Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Hardback

By (author) Neil Degrasse Tyson

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  • Publisher: WW Norton & Co
  • Format: Hardback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 208mm x 36mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 13 February 2007
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0393062244
  • ISBN 13: 9780393062243
  • Sales rank: 90,076

Product description

Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. Here, Tyson compiles his favorite essays across a myriad of cosmic topics. The title essay introduces readers to the physics of black holes by explaining the gory details of what would happen to your body if you fell into one. "Holy Wars" examines the needless friction between science and religion in the context of historical conflicts. "The Search for Life in the Universe" explores astral life from the frontiers of astrobiology. And "Hollywood Nights" assails the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right. Known for his ability to blend content, accessibility, and humor, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies some of the most complex concepts in astrophysics while simultaneously sharing his infectious excitement about our universe.

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Author information

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, director of the world-famous Hayden Planetarium, a monthly columnist for Natural History, and an award-winning author. He has begun production of a new Cosmos series, premiering in early 2013. He lives in New York City.

Review quote

"...even more worthwhile for its sense of adventure and for showing just what science - imagination constrained by evidence - can tell us." Martin Ince, The Times Higher Education Supplement "...the excitement glows from every page." New Scientist"

Editorial reviews

A collection of the author's astronomy columns from Natural History.Astrophysicist Tyson (Origins, 2004, etc.), director of the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium, groups his essays into several broad categories. The first, "The Nature of Knowledge," includes pieces on how science has grown because of extensions to our senses via instruments that collect data none of us could otherwise obtain; one essay shows what can be learned by measuring and making calculations from a stick poked into the ground. "The Knowledge of Nature" looks at basic astronomical facts: the planets, the asteroids, the points where gravity holds an object in orbit. "Ways and Means of Nature" discusses natural constants such as the speed of light and the surprisingly complicated question, "What color are the objects around the universe?" (Many published astronomical photographs show colors that correspond not to what an observer in space might see, but to phenomena the astronomer wishes to display graphically, such as the relative temperature of the objects portrayed.) "The Meaning of Life" addresses various conditions that seem to be necessary for life to evolve in a planetary system, including the "Goldilocks" question of the right temperature to allow liquid water on a planet's surface. "When the Universe Turns Bad" discusses cosmic disasters, notably the earth's being incinerated as the sun becomes (in several billion years) a red giant. "Science and Culture" looks at the sometimes uncomprehending reaction of the public to theories and discoveries; in Tyson's opinion, a wider knowledge of simple math might solve many of the most bizarre responses. Finally, "Science and God" touches on those areas where science and religion appear to compete for the same turf: notably, the origin of the universe, and whether it betrays evidence of design.Smoothly entertaining, full of fascinating tidbits and frequently humorous, these essays show Tyson as one of today's best popularizers of science. (Kirkus Reviews)