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Bang!: The Complete History of the Universe 2nd ed. Edition
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"Highly recommended for community library astrology collections and for anyone who wants a unbiased look at the universe itself."--Midwest Book Review
"It basically takes the reader on a tour of the entire universe, and tells you everything you wants to know... It's beautifully described, accurate and they feature fantastic photography. If you like astronomy and those Hubble pictures on the Internet, don't know much but would love to learn more, this would be a great book for you."--Philip Plait "FiveBooks "
"Stunningly illustrated... breathtaking views of galaxies."--Journal for the History of Astronomy
"The scope of the book is ambitious; its hard to cram in antimatter and inflation in one chapter and then skip to planetary science and biology in the next. Still, the authors do a wonderful job tackling a broad array of cosmic subjects. This is just the kind of book that would have fired up my imagination as a kid!... In the end, Bang! is an excellent illustrated compendium for what are perhaps weightier and less accessible tomes."--AstroGuyz.com
"The story is told in clear, straightforward terms, in the strict order in which the events happened, and uses no mathematics."--Steve Goddard "History Wire - Where the Past Comes Alive "
"There's at least one rock star who knows a thing or two about real stars."--Jeff Foust "Space Review "
About the Author
Brian May is the founding guitarist of the rock band Queen and a longtime astrophysics enthusiast. He recently was awarded a Ph.D. in the field by the University of London. Patrick Moore has been studying astronomy since long before mankind made it into space and was knighted for his service to the science. He is the host of The Sky at Night, the author of more than 70 astronomy books, and the co-founder and former president of the Society for Popular Astronomy. Chris Lintott is an astrophysicist who specializes in star formation.
- Item Weight : 2.35 pounds
- Hardcover : 170 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780801889851
- ISBN-13 : 978-0801889851
- Dimensions : 9.11 x 0.77 x 11.26 inches
- Publisher : Johns Hopkins University Press; 2nd ed. edition (April 30, 2008)
- Reading level : 18 and up
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0801889855
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The scope of the book is exactly as advertised on the cover - "The Complete History of the Universe." As such it is a cosmological book, with reader-friendly (and, I think, as scientifically accurate as it is possible to be without delving into advanced mathematics) coverage of the Big Bang, expansion of the universe, the formation of the solar system, and the eventual fate of the universe. It ranges from the large (looking at the universe as a whole) to the subatomic, with a discussion of the fate of the elementary particles of which all matter is made. Ample evidence (and discussion) is devoted to the big cosmological questions: an infinitely expanding universe vs. a big crunch model, the evidence for the existence of dark matter, the relationship between time and distance, etc.
By its very nature, a book that deals this extensively with big ideas won't have much room for the details of trivial matters such as the Solar System. In my opinion this is a failing of the book - planets and their moons are barely mentioned except in groups (the "gas giants are...." or "the moons of Jupiter are...."). Extrasolar planets are essentially non-existent. Oddly, given this omission, there is a large amount of time devoted to observational astronomy - while the names of the constellations are useful (and make finding your way around the heavens), they are arbitrary groupings arising from Earth's sightlines with no real physical existence. Similarly, the sections on telescopes and observing are a little dull and go on too long.
Still, a very attractive and interesting book. Most armchair astronomers are likely to learn at least a few new things, because of the sheer breadth of the material. Even if they don't they are sure to revel in the beautiful pictures and diagrams, and gloat over the relatively cheap selling price.
I was a bit skeptical about "Bang!! The Complete History of the Universe" but intrigued as well, especially when I saw the two co-authors, Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott, and I must say that the book did not let me down. "Bang!" is a quite comprehensive, but very approachable primer on the latest 'birth of the universe' theories. Written in a highly engaging, but not simplistic, style and beautifully illustrated, it is an outstanding introduction to astrophysics for the novice and a great review of current theories for the more knowledgeable.
The fact that Dr. May's name on the cover may bring readers that would not normally pick up a book like this is just icing on the cake.
Kudos to all involved!
It deals with the universe from the first nanosecond to its theoretical end...or is it?
I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in our place in the great scheme of things. Just look at the contents and you'll understand what the book holds for you.
If I had to make a complaint it would be the paucity of illustrations.
All told. Good value.
Top reviews from other countries
I liked how the book puts forward fairly complicated astronomy and science in an easy and enjoyable way, without the feeling you're being spoken down to.
The book is ideal for a younger audience too as it's layout is striking while at the same time being useful and intuitive, there seems to be a very good reason for everything in this book. The science, the layout, the graphics and the stunning illustrations are all top class.
The book is well set out with a logical continuity of the history. It is colourful with great pictures, but many times I was left feeling a little short of detail. I guess you can start with this book as an introduction and then explore each of the topics further in other books.