The Universe in Your Hand: A Journey Through Space, Time and Beyond (Main Market Ed.) by Christophe Galfard, 9781447284086
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Mr. Galfard's jaunty, you-are-there narrative invites us to hitch a ride on a light beam, zoom through an atom and plant our disembodied consciousness within the hellfire of the Big Bang. A onetime Ph.D. student of Stephen Hawking's, he is a loquacious tour guide with an arch sense of humor, as in his proposition that the extinction of the dinosaurs stemmed from their ignorance of theoretical physics ... In turn come chapters on quantum mechanics, the origin of space and time, quantum gravity, black holes, parallel universes, dark matter and dark energy, cosmic inflation, and string theory-in short, an epic feast of modern physics. As portioned out by Mr. Galfard, the information goes down easily. Wall Street Journal Galfard dispenses with mathematical formulas in this foray into modern physics, making a lively imagination the only portal necessary for general readers hungry for the intellectual excitement of astral and atomic exploration. In a series of mind-stretching thought experiments readers plunge into the hydrogen atom in a water molecule, there to contemplate the quantum fields that sustain all matter, then shoot out beyond supernovas to ponder the strangely opaque boundary of space-time ... these probes into the universe will thrill readers but rarely perplex them ... Galfard leaves exhilarated readers eager to share in the forthcoming discoveries. Booklist, Starred Review Entertaining and comprehensive ... The deft and dazzling imagery makes difficult concepts accessible, streamlining the progression through topics and fulfilling Galfard's promise to 'not leave any readers behind'... Readers looking to expand their knowledge of physics and cosmology will find everything they need here. Publishers Weekly, Starred Review How can we ever hope to fully grasp the infinite complexities of space and time, or even the very nature of reality itself? Thankfully, Christophe Galfard shows us the way, through a well-written and thoroughly approachable journey through what we know of modern astronomy and physics. Part personal conversation, part travelogue, and part science primer for the non-scientist, The Universe in Your Hand is a delightful and highly educational read. -- Jim Bell, author of The Interstellar Age and Postcards from Mars If Ms. Frizzle were a physics student of Stephen Hawking, she might have written The Universe In Your Hand, a wild tour through the reaches of time and space, from the interior of a proton to the Big Bang to the rough suburbs of a black hole. It's friendly, excitable, erudite, and cosmic. -- Jordan Ellenberg, New York Times bestselling author of How Not To Be Wrong A useful book for readers to visualize the complex ideas of modern physics. Kirkus Reviews
About the author
Christophe Galfard holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cambridge University, where he was Professor Stephen Hawking's graduate student from 2000 to 2006, researching the so-called black hole information paradox. He is the author of three novels and was co-author with Stephen Hawking and his daughter of their first YA novel, which has now been sold in more than 45 territories. Christophe now devotes his time to spreading modern scientific knowledge to the general public, and is a regular contributor to French TV and radio shows.
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