"A cracking read, combining storytelling of the highest order with a trove of information. . . . What's remarkable is that it all fits together."--Wall Street Journal
"Successful science writing tells a complete story of the 'how'--the methodical marvel building up to the 'why'--and Randall does just that."--New York Times Book Review
" Randall] is a lucid explainer, street-wise and informal. Without jargon or mathematics, she steers us through centuries of sometimes tortuous astronomical history."--The Guardian
In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Professor Lisa Randall, one of today's most influential theoretical physicists, takes readers on an intellectual adventure through the history of the cosmos, showing how events in the farthest reaches of the Universe created the conditions for life--and death--on our planet.
Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city crashed into Earth, killing off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the planet's species. Challenging the usual assumptions about the simple makeup of the unseen material that constitutes 85% of the matter in the Universe, Randall explains how a disk of dark matter in the Milky Way plane might have triggered the cataclysm.
But Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs does more than present a radical idea. With clarity and wit, it explains the nature of the Universe, dark matter, the Milky Way galaxy, comets, asteroids, and impacts. This breathtaking synthesis, illuminated by pop culture references and social and political viewpoints, reveals the deep relationships among the small and the large, the visible and the hidden, as well as the astonishing beauty of the connections that surround us. It's impossible to read this book and look at either the Earth or the sky again in the same way.
This book documents the role played by USS Hornet (CVS-12) in the recovery of the Apollo 11 Command Module after its splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on 24 July 1969. The book covers a period of time leading up to the recovery of Apollo 11, from approximately 5 June - 24 July 1969, during which crewmen of USS Hornet plus specialized NASA and DoD spaceflight recovery units prepared for the recovery operation. It offers a detailed account of those preparations, drawn from both historical records and the personal memories of 80 men who served on board USS Hornet and directly participated in the recovery operation. The purpose of this book is to document for future generations the Navy's role in the successful final phase of the historic flight of Apollo 11 - the manned spaceflight which culminated in man's first walk upon another celestial body, the moon.
"A well-structured, fast-paced example of exemplary science writing."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "A short, beautifully produced book that tells a cautionary tale . . . Levenson is a breezy writer who renders complex ideas in down-to-earth language."--The Boston Globe "An inspiring tale about the quest for discovery."--Walter Isaacson "Equal to the best science writing I've read anywhere, by any author. Beautifully composed, rich in historical context, deeply researched, it is, above all, great storytelling."--Alan Lightman, author of The Accidental Universe "Levenson tells us where Vulcan came from, how it vanished, and why its spirit lurks today. Along the way, we learn more than a bit of just how science works--when it succeeds as well as when it fails."--Neil deGrasse Tyson "Science writing at its best. This book is not just learned, passionate, and witty--it is profoundly wise."--Junot Diaz
Our true origins are not just human, or even terrestrial, but in fact cosmic. Drawing on recent scientific breakthroughs and the current cross-pollination among geology, biology, astrophysics, and cosmology, Origins explains the soul-stirring leaps in our understanding of the cosmos. From the first image of a galaxy birth to Spirit Rover's exploration of Mars, to the discovery of water on one of Jupiter's moons, coauthors Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith conduct a galvanizing tour of the cosmos with clarity and exuberance.
How can you make sense of a world where no one has ever lived? Acclaimed science writer Oliver Morton tells the story of the heroic landscapes of Mars, now better mapped in some ways than the Earth itself. Mapping Mars introduces the reader to the nineteenth-century visionaries and spy-satellite pioneers, the petroleum geologists and science-fiction writers, the artists and Arctic explorers who have devoted themselves to the discovery of Mars. In doing so they have given a new world to the human imagination, a setting for our next great adventure.
With passion and curiosity, Alan Lightman explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by recent discoveries in science. He looks at the dialogue between science and religion; the conflict between our human desire for permanence and the impermanence of nature; the possibility that our universe is simply an accident; the manner in which modern technology has separated us from direct experience of the world; and our resistance to the view that our bodies and minds can be explained by scientific logic and laws.Behind all of these considerations is the suggestion--at once haunting and exhilarating--that what we see and understand of the world is only a tiny piece of the extraordinary, perhaps unfathomable whole.