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Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,944 ratings  ·  205 reviews

Welcome to the Universe is a personal guided tour of the cosmos by three of today's leading astrophysicists. Inspired by the enormously popular introductory astronomy course that Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, and J. Richard Gott taught together at Princeton, this book covers it all--from planets, stars, and galaxies to black holes, wor
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published September 29th 2016 by Princeton University Press
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Alex Shrugged I was in the 7th grade or so when I started reading stuff like this, about 13 years old. I didn't understand algebra at the time, but I could pick up …moreI was in the 7th grade or so when I started reading stuff like this, about 13 years old. I didn't understand algebra at the time, but I could pick up on the ideas. If you don't like formulas, stick with more popular books like "Origins" by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson or "Parallel Worlds" by Dr. Michio Kaku. Of course, you are trusting them to get it right as you must all your teachers.(less)
Alex Shrugged It offers the math and logic behind "Death by Blackhole". You don't have to trust what they are telling you. They lay it out so that you can do the ma…moreIt offers the math and logic behind "Death by Blackhole". You don't have to trust what they are telling you. They lay it out so that you can do the math yourself... not all the math... but enough to convince yourself that they have taken a reasonable stance. I like that. Others will not.(less)

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Let's look at this book. What can we say about it? It's got nearly 500 pages, it's nicely produced, it's got some famous names on the cover. The blurb says it's based on a popular introductory astronomy course the authors gave at Princeton. Well, that tells us something, but it doesn't tell us what we want to know. Is it any good? So let's stop for a moment and think about how we might answer the question. It doesn't really make any sense unless we have something to compare it with. What other b ...more
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics
Tyson, Strauss and Gott team up to give us a tutorial on our universe based on an introductory course they taught at Princeton for non-science students. The authors are more than descriptive in their discussions of the stars, planets, galaxies, other objects and phenomena. Using mostly straightforward algebra they show how things such as orbit trajectories, gravitational forces, luminosity and energy levels are calculated. I appreciate their care in explaining the meaning of the various Greek le ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction-btr
Wow, what a read, to be honest this has been the be longest it has taken me to read a nonfiction book (I started it before the date I checked in Goodreads) , also I have to recognize that this book is beyond my capabilities to properly review , all I will say is that this is not an introductory book, this is a very complex and well detailed book about everything encompassing astrophysics. If you are into the subject you will love it , but if you want to read a book about astrophysics because you ...more
Brian Clegg
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it
One of the first things a writer is encouraged to do is to be aware of his or her audience. I think it's interesting that this book, like many written by physicists, mostly has comments on the back from physicists, because the book is written as if they were the audience. Not as serious reading - more the equivalent of a heavy literary fiction reader indulging in a bit of Agatha Christie for light relief. The trouble is that this isn't the audience it's supposed to be for. To make things worse, ...more
Yeah! Welcome to the Universe!

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The work about the cosmos done by a combo package of renowned astrophysicists.

Richard J Gott, a person widely famous for his terrific works on time travel research and applied solution of various longevity predictions using Copernican Principles.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the well known astrophysicists in the planet and also as a widely served public science educator.

Michael Strauss, an uber explorer in the field of extra galactic astronomy and obs
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, science
From 2+2 to Superstring Theory and beyond...

The preface explains that this book arises from a course run by the three authors at Princeton University – a course on the universe for non-science majors; indeed, for students who perhaps had never taken a science course before. My knowledge of science is pretty basic and my maths is, if anything, even dodgier. So although the idea of the book intrigued me, I feared it might be way over my head.

The book is divided into three sections, each written ma
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is probably the best pop-physics book that I've read. A great summary of modern astrophysics (and physics in general) plus a lot of good history. ...more
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

I finally finished! WOOT!

What an amazing read - even if the quantum stuff started sailing over my head. So many nostalgic memories of me going to the library and desperately looking for the one astronomy book I hadn’t read.

Maybe a full review later.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, cosmology
This book is an overview of modern cosmology, with explanations of things ranging from Newtonian physics to the Big Bang to string theory and the slow death of the universe. It is basically a distillation of the ideas the authors presented in an entry-level general course at Princeton. Much of it is familiar territory, but there are also in-depth explanations that are simultaneously challenging and accessible.

The ideas and concepts discussed are interesting, but the explanations are often tediou
Dan Graser
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This gorgeous introduction to several areas of physics and cosmology is perhaps the best of its kind to be published if there are even comparable works (in terms of scope, not subject matter). Richard Gott, Michael Strauss, and Neil deGrasse Tyson are all very engaging and informative writers and even though they each write their own individual chapters the book has a very even read to it, with Tyson perhaps being the most engaging of the three. You will leave this book with firmer grasp as to t ...more
Armen Grigoryan
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: space
If you want to widen your imagination of the universe then you should read this mind-blowing book
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
I’m always a fan of science books, and was equal part hesitant and excited when a friend of mine loaned me this book and told me I HAD to read it. Excited in hopes of discovering something new, apprehensive because I’ve read A LOT of science books over the years and when a book is called ‘Welcome to the Universe’, it leads me to believe it will be kind of a Universe 101 class. This ended up being correct. A great book for anyone who is looking into the science of our universe that has no previou ...more
Menglong Youk
Welcome to the Universe is one of the best astrophysics books I've read so far. Not only it includes many equations more than many other science books, but it also gives readers a thorough explanations from the history to the frontiers of astrophysics. Most of the topics are familiar to me, but the last part on anthropic principle is quite impressive. I came across the concepts of the principle before, but the scenario to which it is applied is new to me, and that's exciting.

I'm looking forward
Helen Marquis
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
A great book. This takes the really complex subject of astrophysics and turns into something anyone can appreciate and in a lot of cases, actually understand! The writing is superb - really engaging and takes us from a world that people once thought was flat, to the outer reaches of the cosmos! I'd say that this makes a great companion to "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking, as it's equally mind-bending and mind-expanding! Recommended! ...more
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“As a scientist, you must embrace the inconstancy of knowledge. You learn to love the questions themselves.”
Meg (fairy.bookmother)
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some of this stuff went way over my head, but it was interesting! And definitely better read in sections as each chapter is essentially a lecture!
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book covers a wide variety of topics around the core notion of astrophysics. Tyson, Strauss, and Gott each take chapters in turn and cover everything from gravity to photons to the infinite universe to why Pluto is no longer counted as a planet. (This last duplicates information already covered in Tyson's The Pluto Files.)

Unlike many popular books on science, Welcome to the Universe is brave enough to walk readers through the actual equations that helped develop our understanding of the sci
Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
There was a lot of math to show how discoveries were made. I don't need multiple pages explaining the evolution of an equation, but would rather be told how things were related, and move on to the discussion of the idea. It probably seems childish to complain about the amount of math in a book on astrophysics, but I found it distracting and unnecessary for a book oriented toward the layperson.

/It was my understanding there would be no math
5/23/18 I don't know if I'm just jaded but I'm starting to feel like all the astronomy I read keeps telling me the same facts and not wowing me with new ones. I'm already part of the Universe, where are the intermediate leaves?
Teun Voost
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An incredible generic introduction to Astrophysics.

First and foremost, I am not going to claim that I understood everything that's in this book. There's some parts of the book that involve mathematics which I cannot understand with my secondary school level of mathematics.
Then again I have to applaud the authors for explaining all of the various topics they discussed in such great clarity. Astrophysics deals with all of the physics involved in the study of the cosmos... which is big, infinitel
Lenny Ankireddi
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
True to the title, it is for the most part, an Astrophysical tour that takes you across solar systems, galaxies, quasars, black holes and other massive entities in the universe. However, it also deals a little bit with fundamental particles, their nature and interaction and the underlying physics that leads to the behavior of the infinitesimally small and the unimaginably large. Having read many books over the past year from Lawrence Krauss, Sean Carroll, Stephen Hawking, Max Tegmark and various ...more
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, non-fiction
Reading this book was a bit nerve-wracking for me: my relationship with physics has been a tumultuous one over the years, involving a lot of feeling somewhat stupid. However, deGrasse Tyson's nice bite-sized Astrophysics for People in a Hurry was such an easy, interesting read that I got a burst of enthusiasm and decided to try something a bit deeper, with actual, y'know, equations and stuff. So I bought this.
I was immediately too terrified to open it. See, Amazon will do you a refund if you cha
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such an entertaining and interesting book, I greatly enjoyed reading it. With Neil deGrasse Tyson, J. Richard Gott and Michael A. Strauss you not only get three of today's heavyweights in astrophysics as authors, but also three people who write interestingly, with humour and great passion about their subject.
The book aims to adress the interested layman, and while I would certainly call myself that and have read many books on the subject, I do have to say: it was still waaaay over my he
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Based on the introductory astronomy course co-taught by the authors, Welcome to the Universe is a one-volume summary of modern astronomy, from our solar system and beyond—including planets, stars, galaxies, and black holes.

I've read a lot of popular science books, and this one stands apart. I find it's content entertaining, approachable, and scientific, extremely broad in scope, but detailed enough to keep my interest. The history of astronomy and its contributors represent a significant portion
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
To say I read all of Welcome to the Universe would be inaccurate. To say I understood all of what I read would be misleading. To say I thoroughly enjoyed the book would be true.

Welcome to the Universe is an entertaining, enlightening, challenging book full of fascinating information about the universe. The book is divided into three parts each tackled primarily by one of the three authors: Tyson's Part I. Stars, Planets, and Life. Strauss's Part II. Galaxies. And Gott's Part III. Einstein and t
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to the Universe is a comprehensive guide into Astrophysics. It is a very well written book that is very factual, yet includes an occasional joke; making the book more enjoyable. Welcome to the Universe covers many territories that range all the way from the physics of time travel and wormholes to the interstellar medium and life on other planets. This is a book not for people looking for an easy read, as there are explanations involving physical formulae and other such things. The book i ...more
Tyler Horken
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Everything I was looking for. How orbits work, life cycles of stars, the Big Bang, scale of the universe, relativity, etc. All there and covered fairly accessibly but probably quite a bit more than most everyday joes with a garden variety interest in space are looking for. It gets progressively more difficult to grasp the concepts in each chapter, and by the end I was pretty well lost, but in a way that makes me want to keep at it - you can tell there are some mind blowing epiphanies in there, i ...more
Nathan Robillard
I really enjoyed this book. Personally, I think that this book is much better than the newer one that Neil Tyson wrote. This one goes more in depth with some of the topics. This book is much more advanced and I find it to be more interesting. Every time I read a book of his I find myself learning more and more each time. This book is very good for people who enjoy astrophysics, and why the universe does the things it does.
Ramon van Dam
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very impressive work about astrophysics that is both broad and comprehensible. The examples given by the three authors are all very relevant and the math (which plays a huge role in several chapters) is explained clearly. Highly recommended as a companion to widely known books such as A Brief History of Time.
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Neil deGrasse Tyson was born and raised in New York City where he was educated in the public schools clear through his graduation from the Bronx High School of Science. Tyson went on to earn his BA in Physics from Harvard and his PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia.

Tyson's professional research interests are broad, but include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our

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