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on March 29, 2016
Wow. I've always been fascinated with space and wanted to know more about black holes. After some online reading, it became clear that I needed to "understand" the theory of relativity. It's something I've never been able to grasp. But now I finally get it. This book is so easy read, entertaining, and it's really changed my world view. I'm not a scientist or student at all, just a curious person.
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on July 6, 2016
My husband purchased this book for our nine year old son since he is interested in science. At first, I was skeptical that he would be interested in reading it, but my husband assured me the reviews on Amazon were positive. Dad was on the right track because it was a huge hit! My son is a deep thinker, and this book has given him even more interesting ideas to think about. He will read parts out loud that he thinks are cool or funny, and he'll bring up some of the things he's read about in the book for discussion, so I know he's getting something out of it! I would definitely recommend this to science loving kids, and I would purchase it again as a gift for someone like that.
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on February 18, 2010
I have a degree in English but I admit to a healthy fascination with the physical sciences. If A User's Guide to the Universe had been published when I was in high school, that fascination may have turned into a vocational choice. In the book, Goldberg and Blomquist inject the dreaded subject of Physics with a healthy dose of humor and awe. They deliver the material how it should be delivered, heavy on the fascination and light on the math (although I dare say the two could make math fun as well!). I've read a number of popular physics books, Hawking, Feynman, etc., but none have demonstrated an understanding of their audience's trepidation as much as A User's Guide. They know where we laymen stumble and they help us through it. If you want to truly understand more about the strange universe in which we live (and beyond) and have ball along the way, this book is for you.
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on May 16, 2010
Without a doubt, this is the funniest science book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Both authors squeeze their personalities amazingly well into each and every page of the book, while maintaining a clear and logical thought process that clearly explains the various physics and astronomical topics discussed.

Should you buy this book? **YES**

The topics covered are generally considered complex: Einstein's theory of general relativity, special relativity, black holes, matter, space, the big bang theory, etc.

The authors slowly build the reader up, through a series of humorous examples and simple explanations, to the complex topics that are most interesting.

One of the other great things about this book is that the topics require no prior mathematical knowledge. While generally, one is unable to discuss general relativity without mathematics, the authors supplement this knowledge with simple examples and logical arguments which are equally effective.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I learned a lot about the formation and design of the universe(s)?, quantum mechanics, string theory, and a wide slew of other topics. It is definitely worth a read, you won't regret it.
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on March 5, 2010
I'm a smart one, but there's always been a hole (a black hole?) in my brain where physics should be. It just never made sense to my narrative-driven brain. All physics seemed to be was optics and carts going down ramps. Bo-ring. Then I picked up Goldberg and Blomquist's book, and it's like I've taken a mental quantum leap. Their funny, story-based book not only makes physics interesting and cool, but it also has made me learn (and made stuff stick). Goldberg and Blomquist take a straight-forward approach, not shying away from difficult subjects; instead, they make these topics interesting through engaging (silly) examples, comic illustrations, and a tone genuinely invested in teaching their readers about the cool abstract ideas that comprise the field. Take the time with this one -- you too can understand special relativity, why Schrodinger needed a cat. You won't be so uncertain about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, either.
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on October 12, 2016
Excellent read. Well written- complex subject matter brilliantly conveyed in laymans terms, probably very difficult to do without the math that only the 'geeks' (geniuses) understand......
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on March 29, 2010
How can a electron exist in two places simultaneously? What does space consist of? Is there a "God particle" that makes possible all other particles? Can man ever go faster than the speed of light? Do protons last forever?

If you have ever longed for the answers to questions like these, then this is THE book for you. The authors have done a good job explaining many confusing concepts of Physics in the language understandable to the lay-person while at the same time discussing several advanced concepts for the more curious minds. Throw in a bunch of jokes, plus amusing illustrations and voila - you have a great survival guide!
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on June 18, 2014
This book provides a good basic explanation of modern physics. It is written in an entertaining way, without math. It won't get you a degree in Physics, but you will understand what eggheads on TV are talking about.
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on March 24, 2010
As a teacher, I know that anything that is fun or funny, is learned more quickly and easily than dry, boring subject matter. This book has something that I've never seen before in a book about physics- humor! The analogies, drawings and relationship to pop culture all help to bring a tough topic down to earth and make it accessible to a wider audience. This book not only gave me greater understanding and new ways to bring this across to my students, but a lot of fun and laughs. I never thought I would say this about a physics book, but it is so engaging, I would read this book FOR FUN!! I highly recommend it to everyone.
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on April 2, 2010
This is a really fun book. It's a book about science! Dave Goldberg (a physicist) and Jeff Blomquist (an engineer with a master's in physics) are used to hearing strange questions when people at parties find out what they do for a living--so much so that they wrote this book to answer them. What happens if you fall into a black hole? Can we build a transporter like on Star Trek? If the universe is expanding, what's it expanding into? Is time travel possible? Goldberg and Blomquist tackle these and other questions with a sense of humor, explaining things in a straightforward manner and with useful and hilariously goofy examples. The book is full of entertaining and helpful illustrations, and there's only one mathematical equation in the entire thing. If you've always wanted to know more about these kinds of questions but were too intimidated to find out, then this is the book for you!

I think Goldberg and Blomquist really did a good job of sticking to their mission and distilling complex scientific concepts for the (slightly smarter than) average reader. I haven't seen the inside of a science lab in a good 10+ years, but I was able to follow along with just about everything. Overall, the authors make serious science approachable, understandable, and fun.

This book made me laugh out loud on the train, got Foreigner stuck in my head all day, and I even learned something. Highly recommended for the science-curious.
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