- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; Revised edition (July 10, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465002048
- ISBN-13: 978-0465002047
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Physics of Star Trek Revised Edition
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What warps when you're traveling at warp speed? What's the difference between the holodeck and a hologram? What happens when you get beamed up? What is the difference between a Wormhole and a Black Hole? What is antimatter and why does the Enterprise need it?
Discover the answers to these and many other fascinating questions as a renowned physicist and deicated Trekker explores The Physics of Star Trek. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Even those who have never watched an episode of Star Trek will be entertained and enlightened by theoretical physicist Krauss's adventurous investigation of interstellar flight, time travel, teleportation of objects and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Case Western Reserve professor Krauss maintains that Star Trek's writers were sometimes far ahead of scientists?and famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking's foreword, endorsing the possibilities of faster-than-light travel and journeying back in time, supports that notion. On the other hand, Krauss also argues that the show is riddled with bloopers and huge improbabilities, as when the Voyager's crew escapes from a black hole's interior. This informal manual for Trekkers offers a porthole on the wonders of the universe as it ponders the potential existence of aliens, "wormholes" that allow astronauts to tunnel through space, other dimensions and myriad baby universes. $75,000 ad/promo; BOMC and QPB alternates; Astronomy Book Club dual main selection; Library of Science, Natural Science Book Club and Newbridge Computer Book Club alternates.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Yet as Krauss points out, that does not stop discussion of the latest ‘Trek’ over coffee the following day, such as this:
‘ By the same token, not just light but all massless radiation must travel at the speed of light. This means that the many types of beings of “pure energy” encountered by the Enterprise, and later by the Voyager, would have difficulty existing as shown. In the first place, they wouldn’t be able to sit still. Light cannot be slowed down, let alone stopped in empty space. ‘
Krauss, Lawrence M.. The Physics of Star Trek (p. 29). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.
So, those Zetarians or Dal’Rok would have correspondingly slowed senses of time in comparison to ours. He gives credit to the writers for those concepts they do right, and mentions where our current theories could support such plot devices.
This volume must be read by all scify buffs. 5 Stars.
Unfortunately, when reading Krauss' defining contribution to pop culture science, one can't help but picture the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons attempting to correct writers on continuity within the Radioactive Man mythology. Instead of focusing on what Star Trek got right, and how Star Trek has inspired science and the appreciation of science, Krauss is more apt to focus on the negatives. Unlike science writers such as Michio Kaku who look at the science fiction and dare to dream about how such things could be done given our knowledge of the potential trajectory of science today, Krauss boxes himself in and shoots down almost every piece of Star Trek technology based on the economics of energy. Although one can appreciate the pragmatism of looking at energy costs, Krauss doesn't dare to dream of advances in energy technology or physics that could make this possible. He walks a fine line between pragmatism and pessimism, and more often than not, falls over that edge.
It's interesting to think that a man who would rather send robots to space than men would pursue writing a book about Star Trek, but his very hesitancy to support a manned space mission carries some of the same personality that is apparent throughout his book. One could assume that the negativity found within its pages is highly influenced by his personality rather than solely the science.
Although a fun read (and the final chapter discussing science bloopers is very entertaining due to its light-hearted jabbing - the only chapter that doesn't come across as a bit condescending), the book suffers from being light on actual Star Trek information (it simply uses Star Trek to begin a lengthy talking point of in-depth physics), and lacks the enthusiasm and forward-thinking that has made physicists such as Michio Kaku and Brian Greene so popular. It is also unfortunate that a reader today will probably see this book as a rehash of topics that have been covered better in Science Channel programs such as Through the Wormhole and Sci Fi Science, and PBS series' such as Fabric of the Cosmos. Just keep in mind that the original edition of this book not only pre-dates those shows, but helped set the table for them.