The Hunt for Vulcan
And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe
Hardcover ISBN: 0812998987
Recounts the story of the fifty-year-search by top scientists for the "missing" planet Vulcan and Albert Einstein's remarkable proof of the Theory of Relativity, a theory that ended the search for the hypothetical planet.
Packing for Mars
The Curious Science of Life in the Void
1st Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0393068471
Describes the weirdness of space travel, answers questions about the long-term effects of living in zero gravity on the human body, and explains how space simulations on Earth can provide a preview to life in space.
The Physics of Star Wars
The Science Behind a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Paperback ISBN: 1507203306
Explore the physics behind the world of Star Wars, with engaging topics and accessible information that shows how we’re closer than ever before to creating technology from the galaxy far, far away—perfect for every Star Wars fan! Ever wish you could have your very own lightsaber like Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi? Or that you could fly through space at the speed of light like Han Solo and Poe Dameron? Well, those ideas aren’t as outlandish as you think. In The Physics of Star Wars, you’ll explore the mystical power of the Force using quantum mechanics, find out how much energy it would take for the Death Star or Starkiller Base to destroy a planet, and discover how we can potentially create our very own lightsabers. The fantastical world of Star Wars may become a reality!
Biography of a Star
Hardcover ISBN: 1937994198
Our sun is one star among 50 billion in the galaxy. Our galaxy is only one among 50 billion in the universe. With a vastness this incomprehensible, it is easy to feel like we are mere specks of sand on an endless shore. But our sun is special. Though roughly 150 million kilometers separate us, we could not be more connected. Literally, everything you see comes from the sun. The words you are reading now are really photons that left the sun about 8 minutes ago only to bounce off this page and into your eyes. We owe our very existence to our sun. It provides just enough heat to keep our fragile bodies from freezing to ice or burning to a crisp. Every bite of food we eat we owe to the sun, whose energy is converted into plants that provide sustenance for everything up the food chain. We have understood the sun’s importance for millennia. The earliest humans, awestruck by its blazing splendor, left drawings of the sun on cave walls. Nearly every civilization, no matter where it sprang up on the planet, has revered the sun. Myths about the sun were the basis of the earliest deities of ancient Sumerian, Hindu, Egyptian, Chinese, and Meso-American cultures. Before Apollo, the ancient Greeks worshiped the sun-god Ares. Before Zeus, the ancient Romans worshiped Sol. Throughout our history, the sun has been central to humanity’s quest for meaning in the universe. But our history has been a brief moment in our sun’s 4.5 billion year life. Only recently, through advances in science and technology, have we begun to understand our sun - where it came from, how it functions, how it affects our lives and how it eventually will destroy our planet. Our Sun is a comprehensive, easy-to-understand guide to everything we know about our closest star. Illustrated with stunning pictures from NASA’s newly-launched Solar Dynamics Observatory, Our Sun will reveal the science behind the sun, trace its impact on human history, and reveal its growing importance to our future way of life.
The Quantum Universe
And Why Anything That Can Happen, Does
Paperback ISBN: 0306821443
The Quantum Universe brings together two authors on a brilliantly ambitious mission to show that everyone can understand the deepest questions of science. But just what is quantum physics? How does it help us understand the universe? Where does it leave Newton and Einstein? And how - for all its apparently counter-intuitive ideas - can we be sure that the theory is good? The bizarre behaviour of the atoms and energy that make up the universe has lead to some woolly pronouncements on the nature of all interconnectedness - but Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw reveal the simple and understandable theories that allow for concrete, yet astonishing, predictions about the world around us. From entangled twins to the incredible double-slit experiment, The Quantum Universe will give every reader the most up-to-date picture of that amazing subatomic world, where thousands of years of physics must be rewritten completely.
Here Be Dragons
The Scientific Quest for Extraterrestrial Life
Paperback ISBN: 019514600x
In Here Be Dragons, astronomer David Koerner and neurobiologist Simon LeVay offer a scientifically compelling and colorful account of the search for life beyond Earth. The authors survey the work of biologists, cosmologists, computer theorists, NASA engineers, SETI researchers, roboticists, and UFO enthusiasts and debunkers as they attempt to answer the greatest remaining question facing humankind: Are we alone? From their "safe haven of skepticism" the authors venture into the "rough seas of speculation," where theory and evidence run the gamut from hard science to hocus pocus. Arguing that the universe is spectacularly suited for the evolution of living creatures, Koerner and LeVay give us ringside seats at the great debates of Big Science. The contentious arguments about what really happens in evolution, the acrimonious UFO controversy, and the debate over intelligence versus artificial intelligence shed new light on the wildly divergent claims about the universe and life's place in it.
The Accidental Universe
The World You Thought You Knew
Paperback ISBN: 034580595x
“Alan Lightman brings a light touch to heavy questions. Here is a book about nesting ospreys, multiple universes, atheism, spiritualism, and the arrow of time. Throughout, Lightman takes us back and forth between ordinary occurrences—old shoes and entropy, sailing far out at sea and the infinite expanse of space. “In this slight volume, Lightman looks toward the universe and captures aspects of it in a series of beautifully written essays, each offering a glimpse at the whole from a different perspective: here time, there symmetry, not least God. It is a meditation by a remarkable humanist-physicist, a book worth reading by anyone entranced by big ideas grounded in the physical world.
Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs
The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe
Paperback ISBN: 0062328506
In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist andNew York Times bestselling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven’s Dooruses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth. Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? InDark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs. Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings—established and speculative—regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos’ history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.
Our Path to a New Home in the Planets
Hardcover ISBN: 0804197970
A leading planetary scientist and an award-winning science writer present a chronicle of the developments and initiatives that have transformed the idea of space colonization into an achievable goal, sharing arguments in favor of targeting Saturn's moon, Titan.