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Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  147,163 ratings  ·  13,812 reviews
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 cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, wit
Hardcover, 223 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by W. W. Norton Company
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Shelli No; this a science book, not a philosophy book, therefore it "aligns" itself only with facts, and it assumes that the reader does too. It presents wha…moreNo; this a science book, not a philosophy book, therefore it "aligns" itself only with facts, and it assumes that the reader does too. It presents what we know about the beginning of the universe as agreed upon by respected mainstream scientists, sketches out how they were tested or otherwise shown to be true, traces the history of how our understanding developed over time and introduces us to the scientists who contributed to that understanding with their contributions. Whenever Dr. Tyson inserts his imaginings or conjectures, he makes that clear. (less)
Spaced Out Cosmonaut Space can expand faster then the speed of light. The Universe was expanding much faster in in the beginning. We can only see 13.7 billion light years …moreSpace can expand faster then the speed of light. The Universe was expanding much faster in in the beginning. We can only see 13.7 billion light years away, that's where space starts to expand faster then the speed of light and this expansion is increasing the further you go. So you can imagine the space expansion speed at the edge of our observable universe, is just a tiny number compared to other parts of the unobservable universe, which to our comprehension is basically infinite. Space can basically expands infinity faster then the speed of light.(less)

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Jessica Rodrigues ☕ (decafJess)
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
Rick Riordan
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ah, yes. Nothing like an astrophysics book for beginners to remind me why I’m not an astrophysicist! Even at the basic level, with Tyson’s clear, funny and accessible writing, I found a lot of these concepts WAY over my head. Nevertheless, it is fascinating stuff. My big takeaway was humility: just how small humans are in the grand scheme of things, and there is something freeing about that. It reminded me of a fake headline on The Onion news satire site that made me chuckle: Obama Reassures Ame ...more
Miranda Reads
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out—and we have only just begun.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, within 224 pages, attempts to cover the entirety space and time.

He does a pretty good job.

However, this is not Astrophysics for Dummies. There are assumptions made for the audience - you do need a bit of a working knowledge on particles and space to fully understand the significance of the text.

That being said, I could still (mostly) follow along
Always Pouting
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it's pretty self explanatory what this book is about so no need to summarize. I have to say though that I'm generally not a fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson, because a lot of times he'll just indulge the actual stupid things other people say. Like the whole "debate" about whether or not we're living in a simulation after Elon Musk made that comment. Every time this happens I can't find any actually science news in my newsfeeds because now suddenly everyone is only talking about that one dumb t ...more
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-again
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.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, science
"The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you."
- Neil deGrasse Tyson


"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe."
- Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Physicists are a unique breed. Most people exist in a sphere that is directly impacted by the work of physicists, but only possess a minimal knowledge of some basic Newtonian physics. But even with this gap
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction

Neil deGrasse Tyson has the gift of helping non-geniuses get a slight clue on what those geniuses are talking about. Slight.

Don't even think you can sit down and read this baby in a night. It is definitely a read-a-chapter/think-for-a-bit kind of book. I read a chapter after each fiction book I was reading, and then I would talk about it with my genius son who somehow understands all this stuff. I homeschooled the kid. How does he know so much more than I do? I think he might have been cheating
Dr. Appu Sasidharan
Jun 21, 2021 rated it really liked it

(Regular Review) If you are a person who is interested to know more about Astrophysics but doesn’t know anything about it, Neil DeGrasse Tyson is there to help you with this book. The author took extra care to ensure that his book won’t have the common mistake seen in the books written by people who had education from Ivy League Universities (Mr. Tyson went to Harvard and Columbia to get his degree and Ph.D.). Instead of bombarding us with a lot of scientific jargon, the author decided to wr
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I borrowed this book through kindle unlimited. It is an excellent astrophysics book for the layperson.
However, it is chock full of scientific information about the universe, electrons, neutrinos, etcetera.
A solid 4 stars.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Astrophysics is a complex subject. Even years of study barely scratches at the understanding of the universe. Nevertheless, Neil deGrasse Tyson has an amazing ability to make the cosmos fun and understandable. Filled with wonderful ideas -- galaxies devouring dwarf galaxies, massive radio telescopes, a fun run through the periodic table of elements, comets, a study of time --so much is packed into just over 200 pages! Tyson can make the heavy subject engaging, and the strange and ominous fantast ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I believe, and I'm sure many of you agree, that every book has its time. This one's been sitting on my bookshelf since I pre-ordered it. I'm glad I didn't get to it because where better to look than up right now to be uplifted and inspired. Just in our little Milky Way, there are at least a hundred billion suns, probably hundreds of billions and just as many planets with their moons. Planet Earth is just a tiny, insignificant part of a single solar system in a single galaxy. In our universe ther ...more
Leonard Gaya
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the most remarkable scientists of our time, having devoted a large part of his work to popularise astrophysics, one of the most counterintuitive of all fields of science. I loved his “remake” of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos TV show, and this book is in the same vein. As announced in the title, it is a slim pop-science book that can be read in one sitting. It covers a wide field nonetheless: from the Big Bang to black holes and multiverses, to the chemistry of the universe, t ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, 2018-books
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is a very readable account of the creation of the universe and how the universe works, as related by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

I had this on my watch list for a long time but didn't pull the trigger until it went on sale for $1.99.

Since the first movie I saw in the theater was a rerelease of Star Wars sometime in the early 80s, space has always given me a sense of wonder. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is an easily digestible summation of the universe, from the b
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Mark Porton
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Where does one start writing a review of a book like this? So many complex theories, so many names of particles, planets, galaxies, quarks, and quasars. So much physics, theory, and history.

Forget about this being a book for people in a ”hurry”, this is complicated stuff. Don’t be in too much of a hurry, take your time when reading this. So, to continue the themes of topsy turvy thinking, upside down confusion and downright blatant ignora
Sean Gibson
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Ray, pretend for a moment that I don't know anything about metallurgy, engineering, or physics, and just tell me what the hell is going on.” – Dr. Peter Venkman

As a matter of fact, Ray, I DID study, though it was more than 20 years ago, so it’s entirely possible I’ve forgotten a thing or two…so you can suck it.

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s book is a joy. Do you need to have some basic grounding in physics to understand and appreciate it? Yes. If you have some basic grounding in physics, will you still
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
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 ...more
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an American astrophysicist, is the Director of the Hayden Planetarium, and the host of 'Star Talk' and 'Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.' Tyson is also a very funny guy, and his sense of humor lightens the 'lessons' in Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - which contains a brief overview of cosmology.

I'll just touch on some topics in the book I found interesting.....some new, some not so much.


Fourteen billion years ago the universe was teeny tin
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
3.5 Stars

This rating may be more reflective of my personal tastes than the book itself, as this is definitely about large-scale, broad-spectrum science. My interests always veer towards understanding people and the world around me, less than wondering about our beginnings or the scope of the cosmos. As much as I want to learn, all the theoreticals tend to bore me.

But, this book does a really great job of presenting the material from a grounded, real-world approach. Tyson uses funny anecdotes (m
Montzalee Wittmann
What a fun science book!

I have always been a science nut and had to get this book! The library was backed up so I know I wasn't the only one. I truly love the way he teaches the reader science on the reader's level without talking down to us. So many fun, witty remarks that stick the info in your head helps. He makes science fun! No wonder the kids these days know him, besides the fact he 'killed Pluto'. LOL. Wonderful book and I learned and laughed.
Carol (Bookaria)
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2017
I had different expectations about this book, and the problem is likely me and not the book. The book explains astrophysics, or what we know to date about this subject from the beginning (the Big Bang) to today and also the possible future. Everything is explained theoretically and clarified as that.

I love reading about science facts and that's what I expected but the subject is astrophysics which is defined as:

"the branch of astronomy concerned with the physical nature of stars and other celes
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I know that Neil deGrasse Tyson has been the new poster child of capital-S Science in the last few years, but I have lived in blissful ignorance. I didn't watch Cosmos, for instance. But I like astrophysics, the parts I can grasp, and have an admiration for people who can grasp the science and math and concepts enough to push our understanding forward.

This is a short book, and I will recommend the audio read by the author. He is very passionate and exuberant about his topics, and it still came a
Nov 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audio
I guess I’m not in that much of a hurry! Or I’m just not very bright. This book is not accessible for the average person, in a hurry or otherwise. I was lost really early on and trust me, things didn’t get clearer with time. It felt like a convoluted textbook to me. I will accept all the blame for my totally honest take on this book: I hated it. My biggest takeaway was that I’m not interested in astrophysics at all...and I’m okay with that!
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actually, if you're in a hurry to understand astrophysics, might want give that pipe dream up. Although this book is a brilliant and well written group of essays by one of the greatest minds of our time, it is not a quick read.
I'll grant ya that it's not a huge tome, but the amount of info on every page is amazing. I often had to put it down and let just a few lines sink in.
If you truly want to grasp even just the edges of astrophysics you won't read this book in a hurry. You will take the t
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have always been more of a words person than a numbers person. I stopped enjoying science in school when numbers got involved, somewhere around Honors Chemistry.

This book was perfect for me. Written in an engaging, approachable style, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry has reignited my interest in science, particularly in astronomy. I learned a lot, only by rereading passages several times and then putting the book down to think for a few minutes before continuing, but mostly I came away with
Riku Sayuj
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Neil deGrasse Tyson is cool. No question. He doesn't pack much into this short book, but whatever he does talk about is always cool. Even too cool sometimes. Sagan used to awe us with this stuff, but deGrasse Tyson makes it easy to feel like a nerd, by oversimplifying concepts and letting some of his smooth arrogance pass onto the reader.

But, there are always enough nuggets to keep your true inner nerd interested: Like when he explains how Quarks have fractional charges that come in thirds, and
Maria V. Snyder
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was interesting and full of information about the universe. A few chapters go into more detail than others and I didn't "get" everything, science wise. But I did get a few good ideas for stories! ...more
Amanda (PandaCat)
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
***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!
Cathrine ☯️
All right, what we have here is a failure to communicate.
Say what?!
I guess I should start with Astrophysics for Dummies . . . Nah, just forget it.
I'm having a good laugh at my reading aspirations right now. I think I'll content myself with stargazing and wondering.
I am not worthy to rate this book.
Paula W
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
3/23/2020 - I have suffered with some insomnia lately, what with all the chaos going on in the world right now. I found that turning the television on in the bedroom with the volume on low works well to quiet my insanely hyperactive mind, especially if the voices are soothing and calming. Some of my favorites: any of those documentary shows that deal with oceans and animals and such, the shows about our vast universe, and Bob Ross. The voices are super quiet and there are no drastic/sudden incre ...more
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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

Articles featuring this book

For more than a decade, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the world-renowned astrophysicist and host of the popular radio and Emmy-nominated...
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“The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you. —NDT” 285 likes
“We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out—and we have only just begun.” 273 likes
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