathematical physics, and general relativity if possible. Some knowledge of astrophysics/astronomy, statistics/data analysis, kinetic theory, would certainly be welcomed.

A little bit of cons, however are inevitable. The current development in cosmology is astounding. Just a few weeks before the book was published, the WMAP team released their first result after a year of observations, which put tight constraints for cosmological models. Several numbers and figures in the book then are in the need to be updated. Topics such as distant quasars, cosmic reionization and the end of cosmic dark ages, first-generation stars, might be worthy enough to be included in the future.

This book is definitely a must buy for cosmologist.

Update 2003 July 8
Author's website for the book is available with full table of contents at

Update 2003 September 8.
You should also get two more books beside this.

1) Kinetic theory in the expanding universe by Jeremy Bernstein, Cambridge, 1988, ISBN 0-521-36050-1. Best reference material to understand relativistic Boltzmann equation in Dodelson chapter 3-5.

2) The Early Universe by Edward W. Kolb and Michael S. Turner, Perseus/Westview, 1994, ISBN 0-201-62674-8. Contains extensive material on FRW metric, detailed discussion on nucleosynthesis and particle physics-cosmology interface, inflation, and structure formation. ... Read more

9. The Illustrated Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe
by Stephen W. Hawking
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
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Asin: 1932407073
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: New Millennium
Sales Rank: 85286
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In physicist Stephan Hawking's brilliant opus, A Brief History Of Time, he presented us with a bold new look at our universe, how it began, and how our old views of physics and tired theories about the creation of the universe were no longer relevant. In other words, Hawking gave us a new look at our world, our universe, and ourselves.

Now, available for the first time in a deluxe full-color edition with never-before-seen photos and illustrations, Hawking presents an even more comprehensive look at our universe, its creation, and how we see ourselves within it. Imagine sitting in a comfortable room listening to Hawking discuss his latest theories and place them in historical context with science'sother great achievements-it would be like hearing Christopher Columbus deliver the news about the new world. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Men please dont kill this book but let it live.
I apreciated the non illustrated edition and I tried to buy this many times but always it seemed like an offence to Hawking because he does not endorse this book, and I gived up.
But now I need make supplys for hollydays so I need to order it in peace and I like to give it a better rate.
Why? no reason, I still am Palatinum Count of last Imperor (Carlos I) and I can legitimate illegitimates men and books.
I know this seems irrelevant,but if the greatest living mathematician disclaim his own writes he hurt an instinct that I wish to keep alive,because in tales there is always a theory of everything and tales are more important than full copyright.
So stop grumbling with Morgana I recognise you Merlin! ... Read more

10. The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe
by Stephen W. Hawking
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
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Asin: 1893224546
Catlog: Book (2002-06-01)
Publisher: New Millennium Press
Sales Rank: 16235
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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With a title inspired as much by Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker series as Einstein, The Theory of Everything delivers almost as much as it promises. Transcribed from Stephen Hawking's Cambridge Lectures, the slim volume may not present a single theory unifying gravity with the other fundamental forces, but it does carefully explain the state of late 20th-century physics with the great scientist's characteristic humility and charm. Explicitly shunning math, Hawking explains the fruits of 100 years of heavy thinking with metaphors that are simple but never condescending--he compares the settling of the newborn universe into symmetry to the formation of ice crystals in a glass of water, for example. While he explores his own work (especially when speaking about black holes), he also discusses the important milestones achieved by others like Richard Feynman. Though occasionally an impenetrably obscure phrase does slip by, the reader will find the bulk of the text enlightening and engaging. The material, from the nature of time to the possibility that the universe has no beginning or end, is rich and deep and inevitably ignites metaphysical thinking. After all, Hawking is famous for his "we would know the mind of God" remark, which ends the final lecture herein. --Rob Lightner ... Read more

Reviews (27)

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent Read, Despite Its "Unauthorized" Status
I purchased this book in May of 2002 and read it only just now, so I missed the "controversy" surrounding it until it was too late. Evidently the great contemporary physicist Stephen Hawking gave this series of lectures at Cambridge, but their transcription and publication was done against Hawking's wishes/without his consent. In any event, the lectures are fairly easy to follow and understand, which is a much-appreciated feature for those of us less-than-nimble-minded-folks when it comes to physics.

Most of the subjects in the book are touched on only briefly and in what one can safely assume as extremely watered-down, so the more scientific-minded among us are likely to be disappointed. For the rest of us, Hawking explains various subjects just enough for us to have a rough outline of them, that is, he takes the uninformed reader just far enough to catch a glimpse of contemporary conceptions of, inter alia, black holes, quantum mechanics (most notably string theory), and time, without having one's eye begin to glaze over.

In any event the book presents Hawking's style and wit nicely. My own guess is that Hawking is upset that something he never intended to be published is indeed now published, that is, he never wanted rather casual remarks about this or that in a sense "codified" in print (although portions of it are written and appear elsewhere), but I quite liked it. (Another possibility is that Hawking isn't getting paid for this book, or isn't getting paid enough, but again, only Hawking really knows.) It is true, however, that on Hawking's website he politely asks that we not purchase this book, so the choice is ours. Minus the "controversy" surrounding this book, I'd probably give it four stars.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Hawking's best work
This book is a collection of lectures in which Steven attempts to built a framework for understanding the universe through gradually more and more complex steps. Like Brief History of Time, it is cumulative, in that previous chapters are mostly rquired for subsequent.

I thought Steven's personal agendas come out too strongly in this book, specifically his glossing over of string theory and multi-dimensional spacetime. This entire line of research is relegated to exactly 3 sentences. He also ignores most of the problems that occur when trying to integrate quantum mechanics and gravity, choosing to try to find ways around this necessary integration instead. Much of the book is spent trying to prove a non-singularity-based Big Bang theory in an effort to retain the standard-model laws of physics all the way back to the beginning of time.

Regarding the quantum mechanical tide in the early 19th century, Eistein's famously responded, "God does not play dice with the Universe." Hawking is fighting a similar multi-dimensional tide that increasingly provides a far more elegant view of the Universe.

If you're looking for your first Hawking book, this isn't it. Buy Brief History instead. It's dated, but much better.

4-0 out of 5 stars No, there is too much - let me sum up.
Hawking is always an interesting read. He publishes books often enough so that if you keep current, you are generally reviewing the same ideas, but with each publication, the state of the knowledge has advanced enough to warrant another summing up.

Hawking's major claims to fame are his work on black holes and the boundary conditions of space/time, including event horizons, cosmic strings, and the potential for wormholes. He gives a fair amount of thought to the possibility of backwards time travel.

Everybody agrees that moving forward in time is not a problem (see Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity 1905). Moving backwards in time is problematic, and Hawking believes that Nature will not allow it. There is a lot of work being done presently in this area, and some good thought experiments suggesting the possibility, but after reading Hawking, I am fairly convinced that we will not find it possible to move backwards in time, and even if it is possible, the time traveller will no longer be in his same universe, so why bother?

Hawking aims his prose at the level of the intellectual Star Trek afficianado, which makes him an engaging read for the interested layman. He is careful never to include any mathematical equations in his books, using instead analogies and thought experiments. I recommend this book, deducting the 5th star only because much of the book is remedial.

1-0 out of 5 stars ATTENTION!!! This is NOT Hawking's book!
This is from the Stephen Hawking website:

"It has come to our attention that the book "The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe" has been published. Professor Hawking would like to make it clear that he has not endorsed this book. The text was written by him many years ago, however the material has already been published in books such as 'A Brief History of Time'. A complaint was made to the Federal Trade Commission in the US in the hope that they would prevent the publication. We would urge you not to purchase this book in the belief that Professor Hawking was involved in its creation. "

1-0 out of 5 stars Hawking he has not endorsed this book
It has come to our attention that the book "The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe" has been published. Professor Hawking would like to make it clear that he has not endorsed . The text was written by him many years ago, however the material has already been published in books such as 'A Brief History of Time'. A complaint was made to the Federal Trade Commission in the US in the hope that they would prevent the publication. We would urge you not to purchase this book in the belief that Professor Hawking was involved in its creation. ... Read more

11. Cosmos
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
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Asin: 0345331354
Catlog: Book (1985-10-12)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 11172
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Cosmos was the first science TV blockbuster, and Carl Sagan was its (human) star. By the time of Sagan's death in 1997, the series had been seen by half a billion people; Sagan was perhaps the best-known scientist on the planet. Explaining how the series came about, Sagan recalled:

I was positive from my own experience that an enormous global interest exists in the exploration of the planets and in many kindred scientific topics--the origin of life, the Earth, and the Cosmos, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, our connection with the universe. And I was certain that this interest could be excited through that most powerful communications medium, television.

Sagan's own interest and enthusiasm for the universe were so vivid and infectious, his screen presence so engaging, that viewers and readers couldn't help but be caught up in his vision. From stars in their "billions and billions" to the amino acids in the primordial ocean, Sagan communicated a feeling for science as a process of discovery. Inevitably, some of the science in Cosmos has been outdated in the years since 1980--but Sagan's sense of wonder is ageless. --Mary Ellen Curtin ... Read more

Reviews (117)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Populist Author of Science
Cosmos takes a sweeping look at, well, the Cosmos. Carl Sagan brings perspective to our view of the starry night sky, as well as the living creatures here and all around us. We visit the planets of the Solar system and learn, from a practical layman's viewpoint, what they are like. Remember, as one of the best populist authors of science, ever, he knows how to keep you interested, laughing, and turning pages. It is all terribly interesting, especially if you don't know that Venus is almost as hot as a kiln -- but at first scientists thought it was nothing but jungle! And the Milky Way galaxy, if we could watch it spin in super high speed, looks a little like a spinning popcorn popper. But you'll understand that more if you read the book. If you were to read just 3 books by Carl Sagan, I'd first of all say get these Four: The Demon-Haunted World, Cosmos, Dragons of Eden, and Billions & Billions. In that order. But you won't know without conducting your own experiments, right? Read 'em all!

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book about everything, for everyone
Cosmos is more than just a book about space. The word Cosmos itself, derived from ancient Greek, implies the deep interconnectedness of all things, in which we all play a part. Although it was written over two decades ago, and therefore you may think that it may not be so relevant in its facts today, its underlying dual-purposes, to educate and to inspire, remain just as relevant as ever. It serves as an introduction to science, and the late Carl Sagan, one of the great humanists of our time, does an excellent job in bringing us into that world by not presenting simply hard facts and technobabble. Instead, he tries to make the book accessible to the scientific novice, and shows how it is relevant to every aspect of our daily lives. And we learn about the development of human understanding, not only in terms of 'Where did we come from?' and 'How did the universe get created?', but the development of ourselves, as people who began our existence from the most humble of beginnings, and were intelligent enough to ask ourselves 'Who are we?' and of course 'Why are we here?'. He shows why science is not only relevant to us here and now, but how it can help us to understand the future, and in the final chapter, he makes it clear that through the rampant destruction of our environment, that future may not be so long-reaching as we might dream it. Sagan manages to gently educate us in a stylish and entertaining way, and his book Cosmos leaves us feeling richer for the experience. I certainly recommend this to anyone. After all, it does concern everyone!

5-0 out of 5 stars Look at the stars in a whole new way
Carl Sagan uses a boyish excitement that comes through the pages to explain Astronomies greatest hits since man was in a cave. Some of the concepts explained are fairly heavy but he does an excellent job of breaking them down into a digestable format for anyone with a high school education.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book!!
This book was brilliant. Sagan had a way of explaining science to young students and making it meaningful. We need more teachers like Carl in the future. It will be good for the country.

Jeffrey McAndrew
author of "Our Brown-Eyed Boy"

1-0 out of 5 stars an atheist's quagmire...
(3/16/2004) My earlier review was written a while ago. If you are interested in Man's origins, then go to astronomer Hugh Ross' website "Reasons To Believe" (simply type in the keywords Reasons To Believe into any search engine).

I was a teenager in India when I watched the TV serial, Cosmos. Unfortunately I was swept away by Sagan's smooth rhetoric and thought Sagan's Science had all the answers. I discarded my Christian faith.

For the next 10 years, I still thought so; I avidly read books like Sagan's "Dragons of Eden", "Boca's Brain" and all the 'Zen...' books and many more.

However I came to a road block. There are questions that they cannot answer - Where did I come from?, Where am I going?, What happens after I die?, and the ultimate, Does my life matter?

The answers to these questions are found only in the words of Jesus. Sagan died a few years ago, a fervent atheist till the end. But I am certain, that where he is right now, he will agree with me (I am sad to say so) with despair. ... Read more

12. Interferometry and Synthesis in Radio Astronomy
by A. RichardThompson, James M.Moran, George W.Swenson
list price: $129.84
our price: $129.84
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Asin: 0471254924
Catlog: Book (2001-04-18)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 351632
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Book Description

Comprehensive, authoritative coverage of interferometric techniques for radio astronomy

In this Second Edition of Interferometry and Synthesis in Radio Astronomy, three leading figures in the development of large imaging arrays, including very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI), describe and explain the technology that provides images of the universe with an angular resolution as fine as 1/20,000 of an arcsecond.

This comprehensive volume begins with a historical review followed by detailed coverage of the theory of interferometry and synthesis imaging, analysis of interferometer response, geometrical relationships, polarimetry, antennas, and arrays. Discussion of the receiving system continues with analysis of the response to signals and noise, analog design requirements, and digital signal processing.

The authors detail special requirements of VLBI including atomic frequency standards, broadband recording systems, and antennas in orbit. Further major topics include:
* Calibration of data and synthesis of images
* Image enhancement using nonlinear algorithms
* Techniques for astrometry and geodesy
* Propagation in the neutral atmosphere and ionized media
* Radio interference
* Related techniques: intensity interferometry, moon occultations, antenna holography, and optical interferometry

Interferometry and Synthesis in Radio Astronomy, Second Edition is comprehensive in that it provides an excellent overview of most radio astronomical instrumentation and techniques.
... Read more

13. Quantum Mind: The Edge Between Physics & Psychology
by Arnold Mindell
list price: $26.95
our price: $26.95
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Asin: 1887078649
Catlog: Book (2000-03-31)
Publisher: Lao Tse Press
Sales Rank: 191686
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Quantum Mind: The Edge Between Physics and Psychology is the most comprehensive work to date venturing into that challenging junction of psychology, new physics, and shamanism. It takes the reader on a journey through the universe on paths of reason and magic, math and myth. By exploring principles found in psychology, math, physics, and shamanism, it becomes possible to link a cosmic perspective with ordinary life.

Mindell assumes the reader has no prior knowledge of physics, and explores the fundamentals of math and physics in terms of psychological and Shamanic experiences. And, he includes practical exercises based upon these principles to create a new understanding of the foundations of psychological health, relationships, and community. Mindell reveals how all of us can benefit by bringing together humanity's traditional wisdom and shamanism with contemporary science. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Holistic Understanding of Ourselves
Being someone who has been on the path of self-discovery for many years, I find this book to be an informative piece of the puzzle that we call ourselves. Dr. Mindell pulls together physics, mathematics, and self- discovery in a way that I have not previously seen. Quantum Mind is a must read for anyone who is attempting to understand themselves and their environment. This book is a book that has a lot of information that is based on physics and mathematics so the book is more of a study time than a story time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beginning of a new science
Mindell's Quantum Mind is bringing the discussion on the connection between consciousness and matter to a new level. I want to focus on the aspect that was the most exciting to me. He shows, that our definition of physics, of psychology and of religion needs to be updated, and how in fact the progress of both sciences is blocked by how these fields define themselves. Mindell makes it clear, that psychology cannot make the next quantum jump without including the insights from QM, and physics needs the study of consciousness to understand the contradictions it's facing. Mindell brings forth his process-oriented concepts, which bridge these two worlds, and in fact establish a new scientific field, for which a term still needs to be coined.
As a psychologist, I found the theoretical and mathematical aspects of physics really well explained, and liked it, that I had a choice as a reader, how detailed I wanted to get involved in them. I was still be able to follow his line of thought in those instances, when I choose to skip the math parts.

The exercices in the book show, how modern physics and psychological theories are not only abstract concepts, but experiences that we have on an ongoing basis, and how they are connected to our personal development and spiritual understanding of our existence and the universe we live in. We understand Newtonian physics experientially, when the cup that we drop on the floor keeps breaking. We develop a similar intuitive understanding of Quantum Mechanics in addition to the theory, when we do Mindell's exercises at the end of each chapter. This is one of the huge side benefits of this book. QM never became popular knowledge because its concept are not "anschaulich" or intuitive, but rather mathematical. Mindell's book belongs in every personal and public library.

5-0 out of 5 stars Seminal, ground-breaking, informative.
In Quantum Mind, Arnold Mindell takes the reader to the common root underlying both physics and psychology to reveal physics as the basic pattern for understanding psychology, and the psychology of perception as the basis of physics. Mindell offers a wealth of practical guidance backed by theoretical insight. He brings quantum awareness to such everyday matters as difficult relationships, physical symptoms and life-threatening illness, spiritual emergence, and the complexities of community life in a world of human diversity. Starting with the psychological foundations of numbers and counting, Quantum Mind takes the reader on a fascinating tour of mathematics, quantum physics, relativity, and cosmology -- showing at each point the myriad levels on which human consciousness and the physical world intertwine and co-create one another. The reader comes to know the universe and individual consciousness as two sides of an interactive mirror reflecting one another. Quantum Mind is a seminal, ground-breaking, enthusiastically recommended, completely accessible survey and analysis that will engage, inform, and challenge students of psychology, psychotherapy, physics, and the symmetry between the mathematics of physics and everyday perceptual experience. ... Read more

14. The Science of God
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 076790303X
Catlog: Book (1998-10-20)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 6102
Average Customer Review: 3.63 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Uniting staunchly opposed viewpoints into one groundbreaking new perspective, this startling and timely work illuminates the complete interdependence between Biblical reports and modern scientific discoveries. Comparing key events from the Old Testament with the most current findings of biochemists, paleontologists, and physicists, Gerald Schroeder resolves age-old debates about miracles, the origins of the universe, the first life on Earth, and the meaning of free will. Through thoughtful, engaging discussions--even using Einstein's theory of relativity to validate a six-day creation timetable--The Science of God ultimately proves both Darwin and creationists right. ... Read more

Reviews (78)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Diference between faith and reason
One of the most interesting facts of this book, in my experience, is people's reactions after reading it. Religous christians attack it for being unorthodox. Religous Jews tend to want to debate its points. Why?

Because Schroeder, a religous Jew, accepts the value of the many supportive texts that Jews read along with the bible. Christians reject these texts and look mainly to the texts obvious meaning. That is unfortunate.

Imagine, a 12th century Jewish comentator described the "big bang" in almost exactly the way a high school physiscs teacher would in 2001?. The writers of the talmud saw each stage of creation "evolving" into the next and discussed whether 6 days for the divine was the same as 6 days as they experience it. For me, such facts are mind blowing.

I urge anyone interested in understanding a Jewish approach to the world to read this text. We believe people were created with reason exactly so we could probe the mysterys of creation and help in the divine plan. Along with everything else, Schroeder demonstrates that much current science was prefigured by religous scholars who used holy texts as their source.

If you want to understand why faith and reason are not in conflict, I urge you to read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing, thought-provoking read
I never realized that a book dealing with science could be so poetic and intriguing. Yet Dr. Schroeder has written such a book: a real page turner. Using information from the fields of micro-biology to quantum mechanics to cosmology, as well as traditional biblical commentaries from past centuries, Dr. Schroeder brings amazing and convincing data to support his thesis that science and the Bible are not only compatible but the study of one is enhanced by the study of the other. The knowledge brought from both do not compete or contradict, but converge.

Without being in any way dogmatic or preachy, Dr. Schroeder shows how biblical texts have within them the hidden meanings known in ancient times which we can only now more completely understand with the help of science. One cannot come away from this book without a deeper appreciation of the intricacies of of the world we live in from the smallest particle to the scope of the expanding universe. The "how" that we can learn from science is absolutely mind-boggling. Dr. Schroeder helps synthesize this with the no less intriguing "why" that we can gain form biblical sources.

Anyone interested in such diverse topics as what kind of statistical possibilities are necessary for random evolution, the naturalness of miracles, and what kind of god allows the good to suffer will appreciate this awesome book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Science of the Goofed!
The most charitable comment I can give to this book is that "it is a journey". More specifically, it is a torturing journey. The author tends to mix up very simple scientific methodology and metaphysical philosophy. Often, Gerald seems to look like an armchair philosopher and jumps to unsupported onotological conclusion. One may find plenty philosophical problems in the analysis, arguments from personal credulity and incredulity. The arguments are not even close to being convincing. I would not recommend this chauvinistic exegesis to anyone would like to 'find things out'.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thinking outside the box,-- a seminal effort worth a read
As a scientist in an ongoing search for truth, I have been disappointed by ham-handed efforts of the creation crowd to cling to extreme minority viewpoints of credentialed scientists from diverse fields of science that would collectively be required to support a *literal* interpretation of Genesis. Similarly, I have been mystified by scientists who reflexively dismiss the idea of some kind of intelligent design outright by way of circular reasoning, arguing that since intelligent design can never be disproven, it is not scientific and thus could not be truth, since only science can properly assess truth.

It is hard to understate, then, the moxie of Schroeder's innovative attempt to reconcile with Genesis scientifically DOMINANT paradigms (i.e. universe many billions of years old, terrestrial life hundreds of millions of years old, species variation to extensive degree by alteration or differential expression of genes). Schroeder introduces his intent thus: "In the following chapters, I attempt to avoid the subjective tendency of bending Bible to match science or science to match Bible." (softcover p.19) Whether he was successful or not is in the eye of the reader, but the explicit intent is refreshing.

This book, then, would be of particular interest to two groups:

1) Scientists who wonder how their mainstream conclusions could possibly be reconciled with ancient accounts of creation from the Hebrew Torah.

2) Jews and Christians who are discomforted by the apparent incompatability between the text of their faith versus the observed truth about our planet and universe as collected and interpreted by the VAST MAJORITY of professional scientists.

The prime example of this reconciliation is Schroeder's attempt to fit a 15-billion year old universe with the six-day account of Genesis by arguing that: 1) from a collective, "Creation-wide" perspective, time advanced differently in the primordial hot universe (time dilation), and 2) that "days" in the ancient hebrew text only adopted the terrestrial perception (instead of universal perception) of time passage upon the creation of man late in the "creation" process.

Later chapters address other issues, such as the likelihood that genetic variation by mutation at rates observed in today's laboratories (or even much greater rates) were sufficient to generate the speciation evidenced in the fossil record within the abbreviated time-frame indicated by the fossil record itself.

By virtue of his theological background and professional training (MIT-trained physicist), Schroeder is uniquely qualified to attempt such a reconciliation. However, as evidenced by several previous reviews, this training is not enough-- at least not enough to win over skeptical scientists. It may be that the sheer enormity of burgeoning data within each of the fields (molecular genetics, population genetics, paleontology, geology, as well as cosmology and particle physics) is simply too great for one individual to incorporate into solid perspective within *each and every* discipline to present an airtight case on all scientific fronts.

Previous reviewers have asserted gross inaccuracies with the science presented in this book. As a clinical neuroscientist, I am not in a position to assault or defend Schroeder on evolution, genetics, particle physics or cosmology. However, I would argue against throwing the baby out with the bathwater. For example, the latest data on cosmic background radiation indicates an accelerating expansion of the universe, and an approximate age of 13.7 billion years instead of the 15 Schroeder cites. Must this nullify the core of his whole premise? Maybe so, but not enough to discard this book out of hand.

The strength of this work is in its innovation. Schroeder rightly notes that the Bible is silent on many subjects, and actually leaves room for many observed phenomena, such as speciation and niche-filling by DNA alteration. It is only the rigid mindset of many religious individuals that closes this possibility.

The weaknesses of the book lie in the specific physical science undergirding Schroeder's arguments, as well as in his over-reliance on conjecture. I thus was left with the same mind-set I had before I read the book, namely that the simplest explanation for why the Genesis account is not borne out by the findings of mainstream science is that Genesis was inspired and spoke great *truth* on a metaphorical and didactic level-- but not at a literal level.

On the whole, I found it a fascinating read. In accord with previous reviewers, I liken this effort to a Model-T. Crude in the light of today, yet innovative at its introduction, with the potential to be honed with further investment in this line of reasoning. This whole line of inquiry would benefit enormously by some kind of COLLABORATIVE work, with each chapter penned by a bona-fide expert in that field of the physical sciences, where this expert can build a much more solid case in conjunction with the totality of data in his or her field. I could even envision anonymous contribution, inasmuch as publicly arguing for some kind of intelligent designer is probably not conducive to garnering tenure in the Paleontology Department of Secular State University....

3-0 out of 5 stars Great subject to attempt to tackle
Not one of his best books. I thought the hidden face of God was much better for the money. Schroeder sympathizes with the intelligent design movement and makes a compelling case for his cause from a theological standpoint. For Schroeder, the mind can be converted into energy and energy can then be converted into mass. This is the next great step in physics and is just a few years before discovering the path for this venture. However there is much speculation and little evidence to back up the claims presented. The book is often lax on supportive evidence and testimony.

Schroeder believes physics will drastically change in the following years but his revolutionary view ends with that subject. Schroeder seems to blindly accept many other avenues without fail, such as geological dating, human evolution, and even embryology. Subjects which have much more subjective and questions marks. Further Schroeder's rational for doing so is not much more than simply accepting the status quo. His whole argument, for instance, against YEC and Noah's flood revolve around dated writing tablets. Schroeder argues the flood could not have altered dating schemes because certain writing pieces are dated at 10,000ys old. This is simply flawed reasoning and can be explain by skewed dates produced because of the flood.

There were several chapters were Schroeder went off topic and started going on some tirade. The chapter on free will was interesting but I expected more. His chapter on randomness and how mathematically evolution has many problems was very detailed. I thought that his take on Adam being the first human with a soul was an interesting way of interpreting genesis. A tough topic to cover, but Schroeder does ok. ... Read more

15. The Constants of Nature : From Alpha to Omega--the Numbers That Encode the Deepest Secrets of the Universe
list price: $26.00
our price: $26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375422218
Catlog: Book (2003-01-14)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 46467
Average Customer Review: 3.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A major contribution to our understanding of the basic laws of the universe -- from the author of The Book of Nothing.

The constants of nature are the fundamental laws of physics that apply throughout the universe: gravity, velocity of light, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics. They encode the deepest secrets of the universe, and express at once our greatest knowledge and our greatest ignorance about the cosmos.

Their existence has taught us the profound truth that nature abounds with unseen regularities. Yet while we have become skilled at measuring the values of these constants, our frustrating inability to explain or predict their values shows how much we have still to learn about inner workings of the universe.

What is the ultimate status of these constants of nature? Are they truly constant? And are there other universes where they are different?

John D. Barrow, one of our foremost mathematicians and cosmologists, discusses the latest thinking about these and many more dramatic issues in this accessible and thought-provoking book.
... Read more

Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars A good overview, but ...
"Constants of Nature" is an excellent overview of a fascinating topic--the origins and significance of the constants of the universe. It prompted me to spend a great deal of my free time digging around for more information on many of the topics it addresses, which is always a ringing endorsement for a work of non-fiction.

However, it's not perfect. The book's subtitle ("From Alpha to Omega") is somewhat deceptive--the "meat" of the book (after the first few chapters) deals almost entirely with the fine structure constant (alpha). Barrow talks a great deal about constants in general, but never devotes much time to any of the others specifically. Furthermore, at times, Barrow seems to become sidetracked--an inexplicable discussion of the value of contemplating "alternative histories" (i.e., speculating what would have happened if Germany had won World War II, and similar endeavors) awkwardly interrupts the flow of one chapter, for instance. Also, the book has several errors that were immediately obvious to me (for instance, it says light from the Sun takes 3 seconds to reach the Earth; the correct value is more than 8 minutes), which makes me suspect that there are probably many more errors that I missed, but which would be obvious to someone with a marginally greater degree of physics sophistication.

However, perhaps the biggest disappointment was in the introduction of the values of the Planck length, Planck time, etc., all of which are central to the book. Barrow justifies the signifiance of these values simply by stating that they are the only values of the appropriate dimensions that can be derived by combining certain other physical constants in straightforward ways. However, from there he makes the logical leap that the Planck distance, for instance, is the "natural" measure of length in the universe. This is certainly a fair statement, but it's hardly justifiable to make that statement based simply on the fact that it can be derived from a number of other constants--one could have selected another collection of fundamental constants and come up with a completely different "natural" unit of length. In short, the line of reasoning does not justify the conclusion.

In all, this is a thought-provoking work, but it's often short on detail and had a tendency to leave me with more questions than answers. The more technical reader will probably wish for more thorough arguments throughout; however, it's still an enjoyable read and a fine attempt at popularizing a difficult area of physics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Innovative and refreshing text
In his previous book "The Book of Nothing", John Barrow presents a vacuum and uses it to show us its new meaning. Now he finds another interesting topic - constants of Nature in science (mostly "fine structure" constant but not exclusively), and uses them to teach us about unknown history and measurements in modern cosmology. I find his cube of theories and colorful description of many forms of multiverses (including the one having different times dimension) very educative.
Extra flavor is added in chapter 9 (about "virtual history"). It brings some humor and relaxes in the middle of not so easy subjects. Especially chapter 11 requires extra effort and figure 11.6 is missing from the hardcover edition. Generally: book represents another great effort in popularizing sophisticated top end of a science. Hopefully I will remember formula: 2(pi)e^2/hc for a long time to come.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
The Book of Nothing was much better. I am surprised at errors made on simple physical realities. Eclipse of sun is defined as earth's shadow covering sun's disc... Sun's light reaching earth in 3 seconds... As one reviewer already mentioned, letter used for "1" is indistinguishable from "I"... I could not find much detail on "constants", just speculations and what if's... Quotes sprinkled all over are much more fun to read...

4-0 out of 5 stars very good
Fascinating discussion on the number that govern the universe. Though certainly not perfect(and somewhat self promoting), barrow is a very entertaining, infromative writer.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not quite from alpha to omega
There is a good book in this book somewhere, but it is trapped inside of a fair book that promises a lot more than it actually delivers. There is an initial problem that the book fails to make the case as to why particular constants are important. When discussing the fine structure constant (which is really the only constant that is given any significant coverage), the author tells us that it is made up of a combination of the electron charge, the speed of light, and Plank's constant. One might ask why these three particular values and that would be a fair question. The author tells us that if these three values changed but the fine structure constant remained the same, the resulting universe would be indistinguishable from our own. And then he leaves it there. What does that mean? Why is this the case? The author skips over this and moves on to other topics. He also makes a claim for "natural units" without being clear about what he means and why they are particularly natural.

In chapter six the author discusses some curious coincidences surrounding Eddington's number. But after having debunked some other coincidental numbers he seems to leave himself open to claims that he is simply invoking meaningless coincidences. For example, he lays claim to an odd coincidence between the number of protons in the Universe and the ratio of the strengths of the electromagnetic and gravitational forces between two protons. Why these particular numbers? There are some interesting twists and turns in the book but there are also enough things that seem rather shaky that I began to doubt how much of the book was truly reliable. As one reviewer has already pointed out, what does one say when a book is so careless as to claim that solar eclipses are caused by the Earth's shadow falling on the Sun? I am sure the author doesn't believe that to be the case but it shows a certain amount of carelessness that worries me about the remainder of the book.

There are some good parts to the book that I should mention. The discussion of the Anthropic Principle was clear and concise. His explanation of why intelligent life could not evolve unless there were exactly three spatial dimensions and one time dimension was convincing although I would have liked him to expand on this in more depth. Chapter eleven's discussion of natural nuclear reactors was also quite interesting. Overall there are some good parts in here but I didn't find the book as a whole delivered on its promise. ... Read more

16. Hyperspace: The Universe and Its Mysteries
by John R. Gribbin, John Gribbin
list price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789478382
Catlog: Book (2001-09-15)
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing
Sales Rank: 505312
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The exploration of the Universe which largely began to take place in the final decades of the 20th century is the story told in Hyperspace: Our Final Frontier. There have now been space probes to all the major planets of the Earth's Solar System -- the only worlds that are likely to be physically explored in our lifetime. Beyond the Solar System, across the final frontier of space, however, astronomers are now able to explore the Universe by proxy, using evidence from light, radio waves, x-ray, and other information gathered by telescopes on the Earth's surface and by orbiting satellites. Astronomers can now work out the life cycles of stars, the evolution of galaxies, the location of other solar systems, and the fate of the Universe itself.

Hyperspace: Our Final Frontier provides a compelling insight into the way that astronomers work, explaining how they make the discoveries that make headlines, as well as the stories behind those headlines. From the first steps which measured the distances to the nearest stars, to the latest discovery that the Universe is expanding at an ever faster rate, John Gribbin puts deep space into perspective with the aid of specially commissioned illustrations and revealing photographs from the latest generation of astronomical telescopes. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hyperspace: The Universe and its Mysteries
Hyperspace: The Universe and its Mysteries written by John Gribbin is a very well-written book and has some really beautiful pictures and illustrations.

"Hyperspace" takes the reader a a quest to find some answers as to how the universe and our galaxy was formed. This book is a companion to the TLC video "Hyperspace: Our Final Frontier." This book shows us how astronomers are now able to explore the universe by proxy... by light, radio waves, and x-rays. There is satellite information and revealing photography from the latest generation of astronomical telescopes all are here in the book making for some very interesting reading along with some interesting illustration to make a point.

The book's contents has but four chapters: Across the Universe, The Fate of the Universe, Making Contact, and Other Worlds. As you read the well-written narrative, you will learn about the universe and its wonders. This is an excellent text for understanding and learning about the universe without having an advanced degree.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent companion to the series
Do not be fooled by the glossy exterior of this publication. Inside is a serious treatment of the latest theories and scientific discoveries about the cosmology of the universe. This companion book to the 2001 BBC television series Space, which also aired on The Learning Channel, is packed with fascinating information sure to interest teens who enjoy reading about the possibilities of extraterrestrial life and the ultimate fate of the universe. A visual feast, the book is chock full of stunning photographs and eye-catching illustrations. Although some of the material covered is very complex, Gribbin uses wonderful visual comparisons to clarify difficult concepts, comparing, for example, the dying radiation from a black hole to the fading smile of the Cheshire Cat. Throughout the book there are many interesting sidebars, including one that discusses the possibility that there actually might have been a Star of Bethlehem. The book also features starred quotations on some of its pages that help pique the reader's interest in the subject. Finally, each section in the chapter has helpful topic links to other areas of the book containing further information related to that topic. A wonderful follow-up to Carl Sagan's similar classic 1980 work, Cosmos, this beautiful and well-organized book would appeal both to teens with a beginning interest in the subject and those who are serious students of astronomy. The photos alone are worth the price of this highly recommended purchase for school and public libraries.

5-0 out of 5 stars Packs color photos with easily-understood explanations
John Gribbin's Hyperspace accompanies a BBC/TLC special on the subject and packs over 250 color photos into a guide to the latest new theories and discoveries of astronomy. From how astronomers measure distances in space to theories about the origins, composition and nature of the universe, this packs color photos with easily-understood explanations.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Companion To The Series
This book does not follow the TV series special blow by blow, but it does cover much of the same material and makes a great companion to the series.

Much of the material in this book is subject to change over the next few years as new discoveries are made, so if you are interested in "Hyperspace," get it soon to be assured that it is accurate.

I did not find this book to be as good a companion work as, say, "Cosmos" the book was when it came out with that groundbreaking series, but it's close. DK, as always, does an excellent job producing lively texts, and this is no exception. ... Read more

17. Adaptive Optics for Astronomical Telescopes (Oxford Series in Optical and Imaging Sciences)
by John W. Hardy
list price: $165.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195090195
Catlog: Book (1998-08-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 547456
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book by one of the leaders in adaptive optics covers the fundamental theory and then describes in detail how this technology can be applied to large ground-based telescopes to compensate for the effects of atmospheric turbulence. It includes information on basic adaptive optics components and technology, and has chapters devoted to atmospheric turbulence, optical image structure, laser beacons, and overall system design. The chapter on system design is particularly detailed and includes performance estimation and optimization. Combining a clear discussion of physical principles with numerous real-world examples, this book will be a valuable resource for all graduate students and researchers in astronomy and optics. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The book is a must for readers interested in adaptive optics
The book does an excellent job of describing the basic principles and the practice of adaptive optics for astronomical applications.The author was a pioneer in adaptive optics and in the 1970s he built the first systemcapable of compensating a large astronomical telescope at visiblewavelengths.The book gives a good history of adaptive optics including anexcellent bibliography.Wavefront sensors, correctors, laser beacons, andwavefront reconstruction and control systems are described.Currentadaptive optics programs are described and future prospects are discussed. I had the good fortune of working with the author at the time the firstadaptive optics system was built and the author conveys in this book theexcitement we felt about adaptive optics at that time.While the book isvery specialized and technical, and the number of readers who will enjoythe book is limited, if you are interested in adaptive optics the readingof this book is a must. ... Read more

18. The Universe: 365 Days
by Robert J. Nemiroff, Jerry T. Bonnell
list price: $29.95
our price: $18.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810942682
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 5086
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Photographs of outer space--produced by earthbound and space telescopes and planet-roving satellites--have captivated a vast audience. And nowhere has this audience found more enthralling views than on Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), a website so popular that it draws well over one million hits every week. The Universe: 365 Days presents in unprecedented clarity 365 spectacular images culled from the thousands that have been featured on the site, which has been hailed as one of the best science sites by both Scientific American and Popular Science magazines.

Following the enormously successful format of Abrams' Earth From Above: 365 Days, The Universe: 365 Days has been crafted by the two astrophysicists who in 1995, in collaboration with NASA, created and continue to maintain the APOD website. Accompanying each stunning image is a short explanatory text that greatly expands the reader's appreciation of the wonders of the cosmos. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars beautiful photography
There is a website called "Astronomy Picture of the Day". The website is exactly what it claims to be. Every day the website posts a new picture related to astronomy with a description of that picture written by a professional astronomer. With the first archived photo on that website from June 16, 1995, the editors of "The Universe: 365 Days" had nearly 8 years of photographs to draw on when this volume was published in May 2003. This book can be used like a calendar because that is how this book is laid out: every day of the year has an astronomy photograph, with a description of each picture.

As someone who knows very little about the universe, or astronomy, even with the descriptions next to the pictures I still wasn't always sure what I was looking at and how one picture was truly different from another. I understand that they look different and that they are pictures of very different parts of the universe, but the details are far beyond my comprehension. What is not beyond my comprehension is the fact that these are stunningly beautiful pictures. Even simple pictures that we may have seen many times before, like a picture of our planet from space, is striking and beautiful. Others are of star clusters and galaxies that are so far away and so alien that it boggles the mind to know that there are places like this out there and we really know nothing about what it would be like to travel there.

This book can be read as a calendar, where you flip the page each day and see what new photograph is waiting. It can be read like that, but I couldn't imagine only looking at one of these pictures a day. After seeing one picture, I just had to turn the page to see what wonder was waiting for me, and almost without exception, there was a wonder on every page. Beautiful space photography (though some are on Earth, and others looking out from Earth). If that sounds interesting, this collection is probably for you.

-Joe Sherry

4-0 out of 5 stars Illuminating !
Ahhh... The beauty of the universe. Do you think it just formed itself? After looking thru the marvelous photos in this book, do yourself a favor and read up on the continuing war between science and religion.
Here is an excerpt from the latest book by Dan Brown...

"Science may have alleviated the miseries of disease and drudgery and provided an array of gadgetry for our entertainment and convenience, but it has left us in a world without wonder. Our sunsets have been reduced to wavelengths and frequencies. The complexities of the universe have been shredded into mathematical equations. Even our self-worth as human beings has been destroyed. Science proclaims that Planet Earth and its inhabitants are a meaningless speck in the grand scheme. A cosmic 'accident'. Even the technology that promises to unite us, divids us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone. We are bombarded with violence, division, fracture, and betrayal. Skepticism has become a virtue. Cynicism and demand for proof has become enlightened thought. Is it any wonder that humans now feel more depressed and defeated than they have at any point in human history? Does science hold ANYTHING sacred? Science looks for answers by probing our unborn fetuses. Science even presumes to rearrange our own DNA. It shatters GOD's world into smaller and smaller pieces in quest of meaning... and all it finds is more questions.
The ancient war between science and religion is over. Science has won. But not fairly. Not by providing answers, but by so radically reorienting our society that the truths we once saw as signposts now seem inapplicable. Religion cannot keep up. Scientific growth is exponential. It feeds on itself like a virus. Every new breakthrough opens doors for new breakthroughs. Mankind took thousands of years to progress from the wheel to the car. Yet only decades from the car into space. Now we measure progress in weeks. We are spinning out of control. The rift between us grows deeper and deeper, and as religion is left behind, people find themselves in a spiritual VOID. We cry out for meaning. There is a growing trend of people who profess to believe in UFO's, engage in chanelling, spirit contact, and out-of-body experiences- all these eccentric ideas have a scientific veneer, but they are unashamedly irrational. They are the desperate cry of the modern soul, lonely and tormented, crippled by its own enlightenment and its inability to accept meaning in anything removed from technology.
Science, the 'illuminati' say, will save us. Science, I say, has destroyed us. Since the days of Galileo, the church has tried to slow the relentless march of science, sometimes with misguided means, but always with benevolent intention. Even so, the temptations are too great for man to resist. I warn you, look around yourselves. The promises of science have not been kept. Promises of efficiency and simplicity have bred nothing but pollution and chaos. We are a fractured and frantic species... moving down a path of desruction.
To science, I say this. The church is tired. We are exhausted from trying to be your signposts. Our resources are drying up from our campain to be the voice of balance as you plow blindly on in your quest for smaller chips and larger profits. You even murder unborn children in the name of research that will save lives. But it is the church that points out the fallacy of this reasoning. And all the while, you proclaim that the church is ignorant. But who is MORE ignorant? The man who cannot define lightning, or the man who does not respect its awesome power?
Show me proof that there is a God, you say. I say use your telescopes to look to the heavens, and tell me how there could not be a God. Do you not see God in your science? Have we become so spiritually bankrupt that we would rather believe in mathematical impossibility than in a power greather than us?
Whether or not you believe in God, you must admit that when people abandon their trust in a greather power, they abandon their sense of accountability. Faith, all Faiths are adomitions that there is something we cannot understand, something to which we are accountable... With faith we are accountable to ourselves, to each other, and to a higher truth. Religion is flawed, but only because MAN is flawed. Simply put, we people with faith belong to a brotherhood of imperfect simple souls wanting only to be a voice of compassion in a world rapidly spinning out of control."

~ From Angels & Demons

5-0 out of 5 stars a must have for all ages, all walks of life
This book is nothing short of phenomenal. I keep buying it for people because I know they will be enthralled. Each photograph is awe inspiring and the accompanying text just boggles the mind. You can get lost for several minutes just gazing at a single photograph, contemplating the nature of the universe. Petty concerns dissolve as you stretch your mind around the concepts so beautifully depicted. This book is a treasure to enjoy for a lifetime.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous
You know about the Astronomy Picture of the Day website, don't you? If not, check it out; I can't post the URL here but a quick search will turn it up.

This book is a collection of some of the very best pictures from that marvellous site. Most of the pictures are images of Very Cool Stuff from around the cosmos: comets whacking into Jupiter, galaxies forming, that sort of thing. And wow, it sure is _big_ out there.

The stuff close to home is fascinating enough in its own right that the book pays for itself with just the images from within our very own solar system. The shots of the other planets and their moons are culled from the various flyby missions and, naturally, they are _way_ better than anything that was available when I was a kid.

There are a few that are _very_ close to home, and these are cool too. Some show either the Earth (from orbit) or a view of its sky (during the Hale-Bopp visitation, for example). A handful are of other things entirely (including one of the most effective Magic Eye pictures I've ever seen).

They are all of them stunning, captivating, and gorgeous. If you aren't pretty much transfixed by this stuff, then you and I probably aren't from the same homeworld.

And the short commentary that accompanies each image was written by a qualified, competent astronomer. Does life _get_ any better than this?

Don't forget to visit the website, too. There are lots more images in its archives than would fit into this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing picturer after amazing picture
If you've spent some time on the Internet, you've come across the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APoD) website, run by astrophysicists Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell. Once a day they post up a space-related picture, provide a handy description. I've said to myself on several occasions, that these guys should write a book. Well, now they have.

The Universe: 365 Days is a print version of APoD, and it's one of the most gorgeous astronomy books I've ever seen. Open it up to any page: on your right is a full-page photograph, and on your left is a paragraph description about the picture. That's it, 365 pages of description/picture, rinse, repeat. Not much else to say. If you like pictures of space and astronomy, then you're going love it, page after page.

Because there are so many photographs, the authors were able to draw from a large pool of images. So, it isn't just the same old NASA/Hubble pictures that everyone uses, there are some from more obscure observatories and even amateur astronomers. There's a handy index at the back so you seek out images by topic.

I understand why they decided to go with the whole 365 days concept; it's a connection to their website. But then, it's not like you're going to read the book one day at a time, like some kind of yearlong astronomical advent calendar.

Let me just stick my drooling tongue back in my mouth for a second and let you know my complaints with the book. First, the text is really small. Unreasonably small considering that it's swimming in white space. The layout person should have been thinking about all the people who might be reading this book, and steered well away from 9 point font. My other complaint is that it feels fragile. Imagine you're holding a stack of nearly 400 photographs bound together on the left-hand side. I'm worried that it might come apart with all the use it'll get sitting on a coffee table. I'm afraid to let my kid look through it, as she'll render it into pulp in minutes.

Still, complaints aside The Universe: 365 Days is a fantastic book. Gorgeous photographs put into context by scientists who've had years of experience boiling complex concepts into handy, bite-sized write-ups. ... Read more

19. The New Physics and Cosmology Dialogues with the Dalai Lama
by Arthur Zajonc, Zara Houshmand, David Finkelstein, George Greenstein, Piet Hut, Tu Weiming, Anton Zeilinger, B. Alan Wallace, Thupten Jinpa, Bstan-Dzin-Rgya-Mtsho
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195159942
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 46014
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Book Description

What happens when the Dalai Lama meets with leading physicists and a historian? This book is the carefully edited record of the fascinating discussions at a Mind and Life conference in which five leading physicists and a historian (David Finkelstein, George Greenstein, Piet Hut, Arthur Zajonc, Anton Zeilinger, and Tu Weiming) discussed with the Dalai Lama current thought in theoretical quantum physics, in the context of Buddhist philosophy. A contribution to the science-religion interface, and a useful explanation of our basic understanding of quantum reality, couched at a level that intelligent readers without a deep involvement in science can grasp. In the tradition of other popular books on resonances between modern quantum physics and Zen or Buddhist mystical traditions--notably The Dancing Wu Li Masters and The Tao of Physics, this book gives a clear and useful update of the genuine correspondences between these two rather disparate approaches to understanding the nature of reality. ... Read more

20. Introduction to Cosmology
by Barbara Ryden
list price: $60.80
our price: $60.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805389121
Catlog: Book (2002-10-08)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Sales Rank: 300443
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Introduction to Cosmology provides a rare combination of a solid foundation of the core physical concepts of cosmology and the most recent astronomical observations. The book is designed for advanced undergraduates or beginning graduate students and assumes no prior knowledge of general relativity. An emphasis is placed on developing the readers' physical insight rather than losing them with complex math. An approachable writing style and wealth of fresh and imaginative analogies from "everyday" physics are used to make the concepts of cosmology more accessible.The book is unique in that it not only includes recent major developments in cosmology, like the cosmological constant and accelerating universe, but also anticipates key developments expected in the next few years, such as detailed results on the cosmic microwave background.For anyone interested in cosmology or astronomy. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear and useful
This book is an excellent introduction to all facets of cosmology for anyone from advanced undergraduates on. It includes a slow immersion in the key physical concepts of current cosmology theory, and broadly covers all relevent topics, as listed in the chapter headings. However, the greatest strength of this book is in the decision to forgo detailed General Relativity derivations. Instead of pages of numbing treatment of tensor math and metrics, Ryden summarizes the results of GR that are relevant to current cosmology, presenting the Friedmann equation and the Robertson-Walker metric. While this approach might infuriate purists, it allows the student to understand cosmology from a conceptual standpoint, while providing the mathematical tools necessary for analysis, and is a sufficient general introduction for any physics or astronomy student. It also provides a strong base of knowledge for those who do wish to proceed further into the details of GR. Furthermore, the conversational style of the text makes it much easier to read than any other physics textbook I have encountered. I would recommend any student (or professional) who slogged through their cosmology studies with no sense of the overall state of the field to use this book for both brushing up on the basics and as a quick reference. ... Read more

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