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Physics


    Brief Answers to the Big Questions

    Brief Answers to the Big Questions Lowest new price: $11.88
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    Author: Stephen Hawking

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Hawking’s parting gift to humanity . . . a book every thinking person worried about humanity’s future should read.”—NPR

    The world-famous cosmologist and author of A Brief History of Time leaves us with his final thoughts on the biggest questions facing humankind.


    Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues.

    Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe’s greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet—including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence—he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us.

    Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? ​​These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history.

    Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world.

    Praise for Brief Answers to the Big Questions

    “[Hawking is] a symbol of the soaring power of the human mind.”The Washington Post

    “Hawking’s final message to readers . . . is a hopeful one.”—CNN

    “Brisk, lucid peeks into the future of science and of humanity.”—The Wall Street Journal

    “Hawking pulls no punches on subjects like machines taking over, the biggest threat to Earth, and the possibilities of intelligent life in space.”—Quartz

    “Effortlessly instructive, absorbing, up to the minute and—where it matters—witty.”—The Guardian

    “This beautiful little book is a fitting last twinkle from a new star in the firmament above.”The Telegraph

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    What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

    What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Lowest new price: $6.00
    Lowest used price: $5.73
    List price: $25.00
    Author: Randall Munroe
    Brand: Houghton Mifflin

    From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

    Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe’s iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following.

    Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?

    In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by signature xkcd comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.

    The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with updated and expanded versions of the most popular answers from the xkcd website. What If? will be required reading for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical.

    An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2014: What if everyone on earth aimed a laser pointer at the moon at the same time? What if you could drain all the water from the oceans? What if all the lightning in the world struck the same place? What if there were a book that considered weird, sometimes ridiculous questions, and it was so compelling that you found yourself skimming its pages to find out what would happen if you threw a baseball at light speed? With What If, Randall Munroe has written such a book. As he does in his extraordinarily popular xkcd webcomic, Munroe applies reason and research to hypothetical conundrums ranging from the philosophical to the scientific (often absurd, but never pseudo) that probably seemed awesome in your elementary school days—but were never sufficiently answered. It’s the rare combination of edifying and fun. —Jon Foro

    Features:

    • Houghton Mifflin

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    Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

    Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Lowest new price: $12.17
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    Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
    Brand: Neil DeGrasse Tyson

    Over a year on the New York Times bestseller list and more than a million copies sold.

    The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist.

    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, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

    While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

    Features:

    • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

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    Baby University Four-Book Set

    Baby University Four-Book Set Lowest new price: $28.21
    Lowest used price: $39.99
    List price: $39.96
    Author: Chris Ferrie
    Model: 149267043X

    The perfect gift for your future genius!

    Written by an expert, the Baby University series features colorful, simple introductions to scientific principles and are beloved by babies―and grownups!

    Included in this Four-Book Set:
    • Quantum Physics for Babies
    • Rocket Science for Babies
    • General Relativity for Babies
    • Newtonian Physics for Babies

    This series is the perfect way to introduce basic scientific concepts to even the youngest scientist.

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    Infinite Wonder: An Astronaut's Photographs from a Year in Space

    Infinite Wonder: An Astronaut's Photographs from a Year in Space Lowest new price: $18.89
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    List price: $40.00
    Author: Scott Kelly

    From the record-breaking astronaut, national hero, and best-selling author of Endurance, a breathtaking collection of photos documenting his journey on the International Space Station, the vastness of space, and the unparalleled beauty of our own home planet.

    One's perspective shifts when one lives for an entire year--as Commander Scott Kelly, and no other American astronaut in history, has--in the isolating, grueling, and utterly unforgiving vacuum of space. Kelly's photos prove that this perspective--from 250 miles above earth--while hard-won, is also almost unspeakably beautiful. He mastered the rare art of microgravity photography. Using a Nikon D4 with a long 800mm lens and a 1.4x magnifying zoom lens, he panned the camera as the shutter released in order to compensate for the space station's velocity: 17,500 mph relative to the earth. Kelly's artist's eye helped make him a social media sensation, and here his photos are collected alongside his own commentary, which sets the images in their proper contexts, human and cosmic. Kelly captures sunsets, moonrises, the aurora borealis, and the luminous, hazy tapestry of the Milky Way. He presents snapshots of life and work on the International Space Station, from spacewalks to selfies. But above all--or floating amid all--he takes the earth itself as his celestial muse. Here are hurricanes, wrinkled mountains, New York City shining like a galaxy--glorious photographs that are, in themselves, a passionate argument for the preservation of our planet in the face of climate change and environmental destruction.

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    Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military

    Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military Lowest new price: $12.75
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    Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson

    New York Times Bestseller

    An exploration of the age-old complicity between skywatchers and warfighters, from the best-selling author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

    In this fascinating foray into the centuries-old relationship between science and military power, acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and writer-researcher Avis Lang examine how the methods and tools of astrophysics have been enlisted in the service of war. "The overlap is strong, and the knowledge flows in both directions," say the authors, because astrophysicists and military planners care about many of the same things: multi-spectral detection, ranging, tracking, imaging, high ground, nuclear fusion, and access to space. Tyson and Lang call it a "curiously complicit" alliance. "The universe is both the ultimate frontier and the highest of high grounds," they write. "Shared by both space scientists and space warriors, it’s a laboratory for one and a battlefield for the other. The explorer wants to understand it; the soldier wants to dominate it. But without the right technology―which is more or less the same technology for both parties―nobody can get to it, operate in it, scrutinize it, dominate it, or use it to their advantage and someone else’s disadvantage."

    Spanning early celestial navigation to satellite-enabled warfare, Accessory to War is a richly researched and provocative examination of the intersection of science, technology, industry, and power that will introduce Tyson’s millions of fans to yet another dimension of how the universe has shaped our lives and our world.

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    Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words

    Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words Lowest new price: $6.00
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    Author: Randall Munroe
    Brand: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    In Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words, things are explained in the style of Up Goer Five, using only drawings and a vocabulary of the 1,000 (or "ten hundred") most common words. Explore computer buildings (datacenters), the flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), the things you use to steer a plane (airliner cockpit controls), and the little bags of water you're made of (cells).

    Features:

    • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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    The Order of Time

    The Order of Time Lowest new price: $12.90
    Lowest used price: $9.46
    List price: $20.00
    Author: Carlo Rovelli

    One of TIME’s Ten Best Nonfiction Books of 2018

    "Meet the new Stephen Hawking . . . The Order of Time is a dazzling book." --The Sunday Times

    From the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, a concise, elegant exploration of time that makes an excellent holiday gift.

    Why do we remember the past and not the future? What does it mean for time to "flow"? Do we exist in time or does time exist in us? In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike.

    For most readers this is unfamiliar terrain. We all experience time, but the more scientists learn about it, the more mysterious it remains. We think of it as uniform and universal, moving steadily from past to future, measured by clocks. Rovelli tears down these assumptions one by one, revealing a strange universe where at the most fundamental level time disappears. He explains how the theory of quantum gravity attempts to understand and give meaning to the resulting extreme landscape of this timeless world. Weaving together ideas from philosophy, science and literature, he suggests that our perception of the flow of time depends on our perspective, better understood starting from the structure of our brain and emotions than from the physical universe.

    Already a bestseller in Italy, and written with the poetic vitality that made Seven Brief Lessons on Physics so appealing, The Order of Time offers a profoundly intelligent, culturally rich, novel appreciation of the mysteries of time.

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    A Brief History of Time

    A Brief History of Time Lowest new price: $6.00
    Lowest used price: $2.08
    List price: $18.00
    Author: Stephen Hawking
    Brand: Bantam Books

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?

    Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.

    Features:

    • Bantam Books

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    When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

    When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing Lowest new price: $10.99
    Lowest used price: $4.95
    List price: $28.00
    Author: Daniel H. Pink
    Brand: Riverhead Books

    Instant New York Times Bestseller
    #1 Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller
    Instant Washington Post Bestseller

    "Brims with a surprising amount of insight and practical advice." --The Wall Street Journal

    Daniel H. Pink, the #1 bestselling author of Drive and To Sell Is Human, unlocks the scientific secrets to good timing to help you flourish at work, at school, and at home. An excellent gift this holiday season. 

    Everyone knows that timing is everything. But we don't know much about timing itself. Our lives are a never-ending stream of "when" decisions: when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork.

    Timing, it's often assumed, is an art. In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Pink shows that timing is really a science.

    Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work, and succeed. How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? How can we turn a stumbling beginning into a fresh start? Why should we avoid going to the hospital in the afternoon? Why is singing in time with other people as good for you as exercise? And what is the ideal time to quit a job, switch careers, or get married?

    In When, Pink distills cutting-edge research and data on timing and synthesizes them into a fascinating, readable narrative packed with irresistible stories and practical takeaways that give readers compelling insights into how we can live richer, more engaged lives.

    An Amazon Best Book of January 2018: How many of us come back from a lunch break with the best of intentions for an industrious end to the day, only to suffer the dreaded post-lunch slump? Pink lays out the scientific case for this phenomena, a peak, trough, and then recovery of energy levels and productivity seen in people worldwide, across all cultures and geographies. By being aware of one’s own chronotype, i.e. when they tend to experience peak and diminished performance, (for the record, I’m writing this review right before lunch), Pink argues readers can be more effective in choosing when to tackle a new project at work, when to give a big presentation, or even when to schedule a surgery. --Matt Fyffe

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