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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: $14.95
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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.

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  • Stated First Edition, First Printing, New and Pristine

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Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery

Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery Lowest new price: $9.60
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Author: Scott Kelly
Brand: Knopf Publishing Group

NATIONAL BEST SELLER

A stunning, personal memoir from the astronaut and modern-day hero who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station—a message of hope for the future that will inspire for generations to come.


The veteran of four spaceflights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Now, he takes us inside a sphere utterly hostile to human life. He describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both life-threatening and mundane: the devastating effects on the body; the isolation from everyone he loves and the comforts of Earth; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk; and the still more haunting threat of being unable to help should tragedy strike at home--an agonizing situation Kelly faced when, on a previous mission, his twin brother's wife, American Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot while he still had two months in space.

     Kelly's humanity, compassion, humor, and determination resonate throughout, as he recalls his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and the youthful inspiration that sparked his astounding career, and as he makes clear his belief that Mars will be the next, ultimately challenging, step in spaceflight.

     In Endurance, we see the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the infinite wonder of the galaxy.

An Amazon Best Book of October 2017: Ask a child what they want to be when they grow up and one of the most popular responses is one that makes parents swoon: an astronaut. This hopeful enthusiasm wanes when their son or daughter starts bringing notes home from the teacher, complaining that they have the attention span of gnat, and need to stop parkouring on school property. Mums and dads, take heart. This description isn’t far off from a young Scott Kelly, not the bookish type either, and yet it was a book he happened upon that dramatically changed the trajectory of his life: Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff. Kelly was so inspired by this examination of the courageous test pilots who made high speed flight and space exploration possible that he was able to channel all of his frenetic energy into achieving the goal of becoming one. Endurance traces this journey, and chronicles the year Kelly spent on the International Space Station, as well as the effects it had on his body (information NASA needs as they plan a mission to Mars). Kelly answers many of the questions we have about life in space, from the profound to the mundane (turns out astronauts give bad haircuts and unclog toilets like the rest of us earthbound peeps). He also imparts the lessons and wisdom gleaned from his extraordinary adventures. Chief among them, and especially apropos given the increasingly divisive world we live in: “Putting this space station into orbit…is the hardest thing that humans have ever done, and it stands as proof that when we set our minds to something hard, when we work together, we can do anything, including solving our problems here on Earth.” Endurance is a fascinating, moving, uplifting read. --Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review

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  • Knopf Publishing Group

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Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece

Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece Lowest new price: $15.50
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Author: Michael Benson

Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the film’s release, this is the definitive story of the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, acclaimed today as one of the greatest films ever made, including the inside account of how director Stanley Kubrick and writer Arthur C. Clarke created this cinematic masterpiece.

Regarded as a masterpiece today, 2001: A Space Odyssey received mixed reviews on its 1968 release. Despite the success of Dr. Strangelove, director Stanley Kubrick wasn’t yet recognized as a great filmmaker, and 2001 was radically innovative, with little dialogue and no strong central character. Although some leading critics slammed the film as incomprehensible and self-indulgent, the public lined up to see it. 2001’s resounding commercial success launched the genre of big-budget science fiction spectaculars. Such directors as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and James Cameron have acknowledged its profound influence.

Author Michael Benson explains how 2001 was made, telling the story primarily through the two people most responsible for the film, Kubrick and science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke. Benson interviewed Clarke many times, and has also spoken at length with Kubrick’s widow, Christiane; with visual effects supervisor Doug Trumbull; with Dan Richter, who played 2001’s leading man-ape; and many others.

A colorful nonfiction narrative packed with memorable characters and remarkable incidents, Space Odyssey provides a 360-degree view of this extraordinary work, tracking the film from Kubrick and Clarke’s first meeting in New York in 1964 through its UK production from 1965-1968, during which some of the most complex sets ever made were merged with visual effects so innovative that they scarcely seem dated today. A concluding chapter examines the film’s legacy as it grew into it current justifiably exalted status.

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Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum Lowest new price: $9.84
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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.

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  • Basic Books AZ

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Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray

Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray Lowest new price: $19.49
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Author: Sabine Hossenfelder

A contrarian argues that modern physicists' obsession with beauty has given us wonderful math but bad science

Whether pondering black holes or predicting discoveries at CERN, physicists believe the best theories are beautiful, natural, and elegant, and this standard separates popular theories from disposable ones. This is why, Sabine Hossenfelder argues, we have not seen a major breakthrough in the foundations of physics for more than four decades. The belief in beauty has become so dogmatic that it now conflicts with scientific objectivity: observation has been unable to confirm mindboggling theories, like supersymmetry or grand unification, invented by physicists based on aesthetic criteria. Worse, these "too good to not be true" theories are actually untestable and they have left the field in a cul-de-sac. To escape, physicists must rethink their methods. Only by embracing reality as it is can science discover the truth.


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An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics

An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics Lowest new price: $79.99
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Author: Bradley W. Carroll

An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics is a comprehensive, well-organized and engaging text covering every major area of modern astrophysics, from the solar system and stellar astronomy to galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, and cosmology. Designed to provide students with a working knowledge of modern astrophysics, this textbook is suitable for astronomy and physics majors who have had a first-year introductory physics course with calculus. Featuring a brief summary of the main scientific discoveries that have led to our current understanding of the universe; worked examples to facilitate the understanding of the concepts presented in the book; end-of-chapter problems to practice the skills acquired; and computational exercises to numerically model astronomical systems, the second edition of An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics is the go-to textbook for learning the core astrophysics curriculum as well as the many advances in the field.

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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: $2.98
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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

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  • W W Norton Company

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The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium

The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium Lowest new price: $62.60
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Author: Jay M. Pasachoff
Brand: Cambridge University Press

An exciting introduction to astronomy, the fourth edition of this book uses recent discoveries and stunning photography to inspire non-science majors about the universe and science. Written by two highly experienced and engaging instructors, each chapter has been fully updated, with more than 200 new images throughout, including recent images from space missions and the world's best observatories. Redesigned, streamlined pages highlight the breathtaking imagery. The text is organized as a series of stories, each presenting the history of the field, the observations made and how they fit within the process of science, our current understanding, and what future observations are planned. Math is provided in boxes and easily read around, making the book suitable for courses taking either mathematical or qualitative approaches. New discussion questions encourage students to think widely about astronomy and the role science plays in our everyday lives and podcasts for each chapter aid studying and comprehension.

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  • Used Book in Good Condition

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The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution

The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution Lowest new price: $15.58
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Author: Charles S. Cockell

A groundbreaking argument for why alien life will evolve to be much like life here on Earth

We are all familiar with the popular idea of strange alien life wildly different from life on earth inhabiting other planets. Maybe it's made of silicon! Maybe it has wheels! Or maybe it doesn't. In The Equations of Life, biologist Charles S. Cockell makes the forceful argument that the laws of physics narrowly constrain how life can evolve, making evolution's outcomes predictable. If we were to find on a distant planet something very much like a lady bug eating something like an aphid, we shouldn't be surprised. The forms of life are guided by a limited set of rules, and as a result, there is a narrow set of solutions to the challenges of existence.

A remarkable scientific contribution breathing new life into Darwin's theory of evolution, The Equations of Life makes a radical argument about what life can--and can't--be.

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Fundamentals of Astrodynamics (Dover Books on Aeronautical Engineering)

Fundamentals of Astrodynamics (Dover Books on Aeronautical Engineering) Lowest new price: $11.51
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Author: Roger R. Bate
Brand: imusti

When the United States Air Force Academy began teaching astrodynamics to undergraduates majoring in astronautics or aerospace engineering, it found that the traditional approach to the subject was well over 100 years old. An entirely new text had to be evolved, geared to the use of high speed digital computers and actual current practice in the industry. Over the years the new approach was proven in the classrooms of the Academy; its students entering graduate engineering schools were found to possess a better understanding of astrodynamics than others. So pressing is the need for superior training in the aerospace sciences that the professor-authors of this text decided to publish it for other institutions' use. This Dover edition is the result.
The text is structured for teaching. Central emphasis is on use of the universal variable formulation, although classical methods are discussed. Several original unpublished derivations are included. A foundation for all that follows is the development of the basic two-body and n-body equations of motion; orbit determination is then treated, and the classical orbital elements, coordinate transformations, and differential correction. Orbital transfer maneuvers are developed, followed by time-of-flight with emphasis on the universal variable solution. The Kepler and Gauss problems are treated in detail. Two-body mechanics are applied to the ballistic missile problem, including launch error analysis and targeting on a rotating earth. Some further specialized applications are made to lunar and interplanetary flight, followed by an introduction to perturbation, special perturbations, integration schemes and errors, and analytic formulation of several common perturbations.
Example problems are used frequently, while exercises at the end of each chapter include derivations and quantitative and qualitative problems. The authors suggest how to use the text for a first course in astrodynamics or for a two-course sequence.
This major instructional tool effectively communicates the subject to engineering students in a manner found in no other textbook. Its efficiency has been thoroughly demonstrated. Dover feels privileged in joining with the authors to make its concepts and text matter available to other faculties.

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  • Dover Publications

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