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Universe: 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas You Really Need to Know )

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  125 ratings  ·  9 reviews

In this, the latest volume in the best selling 50 Ideas series, author Joanne Baker unravels the complexities of the universe for a general readership.

From Heliocentrism to dark matter, and from Kepler’s laws of planetary motion and orbits to Olber’s paradox and the Shapley-Curtis debate, she explains ideas at the cutting-edge of scientific enquiry, making them comprehen

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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 20th 2010 by Quercus
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Traveller
I've just sort of paged through this and read bits and pieces. It's very similar to those "dictionary of terms" books one finds about various subjects.

Being thus, it doesn't go into all that much detail about anything, of course, but i suppose it is a reasonably serviceable introduction to the subject, as are most of these '50 ideas' books.
Katherine
I enjoyed the format of this book. In it, 50 topics are explored briefly over four pages. There are also some very good explanations of difficult to understand topics in this book. However, there is also some inaccurate information and some wrong information in this book. For example, the book states that the light from the Sun reaches Earth in 8 seconds, however the correct measurement of time is actually around 8 minutes.
Somer Canon
I wrongly assumed that this was one of those fast, dirty trivia books. I eat those things for breakfast and love them. Through no fault of it's own, this book proved to be not what I was expecting. This is a book for smart people, which I am most certainly not. I learned a thing or two reading this (I almost never give up on a book once I start) but let's be honest, unless the lesson is accompanied by a bouncy tune and is narrated by a sock puppet, data like what is contained in this book will f ...more
Sian Brannan
I read this when I was 14 and it is the first Popular Science book that I ever read. I thought it was incredible! Clear and concise, yet a lot of knowledge can be gained from the book. I remember being excited by every page, which is something that does not happen often. This book is what initially inspired me to study Physics at university.
I would recommend to anyone who wants to start reading Popular Science but has no idea where to start, and would especially recommend to young people who ar
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Mark
This is a series of books sort of like the "Complete Idiot's guide to...". They are of variable quality, as you might suspect, but I thought this one did a very nice job of summarizing (summarising, actually) questions that come up that I can't quite remember the answer to, e.g. what is a Quasar?, what is the significance of the cosmic microwave background?, what is Olber's paradox, etc.
Joe
This is an incredible book. It has brief descriptions of (you guessed it) fifty of the most awesome things about the universe, and it has enough information to leave a reader content, but leaves out just enough for you to want to go and read further into every single thing. Definitely a great book to start anyone off, this whole series of books are just as good.
Phoena
Very interesting book, learned a lot. Some of it was over my head but I still enjoyed it. Some of it I already knew from watching a lot of space documentaries. I'm always enjoying learning more about the universe. It's more interesting than us mere humans!
Michael Leon
Very handy review of the big issues in cosmology, ideal backgrounder for the novel I am currently writing.
Muhammad Shafiq
useful reading for me. Tell us basic ideas about universe.
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“Why I came here, I know not; where I shall go it is useless to inquire—in the midst of myriads of the living and the dead worlds, stars, systems, infinity, why should I be anxious about an atom?” 0 likes
“The Sun contains most of the mass of the solar system (99.9 percent) in a ball whose diameter is about 100 times that of the Earth. It is about 150 million kilometers away, and light from it takes eight seconds to reach us.” 0 likes
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