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  • ISBN: 9780231075602
  • ISBN10: 023107560X

Universe Down to Earth

by Neil De Grasse Tyson

  • List Price: $85.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 05/01/1994
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Description
This witty, often amusing exploration of the physical universe explains fundamental concepts in a language that is clear even to those with little or no science background. Tyson transforms everyday experiences into venues of cosmic enlightenment as he probes the philosophy, methods, and discoveries of science, including stellar evolution, the conservation of energy, the electromagnetic spectrum, gravity, and thermodynamics. Beginning with the history of counting, Tyson takes us up and down the number line from picometers to light-years as he demonstrates the universality of mathematics. We then learn about the scientific method and its importance not only to cutting-edge researchers but also to laypeople like television advertisers, who use it in commercials to prove the worth of products that lift stains, eradicate "ring-around-the-collar", and absorb "excess stomach acid". Tyson deftly demystifies astronomical terms and concepts such as the Big Bang, black holes, redshifts, syzygy, and Kirkwood Gaps; traces the life of the stars from birth to death; presents the Periodic Table of Elements, highlighting noteworthy elements such as titanium, iron, and hydrogen; gives an unorthodox yet entertaining tour of famous constellations; and tackles modern-day astrology. Universe Down to Earth makes vivid analogies between scientific laws and household items such as oven-baked pies, tossed tomatoes, and lightbulbs, as well as amusement park rides, Hollywood films, and junk food. Consequently, each idea presented etches delightful impressions on the reader's mind. Bringing demonstrations of the principles of nature into the living room, Tyson writes in a lucid, easygoing style that finally makesscientific literacy possible for enthusiasts and those with math and science phobias alike.
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