We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe by Jorge Cham

We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe

Prepare to learn everything we still don't know about our strange, mostly mysterious universe.PHD Comics creator Jorge Cham and particle physicist Daniel Whiteson have teamed up to spelunk through the enormous gaps in our cosmological knowledge, armed with their popular infographics, cartoons, and unusually entertaining and lucid explanations of science.In We Have No Idea,...

Title:We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0735211515
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:336 pages

We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe Reviews

  • Charlene

    Entertaining mix of text and toons. This is a great book for younger readers and those intrigued by physics but nervous or intimidated by the possibility of complicated explanations. There's no math here, but there are lots of interesting ideas--with good, vivid examples--and plenty of pop culture references and funny bits to stir up just about anyone's Sense of Wonder.

  • Travis Schwantje

    Daniel and Jorge signed a pre release copy for me, and I'm a very excited to have read it! Very funny, as expected from the creators of PhD comics. Gives a great impression of the scope of our universe and just how much we don't understand. I recommend it for anyone to read!

  • Peter Mcloughlin

    covers topics in physics and cosmology where we have a profound ignorance of what is going on. Right now we can't answer questions like what is the stuff that makes up 95% of the universe, Why do we have charmed, Strange, top and bottom quarks which don't seem to have any purpose as far as we (ordinary matter beings) are concerned. Why three plus one dimensions, What about time. What happened before the big bang. Why inflation and what drives it. If you are interested in questions where the phys

    covers topics in physics and cosmology where we have a profound ignorance of what is going on. Right now we can't answer questions like what is the stuff that makes up 95% of the universe, Why do we have charmed, Strange, top and bottom quarks which don't seem to have any purpose as far as we (ordinary matter beings) are concerned. Why three plus one dimensions, What about time. What happened before the big bang. Why inflation and what drives it. If you are interested in questions where the physicists are just as in the dark as you here is your book.

  • Jani-Petri

    Worth reading. Maybe too much focus on cosmology for my taste, but we can not have everything. 3 more words needed because of this stupid app.

  • Anna ☕

    A very lighthearted approach to some heavy questions and it's certainly solves none of them. I enjoyed the weird jokes and the fool proof examples make it a bit easier to understand the complicated science underneath. A good book to start your science quest with!

  • Jamie

    Jorge Cham is a smart guy and the creator of the PHD webcomic, which pokes gentle fun at scientists and grad students. Daniel Whiteson is another smart guy --a partical phycisist at UC Irvine. Together they wrote this book about all the stuff in the universe that smart guys like them have no idea bout.

    Well, not ALL the stuff. Mostly it's about particle physics, astronomy, and related topics. How big is the universe? Are there more than three dimensions? What is time? Is there other life out ther

    Jorge Cham is a smart guy and the creator of the PHD webcomic, which pokes gentle fun at scientists and grad students. Daniel Whiteson is another smart guy --a partical phycisist at UC Irvine. Together they wrote this book about all the stuff in the universe that smart guys like them have no idea bout.

    Well, not ALL the stuff. Mostly it's about particle physics, astronomy, and related topics. How big is the universe? Are there more than three dimensions? What is time? Is there other life out there in the universe?

    The answer to every one of these questions is the same as its title: "We have no idea." But the interesting part is figuring out WHY we have no idea, and going through the things we DO know enough about to ask the question that we have NO idea about. For each question, Cham and Whiteson do a good job of walking you through a (very) simplified version of the current state of physics. Cham also provides little drawings and single panel cartoons that vary from informative to amusing to some combination of the two. It's a pretty good physics book for non-physicists, which is to say that it holds your hand while leading you out of your depth.

    At times, though, it may go a little too far in its attempts to be approachable and funny. It seems like every third sentence is a joke, and far too many of them are predictable or repetitious. And any time there is a list of concepts or examples, you can be 100% sure that the fourth one presented will be some joke about the funny animal or concept that they have chosen for that chapter. This is the chapter with the baboon jokes. This one has llamas. For this one we're mixing it up with jokes about marshmallows. It's too much and too tame to the point where it frequently detracts from the genuinely interesting stuff being discussed. It is too much Garfield and not enough XKCD (which, now that I mention it, did a similar and, I think, funnier book called "What If...").

    But as far as books that make you feel smarter because physics and science and stuff, We Have No Idea is still pretty enjoyable if you can learn to skim past every other joke. I learned a lot about what people haven't been able to learn, to the point where I'm pretty sure that scientists 200 years from now will have figured at least some of this stuff out and look back on us like we look back on cave men. It's nice to see it coming, in a way.

  • Caidyn (BW Book Reviews)

    The reason I picked this book up was because it reminded me of

    by Bill Bryson. That book was about the known universe and the scientists behind it. Literally, chock full of hilarious anecdotes about the scientists who created/discovered things that was presented in an easy and humorous way. However, this book is about what we don't know. About how the more answers we have, the more questions crop up

    The reason I picked this book up was because it reminded me of

    by Bill Bryson. That book was about the known universe and the scientists behind it. Literally, chock full of hilarious anecdotes about the scientists who created/discovered things that was presented in an easy and humorous way. However, this book is about what we don't know. About how the more answers we have, the more questions crop up and the more that we realize we have no clue. The authors of this repeatedly emphasized that we know, about, 5% of the universe. That's it.

    So, as I said, this book is meant to be humorous. Well, it is. Definitely is. There were times that I smiled or snorted about something that they said. It was brilliantly adapted, too. Since I listened to this book, I can review only that. But, I know that this book was highly visual and probably completely full of comics. It brought some of those aspects into it with sound effects.

    However (shouldn't you expect that from me?) I found it grating after a while. The jokes were all the same, one of the things that I dislike most about books categorized as humor. I get tired of the same jokes over and over again. Usually, I try putting those books down for a bit then trying again only to find the humor still annoys me. That was the problem with this book for me. It expected itself to be funny when I simply didn't find it to be after a while.

    As for the content, it was super interesting. Black holes, dark matter, energy, gravity. Typically, I always sign myself up for books like that. But, the humor distracted me. When the authors really buckled down and didn't explain things with humor, I paid so much attention to it. If there was humor, I just spaced out.

    This book definitely has a good premise, but a bad carry out.

  • Dena

    You can't be sure what you do know, unless you know what you don't know. That is where this book is valuable to those interested in understanding the physical world.

    I love the title. One of my pet hates, is all the people who insist that they undestand how the universe works.

    My interest in theorectical physics is only slight. I am very much a practical person at heart, so I am not a natural reader for this book. Having said that I still enjoyed it because the writing is so amusing. I learned a l

    You can't be sure what you do know, unless you know what you don't know. That is where this book is valuable to those interested in understanding the physical world.

    I love the title. One of my pet hates, is all the people who insist that they undestand how the universe works.

    My interest in theorectical physics is only slight. I am very much a practical person at heart, so I am not a natural reader for this book. Having said that I still enjoyed it because the writing is so amusing. I learned a lot as well.

    The authors have a remarkable talent for simplifying complex ideas and making them accessible to the widest possible audience. I think that they could write about anything and it would be a success. Author writers and presenters could learn a lot from them.

    For a well bound hardback on a niche subject, the price is surprisingly inexpensive.

    No hesistation at all in giving it top marks. An ideal book for libraries.

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