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Wonders of the Universe (Wonders Series) First Edition Edition

64 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0062110541
ISBN-10: 0062110543
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Editorial Reviews


“It’s as wonderful as the Universe!” (Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report)

“Cox brings a magical enchantment to this life-changing book. . . . Mindblowing . . . . I swear that you will never be the same again after you turn the last page of this unique and irresistible book.” (Sunday Express (London))

“Cox effortlessly explains the most complex and fundamental scientific truths. . . . His aim it to get all of us to understand our place in the cosmos.” (Sunday Times (London))

From the Back Cover

Experience our universe as you've never seen it before

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

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


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Product Details

  • Series: Wonders Series
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Design; First Edition edition (July 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062110543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062110541
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Brian Cox, PhD, is a leading particle physicist and professor at the University of Manchester, as well as a researcher on one of the most ambitious experiments on Earth, the ATLAS experiment on the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. A Royal Society research fellow, professor Cox was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2010. He is the author of Why Does E=MC² and is well known as presenter of the television series Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe. He was also the keyboard player in the UK pop band D:Ream in the 1990s.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Angela Q. on June 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I realize this book won't be released in hardcover until July 2011; however, I was able to purchase and read this book in its entirety on my Kindle and boy, did I love every second of it! If I had been forced to read this book 15 years ago in high school, I never would have appreciated it like I do today. The pictures are wonderful (too bad they aren't in color on the Kindle...) and the book is well-organized and easy to understand. Professor Brian Cox really does make science fun and interesting. In fact, I read it in the car on our road trip last week. I just couldn't put it down.

I know I'm not very good at reviewing books but I just have to tell you, if you are fascinated with the mysteries of the universe like I am - grab a copy; you won't regret it.
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Format: Hardcover
"Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people." -- Carl Sagan

Dr. Brian Cox, the particle physicist and one-time pop musician, was named best presenter; his BBC series, 'Wonders of the Solar System' was a top winner. Cox has said once before that he has been inspired by Carl Sagan's; Cosmos: A Personal Journey, which the BBC screened when he was 13 years old, hoping that he will inspire a younger generation to marvel at Earth's place in the universe. His book unfolds in four main chapters.
Starting at Luxor, Egypt, in the great Temple of Karnak, he invites the reader to watch the sunrise. Following the light, we pinpoint our place in the midst of the billions of stars in the Milky Way, looking back in time to the dawn of the Big Bang. It is amazing that the same ray of light was in the beginning. Light is amazing, it is both particles, and waves oscillating in magnetic fields, electrically propelling each other through space at such a great speed, so hard for us to comprehend how fast.

What happened before then in the earliest moment in time, as the Planck epoch lasted only a brief instant, presumably the shortest possible interval of time. At this point, approximately 13.7 billion years ago, he explains, the forces of gravity are believed to have been as strong as the other initial forces, which hints at their possible initial unity. Isaac Newton proclaimed that the gravity force between two objects is proportional to the product of their masses, but his theory of universal gravitation needed a facelift that Cox is more than willing to make, explaining what Einstein called the curvature of space-time.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Troy Parsons on August 31, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book does a really great job of putting into perspective the immense aspects of the universe, whether it be the sheer size or age of it, or even the age it will be when it dies!

However, I do wish it went a little deeper into the underlying physics of things. Professor Cox has wonderful and poetic analogies, but they can remain a little superficial, I was left thirsting for more gory details on why things are the way they are! Yet, it leaves you thirsting to know more about the astonishing nature of the cosmos. I never wanted to stop reading.

As for the Kindle version, the book is readable, but disjointed as what must be magazine-style layout in a book does not present very well on the Kindle. Many of the images are very detailed, vibrantly colored, and hence not really viewable on the Kindle. Future large-format, color readers should be great. (Check out the images on your PC)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Boris on August 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've picked this book up after reading a copy lent to me by my colleague and I must say that it's the best consolidated tour of the universe yet published. Other books have tackled subparts with more detail or more nuance, but in covering all the topics, this book is the best. Great use of photos and graphics throughout tackling issues from early cosmology through to current hypotheses on dark matter, dark energy, and the Higgs Boson. A must read for anyone interested in astronomy/astrophysics!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Beth on August 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is delightful. Like its companion video series, it is part travelogue, part history and part down and dirty mind-blowing science. To tell his story, Cox travels to thoughtfully chosen locations around the globe to draw parallels between the archeology of our planet and its interconnectedness to all that there is in the universe.

Unlike the video series, the book gives Cox a platform to dive more deeply into the stories behind the luminaries and visionaries who made scientific discoveries throughout history. Cox's respect for the scientists who came before him is very apparent, as well as his infectious enthusiasm for his chosen field. Most entries in the book are concise, well-crafted standalone stories (2-6 pages in length) that easily lend themselves to a cup of coffee, a comfy chair and an open mind.

Cox has an unassuming and conversational manner for relating complex physics to our everyday world. Reading this book is like sitting down to a dinner table with Professor Cox and having a lively discussion about the timeless mysteries of our universe. It's truly a great read for anyone with a layperson's interest in physics, space, the cosmos and how our earthly home fits into it all.
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