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Astrophysics


The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth

The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth Lowest new price: $13.55
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Author: Michio Kaku

The #1 bestselling author of The Future of the Mind traverses the frontiers of astrophysics, artificial intelligence, and technology to offer a stunning vision of man's future in space, from settling Mars to traveling to distant galaxies.

Formerly the domain of fiction, moving human civilization to the stars is increasingly becoming a scientific possibility--and a necessity. Whether in the near future due to climate change and the depletion of finite resources, or in the distant future due to catastrophic cosmological events, we must face the reality that humans will one day need to leave planet Earth to survive as a species. World-renowned physicist and futurist Michio Kaku explores in rich, intimate detail the process by which humanity may gradually move away from the planet and develop a sustainable civilization in outer space. He reveals how cutting-edge developments in robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology may allow us to terraform and build habitable cities on Mars. He then takes us beyond the solar system to nearby stars, which may soon be reached by nanoships traveling on laser beams at near the speed of light. Finally, he brings us beyond our galaxy, and even beyond our universe, to the possibility of immortality, showing us how humans may someday be able to leave our bodies entirely and laser port to new havens in space. With irrepressible enthusiasm and wonder, Dr. Kaku takes readers on a fascinating journey to a future in which humanity may finally fulfill its long-awaited destiny among the stars.

Features:

  • Stated First Edition, First Printing, New and Pristine

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The Illustrated Brief History of Time, Updated and Expanded Edition

The Illustrated Brief History of Time, Updated and Expanded Edition Lowest new price: $25.05
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Author: Stephen William Hawking
Brand: Bantam

In the years since its publication in 1988, Stephen Hawking's A Brief History Of Time has established itself as a landmark volume in scientific writing.  It has become an international publishing phenomenon, translated into forty languages and selling over nine million copies.  The book was on the cutting edge of what was then known about the nature of the universe, but since that time there have been extraordinary advances in the technology of macrocosmic worlds.  These observations have confirmed many of Professor Hawkin's theoretical predictions in the first edition of his book, including the recent discoveries of the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite (COBE), which probed back in time to within 300,000 years of the fabric of space-time that he had projected.

Eager to bring to his original text the new knowledge revealed by these many observations, as well as his recent research, for this expanded edition Professor Hawking has prepared a new introduction to the book, written an entirely new chapter on the fascinating subject of wormholes and time travel, and updated the original chapters.

In addition, to heighten understanding of complex concepts that readers may have found difficult to grasp despite the clarity and wit of Professor Hawking's writing, this edition is enhanced throughout with more than 240 full-color illustrations, including satellite images, photographs made made possible by spectacular technological advance such as the Hubble Space Telescope, and computer generated images of three and four-dimensional realities.  Detailed captions clarify these illustrations, enable readers to experience the vastness of intergalactic space, the nature of black holes, and the microcosmic world of particle physics in which matters and antimatter collide.

A classic work that now brings to the reader the latest understanding of cosmology, A Brief History Of Time is the story of the ongoing search for t he tantalizing secrets at the heart of time and space.

Features:

  • Bantam

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Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries Lowest new price: $10.49
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Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Brand: imusti

“[Tyson] tackles a great range of subjects . . . with great humor, humility, and―most important― humanity.” ―Entertainment Weekly

Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with clarity and enthusiasm. Bringing together more than forty of Tyson's favorite essays, ?Death by Black Hole? explores a myriad of cosmic topics, from what it would be like to be inside a black hole to the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right. One of America's best-known astrophysicists, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies the complexities of astrophysics while sharing his infectious fascination for our universe.

Features:

  • W. W. Norton & Company

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Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth

Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth Lowest new price: $16.95
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List price: $26.95
Author: Adam Frank

Astrophysicist and NPR commentator on what the latest research on the existence and trajectories of alien civilizations may teach us about our own.

Light of the Stars tells the story of humanity’s coming of age as we awaken to the possibilities of life on other worlds and their sudden relevance to our fate on Earth. Astrophysicist Adam Frank traces the question of alien life and intelligence from the ancient Greeks to the leading thinkers of our own time, and shows how we as a civilization can only hope to survive climate change if we recognize what science has recently discovered: that we are just one of ten billion trillion planets in the Universe, and it’s highly likely that many of those planets hosted technologically advanced alien civilizations. What’s more, each of those civilizations must have faced the same challenge of civilization-driven climate change.

Written with great clarity and conviction, Light of the Stars builds on the inspiring work of pioneering scientists such as Frank Drake and Carl Sagan, whose work at the dawn of the space age began building the new science of astrobiology; Jack James, the Texas-born engineer who drove NASA’s first planetary missions to success; Vladimir Vernadsky, the Russian geochemist who first envisioned the Earth’s biosphere; and James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, who invented Gaia theory. Frank recounts the perilous journey NASA undertook across millions of miles of deep space to get its probes to Venus and Mars, yielding our first view of the cosmic laws of planets and climate that changed our understanding of our place in the universe.

Thrilling science at the grandest of scales, Light of the Stars explores what may be the largest question of all: What can the likely presence of life on other worlds tell us about our own fate?

20 illustrations

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Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum Lowest new price: $12.40
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Author: Leonard Susskind
Brand: Basic Books AZ

From the bestselling author of The Theoretical Minimum, a DIY introduction to the math and science of quantum mechanics.

First he taught you classical mechanics. Now, physicist Leonard Susskind has teamed up with data engineer Art Friedman to present the theory and associated mathematics of the strange world of quantum mechanics.

In this follow-up to the New York Times best-selling The Theoretical Minimum, Susskind and Friedman provide a lively introduction to this famously difficult field, which attempts to understand the behavior of sub-atomic objects through mathematical abstractions. Unlike other popularizations that shy away from quantum mechanics' weirdness, Quantum Mechanics embraces the utter strangeness of quantum logic. The authors offer crystal-clear explanations of the principles of quantum states, uncertainty and time dependence, entanglement, and particle and wave states, among other topics, and each chapter includes exercises to ensure mastery of each area. Like The Theoretical Minimum, this volume runs parallel to Susskind's eponymous Stanford University-hosted continuing education course.

An approachable yet rigorous introduction to a famously difficult topic, Quantum Mechanics provides a tool kit for amateur scientists to learn physics at their own pace.

Features:

  • Basic Books AZ

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Antarctica's Hidden History: Corporate Foundations of Secret Space Programs (Secret Space Programs Series)

Antarctica's Hidden History: Corporate Foundations of Secret Space Programs (Secret Space Programs Series) Lowest new price: $22.44
List price: $24.95
Author: Michael Salla

Antarctica is a land about to be exposed over its well-guarded secrets and ancient hidden mysteries ... In 1955, as a result of a secret agreement reached between the Eisenhower Administration and a German breakaway group in Antarctica, a transnational corporate space program began to emerge. The secret infusion of personnel and resources from US military contractors into Antarctica allowed this transnational corporate program to steadily grow into a major space power, which would eventually surpass and eclipse the secret space programs run by the US Navy, Air Force, and the classified space programs of other nations. Whistleblower claims substantiate that many of the classified programs conducted there violate the 1961 Antarctic Treaty, and constitute crimes against humanity due to the abuse of a captive slave labor force. Dr. Michael Salla daringly exposes the major corporations involved in these illegal programs, and how the truth is hidden from company shareholders and the public. Today, Antarctica's secrets are slowly being revealed by the increasing volcanic activity that is melting the massive ice shelves, exposing ancient artifacts and crashed extraterrestrial spacecraft. Full disclosure of Antarctica s history, and current events involving multiple space programs and transnational corporations, will vitally aid in transforming our planet, and prepare humanity for the major geological events that lie ahead as the melting ice unveils all that has previously been hidden.

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Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour

Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour Lowest new price: $18.00
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List price: $39.95
Author: Neil Tyson
Brand: Princeton University Press

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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, wormholes, and time travel.

Describing the latest discoveries in astrophysics, the informative and entertaining narrative propels you from our home solar system to the outermost frontiers of space. How do stars live and die? Why did Pluto lose its planetary status? What are the prospects of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe? How did the universe begin? Why is it expanding and why is its expansion accelerating? Is our universe alone or part of an infinite multiverse? Answering these and many other questions, the authors open your eyes to the wonders of the cosmos, sharing their knowledge of how the universe works.

Breathtaking in scope and stunningly illustrated throughout, Welcome to the Universe is for those who hunger for insights into our evolving universe that only world-class astrophysicists can provide.

Features:

  • Princeton University Press

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The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory

The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory Lowest new price: $6.01
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Author: Brian Greene
Brand: W W Norton Company

The international bestseller that inspired a major Nova special and sparked a new understanding of the universe, now with a new preface and epilogue.

Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away layers of mystery to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions, where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter―from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas―is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy. The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated concepts ever contemplated accessible and thoroughly entertaining, bringing us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.

There is an ill-concealed skeleton in the closet of physics: "As they are currently formulated, general relativity and quantum mechanics cannot both be right." Each is exceedingly accurate in its field: general relativity explains the behavior of the universe at large scales, while quantum mechanics describes the behavior of subatomic particles. Yet the theories collide horribly under extreme conditions such as black holes or times close to the big bang. Brian Greene, a specialist in quantum field theory, believes that the two pillars of physics can be reconciled in superstring theory, a theory of everything.

Superstring theory has been called "a part of 21st-century physics that fell by chance into the 20th century." In other words, it isn't all worked out yet. Despite the uncertainties--"string theorists work to find approximate solutions to approximate equations"--Greene gives a tour of string theory solid enough to satisfy the scientifically literate.

Though Ed Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study is in many ways the human hero of The Elegant Universe, it is not a human-side-of-physics story. Greene's focus throughout is the science, and he gives the nonspecialist at least an illusion of understanding--or the sense of knowing what it is that you don't know. And that is traditionally the first step on the road to knowledge. --Mary Ellen Curtin

Features:

  • W W Norton Company

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Gravitation

Gravitation Lowest new price: $43.98
Lowest used price: $47.96
List price: $60.00
Author: Charles Misner

First published in 1973, Gravitation is a landmark graduate-level textbook that presents Einstein’s general theory of relativity and offers a rigorous, full-year course on the physics of gravitation. Upon publication, Science called it “a pedagogic masterpiece,” and it has since become a classic, considered essential reading for every serious student and researcher in the field of relativity. This authoritative text has shaped the research of generations of physicists and astronomers, and the book continues to influence the way experts think about the subject.

With an emphasis on geometric interpretation, this masterful and comprehensive book introduces the theory of relativity; describes physical applications, from stars to black holes and gravitational waves; and portrays the field’s frontiers. The book also offers a unique, alternating, two-track pathway through the subject. Material focusing on basic physical ideas is designated as Track 1 and formulates an appropriate one-semester graduate-level course. The remaining Track 2 material provides a wealth of advanced topics instructors can draw on for a two-semester course, with Track 1 sections serving as prerequisites.

This must-have reference for students and scholars of relativity includes a new preface by David Kaiser, reflecting on the history of the book’s publication and reception, and a new introduction by Charles Misner and Kip Thorne, discussing exciting developments in the field since the book’s original publication.

  • The book teaches students to:
  • Grasp the laws of physics in flat and curved spacetime
  • Predict orders of magnitude
  • Calculate using the principal tools of modern geometry
  • Understand Einstein's geometric framework for physics
  • Explore applications, including neutron stars, Schwarzschild and Kerr black holes, gravitational collapse, gravitational waves, cosmology, and so much more

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The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job (Springer Praxis Books)

The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job (Springer Praxis Books) Lowest new price: $30.78
Lowest used price: $32.20
List price: $39.99
Author: Emily Lakdawalla

This book describes the most complex machine ever sent to another planet: Curiosity. It is a one-ton robot with two brains, seventeen cameras, six wheels, nuclear power, and a laser beam on its head. No one human understands how all of its systems and instruments work. This essential reference to the Curiosity mission explains the engineering behind every system on the rover, from its rocket-powered jetpack to its radioisotope thermoelectric generator to its fiendishly complex sample handling system. Its lavishly illustrated text explains how all the instruments work -- its cameras, spectrometers, sample-cooking oven, and weather station -- and describes the instruments' abilities and limitations. It tells you how the systems have functioned on Mars, and how scientists and engineers have worked around problems developed on a faraway planet: holey wheels and broken focus lasers. And it explains the grueling mission operations schedule that keeps the rover working day in and day out.  

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