From the creator of the wildly popular xkcd, What If? gives hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions. How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living?
"Amazing book for Geeks"
In one of the most exciting and accessible explanations of The Theory of Relativity in recent years, Professors Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw go on a journey to the frontier of 21st century science to consider the real meaning behind the iconic sequence of symbols that make up Einstein's most famous equation, exploring the principles of physics through everyday life.
"Relatively easy relativity."
"It doesn't take an Einstein to understand modern physics," says Professor Wolfson at the outset of these 24 lectures on what may be the most important subjects in the universe: relativity and quantum physics. Both have reputations for complexity. But the basic ideas behind them are, in fact, simple and comprehensible by anyone. These dynamic and illuminating lectures begin with a brief overview of theories of physical reality starting with Aristotle and culminating in Newtonian or "classical" physics. After that, you'll follow along as Professor Wolfson outlines the logic that led to Einstein's profound theory of special relativity and the simple yet far-reaching insight on which it rests. With that insight in mind, you'll move on to consider Einstein's theory of general relativity and its interpretation of gravitation in terms of the curvature of space and time.From there, you'll embark on a dazzling exploration of how inquiry into matter at the atomic and subatomic scales led to quandaries that are resolved-or at least clarified-by quantum mechanics, a vision of physical reality so profound and so at odds with our experience that it nearly defies language.By bringing relativity and quantum mechanics into the same picture, you'll chart the development of fascinating hypotheses about the origin, development, and possible futures of the entire universe, as well as the possibility that physics can produce a "theory of everything" to account for all aspects of the physical world. But the goal throughout these lectures remains the same: to present the key ideas of modern physics in a way that makes them clear to the interested layperson.
"Pitched at just the right level, very engaging."
In this thrilling journey into the mysteries of our cosmos, best-selling author Michio Kaku takes us on a dizzying ride to explore black holes and time machines, multidimensional space and, most tantalizing of all, the possibility that parallel universes may lay alongside our own.
Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy, and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist.
"Test Your Little Grey Cells"
A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. His challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. It's not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know.
"I love it"
Time rules our lives, woven into the very fabric of the universe-from the rising and setting of the sun to the cycles of nature, the thought processes in our brains, and the biorhythms in our day. Nothing so pervades our existence and yet is so difficult to explain. But now, in a series of 24 riveting lectures, you can grasp exactly why - as you take a mind-expanding journey through the past, present, and future, guided by a noted author and scientist.
"Everything you ever wanted to know about time..."
The Great Courses has produced thousands of lectures that have introduced millions of lifelong learners to some of the biggest and most fascinating ideas that humans have ever thought. Now, enjoy 36 lectures specially curated from some of our most popular courses and get an interesting learning experience across a wide range of disciplines.
For more than 30 years, Richard P. Feynman's three-volume Lectures on Physics has been known worldwide as the classic resource for students and professionals alike. Ranging from the most basic principles of Newtonian physics through such formidable theories as Einstein's general relativity, superconductivity, and quantum mechanics, Feynman's lectures stand as a monument of clear exposition and deep insight.
Throughout history, thinkers from mathematicians to theologians have pondered the mysterious relationship between numbers and the nature of reality. In this fascinating book, Mario Livio tells the tale of a number at the heart of that mystery: phi, or 1.6180339887.... This curious mathematical relationship, widely known as "The Golden Ratio", was discovered by Euclid more than 2,000 years ago. Since then it has shown a propensity to appear in the most astonishing variety of places.
In the 16th century, Nicolaus Copernicus dared to go against the establishment by proposing that Earth rotates around the Sun. Having demoted Earth from its unique position in the cosmos to one of mediocrity, Copernicus set in motion a revolution in scientific thought. This perspective has influenced our thinking for centuries. However, recent evidence challenges the Copernican Principle, hinting that we do in fact live in a special place, at a special time, as the product of a chain of unlikely events.
Would you like to know how the universe works? Scientists have been asking that question for a long time and have found that many of the answers can be found in the study of particle physics, the field that focuses on those impossibly tiny particles with unbelievably strange names - the hadrons and leptons, baryons and mesons, muons and gluons - so mystifying to the rest of us.
Science starts to get interesting when things don''t make sense. Even today, there are experimental results that the most brilliant scientists can neither explain nor dismiss. In the past, similar anomalies have revolutionised our world: in the 16th century, a set of celestial irregularities led Copernicus to realise that the Earth goes around the sun and not the reverse. In 13 Things That Don''t Make Sense, Michael Brooks meets thirteen modern-day anomalies that may become tomorrow''s breakthroughs.
"Really interesting listen!"
Be an instant expert on Science and Bluff Your Way® with all those who profess to know about the subject. No experimenting required, just a sense of humour. From 'atoms' to 'ohms' and from 'the Standard Model' to 'the Twaddel', the Bluffer's Guide® to Science equips you to dazzle an audience with stunning results.
"Entertaining and clever"
In "Elemental Matters", Professor Deborah Sauder leads a comprehensive overview of chemistry, a subject that influences every aspect of daily life. Kicking off the lecture series with a revealing look at one of the planet's most vital chemicals-water-Sauder then delves into the basics of molecular structure and chemical reactions. The course concludes with an eye-opening glimpse of 21st-century applications, such as nanotechnology and energy alternatives."
With all the passion, curiosity, and precise yet lyrical prose that have marked his previous books, Alan Lightman here explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by discoveries in science, focusing most intently on the human condition and the needs of humankind. He looks at the difficult 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.
Seeking to uncover the holy grail of science, the elusive Theory of Everything that lies at the heart of the cosmos, Professor Stephen Hawking takes us to the cutting edge of theoretical physics. In a realm where truth is often stranger than fiction, he explains in layman's terms the principles that control our universe.
James Gleick explains the theories behind the fascinating new science called chaos. Alongside relativity and quantum mechanics, it is being hailed as the 20th century's third revolution.
"Riveting, but requires full attention"
In this groundbreaking new work, Professor Hawking and renowned science writer Leonard Mlodinow have drawn on 40 years of Hawking's own research and a recent series of extraordinary astronomical observations and theoretical breakthroughs to reveal an original and controversial theory.
"The Grand Design a great book but read badly!"
The discovery of the quantum - the idea, born in the early 1900s in a remote corner of physics, that energy comes in finite packets instead of infinitely divisible quantities - planted a rich set of metaphors in the popular imagination. Quantum imagery and language now bombard us like an endless stream of photons. Phrases such as multiverse, quantum leap, alternate universe, the uncertainty principle, and Schrödinger's cat get reinvented continually in cartoons and movies, coffee mugs and T-shirts, and fiction and philosophy.
What exactly constitutes an atom? How and why did the universe come into existence and how will it end? What subatomic particles go to make up the Standard Model? This essay serves as an entry point to nuclear physics and contains many useful references to other work on this and related topics. The essay also deals with other fascinating stuff.
How is it possible that the universe burst into being from the flash of a single fireball? In an age when scientific knowledge is doubling every generation, how do we reconcile the story of the universe with our spiritual roles on Earth? Join noted scientist and author Brian Swimme, PhD, on a journey to the farthest reaches of the cosmos, and learn how this exquisite "molecular dance" of vast galaxies and exploding stars also gave birth to human consciousness and a living earth.
Electrons are the simplest of sub-atomic particles yet despite being the most studied - we still know relatively little about them. This essay summarizes what some scientists have discovered about the electron and how these leptons interact with other particles. The essay also contains references to other literature on this subject.
If you move at high speed, time slows down, space squashes up and you get heavier. Travel fast enough and you could weigh as much as a jumbo jet, be flattened thinner than a CD without feeling a thing - and live forever! As for the angles of a triangle, they do not always have to add up to 180 degrees. And then, of course, there are black holes.... These are but a few of the extraordinary consequences of Einstein's theory of relativity.
For a physicist, all the world is information. The universe and its workings are the ebb and flow of information. We are all transient patterns of information, passing on the recipe for our basic forms to future generations using a four-letter digital code called DNA. In this engaging and mind-stretching account, Vlatko Vedral considers some of the deepest questions about the universe and considers the implications of interpreting it in terms of information.
Named one of "The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the Second World War" by the Times Literary Supplement, and one of the "100 Best Nonfiction" books by the Modern Library, Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a landmark of scientific thought. Written in 1962, Kuhn's book took an entirely different view of how scientists perceived and achieved changes in basic theoretical assumptions - what he termed "paradigm shifts".
"Essential reading for thoughtful people"
Quantum theory is the most revolutionary discovery in physics since Newton. This book gives a lucid, exciting, and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our understanding of the sub-atomic world. It does not disguise the problems of interpretation that still remain unsettled 75 years after the initial discoveries. The main text makes no use of equations, but there is a Mathematical Appendix for those desiring stronger fare.
The laws of thermodynamics drive everything that happens in the universe. From the sudden expansion of a cloud of gas to the cooling of hot metal - everything is moved or restrained by four simple laws. Written by Peter Atkins, one of the world's leading authorities on thermodynamics, this powerful and compact introduction explains what these four laws are and how they work, using accessible language and virtually no mathematics.
At once elegant and riveting, Sync tells the story of the dawn of a new science. Steven Strogatz, a leading mathematician in the fields of chaos and complexity theory, explains how enormous systems can synchronize themselves, from the electrons in a superconductor to the pacemaker cells in our hearts. He shows that although these phenomena might seem unrelated on the surface, at a deeper level there is a connection, forged by the unifying power of mathematics.
The ordinary atoms that make up the known universe - from our bodies and the air we breathe to the planets and stars - constitute only 5 percent of all matter and energy in the cosmos. The rest is known as dark matter and dark energy, because their precise identities are unknown. The Cosmic Cocktail is the inside story of the epic quest to solve one of the most compelling enigmas of modern science - what is the universe made of? - told by one of today's foremost pioneers in the study of dark matter.
For almost 40 years, Chet Raymo walked a one-mile path from his house to the college where he taught, chronicling the universe by observing every detail of his route with a scientists curiosity, a historians respect for the past, and a childs capacity for wonder. With each step, the landscape he traversed became richer, suggesting ever deeper aspects of astronomy, history, biology, and literature, and making the path universal in scope.
What is science? Is there a real difference between science and myth? Is science objective? Can science explain everything? This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science. Beginning with a short history of science to set the scene, Samir Okasha goes on to investigate the nature of scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, revolutions in science, and theories such as realism and anti-realism.
"A sleeper hit"
In this stunning new volume, Jim Baggott argues that there is no observational or experimental evidence for many of the ideas of modern theoretical physics: Super-symmetric particles, super strings, the multiverse, the holographic principle, or the anthropic cosmological principle. These theories are not only untrue; they are not even science. They are fairy-tale physics: Fantastical, bizarre and often outrageous, perhaps even confidence-trickery. This book provides a much-needed antidote.
Einstein and the Quantum reveals for the first time the full significance of Albert Einstein's contributions to quantum theory. Einstein famously rejected quantum mechanics, observing that God does not play dice. But, in fact, he thought more about the nature of atoms, molecules, and the emission and absorption of light - the core of what we now know as quantum theory - than he did about relativity.
"WOW what a riveting listen! A must for everyone"
In Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction , best-selling author Frank Close provides a compelling and lively introduction to the fundamental particles that make up the universe. The book begins with a guide to what matter is made up of and how it evolved, and goes on to describe the fascinating and cutting-edge techniques used to study it.
Time One tackles mankind's most baffling question: How did the world begin? After challenging old thinking about forty-seven crucial scientific problems, Time One author Colin Gillespie solves forty-five of them and comes up with a strikingly simple answer to the most perplexing question of them all: How did the world begin?
Time One takes an iconoclastic look at contemporary physics, notably relativity, quantum mechanics and string theory.
Bridging the gap between the world of science and the realm of the spiritual, Wallace, a pioneer of modern consciousness research, offers a practical and revolutionary method for exploring the mind that combines the keenest insights of contemporary physics and philosophers with the time-honored meditative traditions of Buddhism.
Written in simple and accessible language, this non-technical introduction to cosmology, or the creation and development of the universe, explains the discipline, covers its history, details the latest developments, and explains what is known, what is believed, and what is purely speculative. In addition, the author discusses the development of the Big Bang theory and more speculative modern issues, like quantum cosmology, superstrings and dark matter.
The periodic table is one of the most potent icons in science. It lies at the core of chemistry and embodies the most fundamental principles of the field. The one definitive text on the development of the periodic table by van Spronsen (1969), has been out of print for a considerable time. The present book provides a successor to van Spronsen, but goes further in giving an evaluation of the extent to which modern physics has, or has not, explained the periodic system. The book is written in a lively style to appeal to experts and interested lay-persons alike.
"Interesting but not good as audiobook"
Whether it is true or not that not more than 12 persons in all the world are able to understand Einstein's Theory, it is nevertheless a fact that there is a constant demand for information about this much-debated topic of relativity. The books published on the subject are so technical that only a person trained in pure physics and higher mathematics is able to fully understand them. In order to make a popular explanation of this far-reaching theory available, the present book was written.
Utterly beautiful. Profoundly disconcerting. Quantum theory is quite simply the most successful account of the physical universe ever devised. Its concepts underpin much of the 21st-century technology that we now take for granted. But at the same time it has completely undermined our ability to make sense of the world at its most fundamental level.
"You should obtain a degree after listening to this"