Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist.What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.But today, few of us have time to contemplate the co...

Title:Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0393609391
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:222 pages

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Reviews

  • Trish
    May 21, 2017

    This book, as its author, is difficult to rate.

    I am always happy to see "normal" people like me interested in sciences instead of not caring or just accepting what they are told instead of questioning and discovering for themselves. Naturally, we can't all be scientists of the first grade, having deep knowledge of every aspect of the natural world (or technology or whatever). However, curiosity only killed the proverbial cat - in reality, it's vital and good.

    Many people feel clubbed to death, h

    This book, as its author, is difficult to rate.

    I am always happy to see "normal" people like me interested in sciences instead of not caring or just accepting what they are told instead of questioning and discovering for themselves. Naturally, we can't all be scientists of the first grade, having deep knowledge of every aspect of the natural world (or technology or whatever). However, curiosity only killed the proverbial cat - in reality, it's vital and good.

    Many people feel clubbed to death, however, when you start conversations about black holes and the theory of relativity, which is not too hard to understand. It's the problem with many teachers, professors, and other lecturers: they lack the charisma to hold people's attention. What is more, if you can't explain something in layman's terms, don't bother.

    NDT is one of those rare people, who do not only know what they are talking about (more about that further down), but also have a very unique way of HOW he explains phenomena. Some people even call him a rock star of science. And that is where the problems begin.

    Many people are of the opinion that we should leave science to the experts, much like the Vatican wants us to leave faith to the priests/cardinals/popes and just blindly accept what they put in front of us and that people like NDT are counterproductive by "dumbing" complex matters down (funnily enough, the people complaining are NOT scientists themselves). I, as you probably have guessed, disagree.

    Yes, compromises have to be made when explaining highly complex matters like the beginning of the universe (as much as we know about it at least) to people without any science degree. Nevertheless, the easy way is not always the right way (yes, I just quoted Dumbledore in a review about a science book but I think NDT would approve).

    As long as people are interested and learn, we - as a society - can only gain from that. Many discoveries have not necessarily been made by people who already had big names or held titles in their respective fields. And even if it only serves to make someone infect their children with a natural thirst for knowledge, it's worth it (when I look around day after day, I see enough people who enjoy sticking their heads in the sand because it's easier to let others do the work for them).

    Admittedly, even I (very interested in all sciences and reading a lot about different fields) only know half-truths because some things are too difficult to understand by simply reading about them. But knowing half is better than not knowing at all. Especially since it results in me constantly wanting to learn more.

    So to all people criticizing NDT and people like him, I say this: keep in mind that the guy is a graduate from the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, then went and got a BA in physics from Harvard and a PhD in astrophysics from Columbia, before being with the American Museum of Natural History (NYC) and serving as their Director of the Hayden Planetarium. He knows what he's talking about.

    The fact that he's a funny guy who can break down the most complex things into an interesting narrative is an added bonus!

    This book then is his introduction to the topic of astrophysics. In my opinion, even young teenagers can read it. Make no mistake, it's not even scratching the surface, but only tickling it. However (and this is vitally important), it does so in a way that makes you get hundreds of books of secondary literature and really start digging into the respective topics discussed in the 12 chapters of this book. And THAT is how you catch 'em and reel them in! Really, it's a stroke of genius if you think about it. :D

    NDT plays his cards right. He knows he's charismatic and he knows that people like listening to him because he makes them laugh in an intelligent way. Just look at this photo from the cover:

    Yep, playing the rock star card. Big-time. But so what?! He's playing to his strengths and we're all benefitting from it!

    I've seen a few interviews with him, my favourite being when he dismantles someone who verbally attacks him (idiot) about GMOs. Bwahahahahaha! This man's mind is as sharp as a whip and as far as I can tell from what I've seen/listened to/read from him (I'm following his podcast too), he's never been wrong with what he told people. So yeah, I'll read more about the topics in this book and I'll read more of NDT's books. Sometimes it takes a rock star to make you care about the sincere topics.

  • Jessica Rodrigues
    Apr 05, 2017

    Imagine you are standing with your face up and your mouth wide open underneath a waterfall of Skittles.

    At first, a few Skittles get into your mouth and you can taste them. Awesome, you think. I love Skittles.

    Then, the Skittles become overwhelming, as more and more try to force themselves in, and millions and millions puddle around your feet, piling up past your knees.

    That's kind of how this was.

    I'm all about learning new things, but there were SO MANY FACTS IN SUCH A SMALL SPAN. By the time I h

    Imagine you are standing with your face up and your mouth wide open underneath a waterfall of Skittles.

    At first, a few Skittles get into your mouth and you can taste them. Awesome, you think. I love Skittles.

    Then, the Skittles become overwhelming, as more and more try to force themselves in, and millions and millions puddle around your feet, piling up past your knees.

    That's kind of how this was.

    I'm all about learning new things, but there were SO MANY FACTS IN SUCH A SMALL SPAN. By the time I hit page twenty, I realized I was mentally absent as my eyes and mind processed words but failed to commit those words to actual thought.

    I wanted to love this book. I want you to love this book.

    Alas, I just felt overwhelmed.

    I recommend this book, but read it slowly and in small sittings. As a person in a hurry, I tried to plow through it all at once and became lost.

  • Amanda
    Mar 19, 2017

    ***I received an advance reader copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review***

    I love Neil deGrasse Tyson and the way he so easily puts concepts into terms regular people can understand. I love how excited he gets about the universe. This short and simple book is a great intro to our place in the universe.

    Also, watch the documentary "We are Stars" at your local planetarium if you get the chance (this book and that documentary go very well together).

    I ❤ science!

  • Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
    Apr 12, 2017

    This is everything it says on the tin. As a bit of background - I haven't yet read any of Tyson's other books. My science background is limited to high school science classes that weren't even as advanced as physics/bio/chem, though we did have a few good sessions on forensics... I have a friend who is an astrophysicist and I read some science fiction books... and that's it. So keeping all that in mind - I was able to not only understand this book, but enjoy it. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, from what we

    This is everything it says on the tin. As a bit of background - I haven't yet read any of Tyson's other books. My science background is limited to high school science classes that weren't even as advanced as physics/bio/chem, though we did have a few good sessions on forensics... I have a friend who is an astrophysicist and I read some science fiction books... and that's it. So keeping all that in mind - I was able to not only understand this book, but enjoy it. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, from what we already know of his excellent shows and cameos on tv, has a way of spinning massive theories into something you can understand over a cup of tea and half your attention.

    It is utterly amazing how the universe works - he explains something so utterly cosmic and then says 'a trillionth of a second has passed since the beginning', which is just mind blowing.

    It's a short book at 140 or so pages, and the chapters are short, which makes it a book you can pick up and put down when you have the mental space to breathe around it and absorb - for me, at least, with my previously mentioned lack of scientific background. Because it's so short it's a little hard to review - though that could also be because it's hard to share the amazing things you learn in this book without basically copy-pasting entire sections.

    I can say it's fast-paced, well worded, easily accessible, and I highly recommend.

  • Tulay
    May 10, 2017

    Just spend a half a day with this book, time you spend, reading or listening won't be wasted.

    From the big bang 14 billion years ago, to today. Milky way was formed 9 billion years ago, how it was named? How the planes and asteroids was named? How we fit in the universe, or the universe within us? Kuiper belt and Pluto, and wonder are we all Martians.

  • Ivan
    May 11, 2017

    Short and sweet introduction to astrophysics. Science was bit basic for me as I posses some knowledge of the subject but it's perfect gift for my nephew who has shown interest and keeps asking me to explain this stuff to him. Neil deGrasse Tyson is great with words and simple explanations of complicated things. His writing style is fun and even funny at times and makes all of this sound incredibly cool. That in combination with very short length makes this book perfect if you are trying to set c

    Short and sweet introduction to astrophysics. Science was bit basic for me as I posses some knowledge of the subject but it's perfect gift for my nephew who has shown interest and keeps asking me to explain this stuff to him. Neil deGrasse Tyson is great with words and simple explanations of complicated things. His writing style is fun and even funny at times and makes all of this sound incredibly cool. That in combination with very short length makes this book perfect if you are trying to set child onto the righteous path of nerd or trying to convert an adult.

    Also I plan to get it as hardcopy for my nephew but I listened to audiobook version and Tyson's narration is just marvelous.

  • Book Roast
    Jun 06, 2017

    Absolutely stunning, entertaining &a brilliant. Highly recommend the audiobook which is narrated by the author.

  • Monnie
    Jun 11, 2017

    At my age - almost old enough to be a great-grandmother but young enough to be happy that I'm not - I won't pretend to be in a hurry to do much of anything. But ever since I was a farm kid watching a star-filled sky on a blanket in our back yard, I've wanted to know more about how it all came about. Astronomy was my favorite part of science class, and I never missed an episode of late astrophysicist Carl Sagan's

    " - nothing short of fascinating stuff, at least when it's presented in a way

    At my age - almost old enough to be a great-grandmother but young enough to be happy that I'm not - I won't pretend to be in a hurry to do much of anything. But ever since I was a farm kid watching a star-filled sky on a blanket in our back yard, I've wanted to know more about how it all came about. Astronomy was my favorite part of science class, and I never missed an episode of late astrophysicist Carl Sagan's

    " - nothing short of fascinating stuff, at least when it's presented in a way that's informative, entertaining and, most importantly, understandable to a totally nonscientific person like me.

    Needless to say, I gravitated straight toward this book. And in fact, it's very easy read; in short, to-the-point (and footnoted) chapters, topics are addressed like dark matter, dark energy and black holes as well as how planets, galaxies and other cosmic "stuff" get found. Everything is presented in a down-to-earth (so to speak) and often humorous manner. And eye-opening? Check this: "In the beginning, nearly 14 billion years ago, all the space, all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the period that ends this sentence."

    Wowsa!

    The author, an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and director of the Hayden Planetarium doesn't preach, but neither does he hesitate to tackle current hot buttons, such as those who think chemicals are the enemy of humans. Citing scientific evidence that suggests otherwise, he quips, "Personally, I am quite comfortable with chemicals, anywhere in the universe. My favorite stars, as well as my best friends, are made up of them."

    If I got nothing else out of the book, it is that we humans take ourselves way too seriously in the overall scheme of things. The author keeps things in mind-boggling perspective: At a relatively early age, he reports, he learned that more bacteria live and work in one centimeter of his colon than the number of people who have ever existed in the world.

    Here are a few other revelations (to me, at least):

    *One pound of plutonium generates 10 million kilowatt-hours of heat energy - enough to power a human being for 11,000 years "if we ran on nuclear fuel instead of grocery food."

    *Apparently, Sagan was on to something: Our galaxy contains more than 100 billion stars, and known universes have some 100 billion galaxies.

    *There are more molecules of water in an 8-ounce cup than there are cups of water in all the world's oceans. There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on any beach.

    *Einstein was a badass.

    Say what? There's a story behind that last one, but you'll just have to read the book to find out what it is. And with that, I'll end my review with a favorite quote from the book:

    "The power and beauty of physical laws is that they apply everywhere, whether or not you choose to believe in them."

Top Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.