- Hardcover: 225 pages
- Publisher: Joseph Henry Press; First Edition edition (December 20, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0309064880
- ISBN-13: 978-0309064880
- Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 9.8 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #399,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos First Edition Edition
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Don't let the large size and lush graphics fool you--One Universe is no coffee-table book. This grand tour explores the staggering vastness of space and the incomprehensibly tiny pieces that fit together to make our bodies, our planet, comets, and cosmic rays. Astrophysicists Neil de Grasse Tyson and Charles Liu of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and science journalist Robert Irion have teamed up to put a planetarium in a book, and while you'll have to provide your own choral background music, the images are sharp and beautiful and the accompanying text is clear and engaging. The authors clearly love their subject and their work and even the most casual reader will find the book as inescapable as a black hole.
See supernovae, eclipses, and the end of the universe in all its quiet glory--but just as your eyes are drawn to the pretty pictures, your mind will seek out the explanations and elaborations accompanying them. Tyson is well known as the director of the Hayden Planetarium and has a brilliant knack for exciting people about astronomy without condescending or diluting; in fact, his respect for the public's intelligence is one of the best features of One Universe. Whether you want to get the latest on time and space, inspire students, or (dare we say it) show off your coffee table, this is well worth checking out. --Rob Lightner
From Publishers Weekly
Startling, sparkling color photos and very accessible explanations of the laws and history of physics make this book a treat. Its pictures, clean diagrams, spiffy typography and bite-size takes on mass and energy--from quarks to Coriolis effects to quasars--mark its origins in a celebration: the volume coincides with the reopening of the Hayden Planetarium at Manhattan's American Museum of Natural History. Tyson (who runs the planetarium), Liu (a physicist at the museum) and Irion (a contributing editor at Science) make the science they explain sound both awesome and painless. The authors begin and end at the cosmological level, with the Big Bang and the expanding universe; in between, they cover black holes, meteor strikes, spectral lines, particle accelerators, "gravity waves" (which astronomers might find soon), extraterrestrial life (we're still looking) and the elusive particle called the Higgs boson (ditto). The expanding universe (in which galaxies constantly move apart from one another) gets illustrated with ladybugs on the surface of a balloon. Zippy orange computer-enhanced photos show how a solar system can coalesce from "a disk of leftover material swirling around a new star." A "hyperkinetic unicyclist" helps explain Einstein's special relativity. And sandy beachside toes, shown next to a potholder and an iron pan, illustrate how nonconducting materials prevent, while conducting materials facilitate, the transmission of heat. This is a book seemingly designed more to be browsed than to be read straight through, and it might not mind just being admired (especially if it sends readers to the planetarium). A glossary and timeline can help readers learn, look up and remember the info so many physicists worked hard to discover. 30,000 first printing. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Tyson, Liu, and Irion introduce readers to 'the' golden age of astronomy (Right here. Right now) and explain the principles that govern our everyday lives, as well as the workings of the cosmos. That's quite a lot to accomplish in a book that is also a visual feast (400 full-color illustrations). However, the authors are well-suited to tackle the job. Neil de Grasse Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. Charles Liu is an astrophysicist at the Museum. Robert Irion is a free-lance journalist, and a contributing editor and correspondent to Astronomy and Science.
Using everyday analogies (as opposed to mathematical formulae), the authors take us on a journey through our universe, from the infinitesimal to the infinite. Here is an example illustrating Newton's second law of motion:
"Imagine standing behind two people wearing roller skates. One is a 90-pound ballerina, and the other is a sumo wrestler who weighs five times as much. If you push on each person with equal force (and tact), you will accelerate the ballerina five times more quickly. That ratio holds true in space as well."
"One Universe" includes an illustrated timeline of the major advances in astronomy and physics, from Democritus to Hale-Bopp.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
grammar school or early high school. It has a thorough
explanation of the color band, motion and energy.Read more