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Physics


    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: $19.30
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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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    What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

    What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Lowest new price: $9.00
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    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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    Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto

    Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto Lowest new price: $14.18
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    List price: $28.00
    Author: Alan Stern

    Called "spellbinding" (Scientific American) and "thrilling...a future classic of popular science" (PW), the up close, inside story of the greatest space exploration project of our time, New Horizons’ mission to Pluto, as shared with David Grinspoon by mission leader Alan Stern and other key players.

    On July 14, 2015, something amazing happened. More than 3 billion miles from Earth, a small NASA spacecraft called New Horizons screamed past Pluto at more than 32,000 miles per hour, focusing its instruments on the long mysterious icy worlds of the Pluto system, and then, just as quickly, continued on its journey out into the beyond.

    Nothing like this has occurred in a generation―a raw exploration of new worlds unparalleled since NASA’s Voyager missions to Uranus and Neptune―and nothing quite like it is planned to happen ever again. The photos that New Horizons sent back to Earth graced the front pages of newspapers on all 7 continents, and NASA’s website for the mission received more than 2 billion hits in the days surrounding the flyby. At a time when so many think that our most historic achievements are in the past, the most distant planetary exploration ever attempted not only succeeded in 2015 but made history and captured the world’s imagination.

    How did this happen? Chasing New Horizons is the story of the men and women behind this amazing mission: of their decades-long commitment and persistence; of the political fights within and outside of NASA; of the sheer human ingenuity it took to design, build, and fly the mission; and of the plans for New Horizons’ next encounter, 1 billion miles past Pluto in 2019. Told from the insider’s perspective of mission leader Dr. Alan Stern and others on New Horizons, and including two stunning 16-page full-color inserts of images, Chasing New Horizons is a riveting account of scientific discovery, and of how much we humans can achieve when people focused on a dream work together toward their incredible goal.

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    An Introduction to Statistical Learning: with Applications in R (Springer Texts in Statistics)

    An Introduction to Statistical Learning: with Applications in R (Springer Texts in Statistics) Lowest new price: $59.00
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    List price: $79.99
    Author: Gareth James

    An Introduction to Statistical Learning provides an accessible overview of the field of statistical learning, an essential toolset for making sense of the vast and complex data sets that have emerged in fields ranging from biology to finance to marketing to astrophysics in the past twenty years. This book presents some of the most important modeling and prediction techniques, along with relevant applications. Topics include linear regression, classification, resampling methods, shrinkage approaches, tree-based methods, support vector machines, clustering, and more. Color graphics and real-world examples are used to illustrate the methods presented. Since the goal of this textbook is to facilitate the use of these statistical learning techniques by practitioners in science, industry, and other fields, each chapter contains a tutorial on implementing the analyses and methods presented in R, an extremely popular open source statistical software platform.

    Two of the authors co-wrote The Elements of Statistical Learning (Hastie, Tibshirani and Friedman, 2nd edition 2009), a popular reference book for statistics and machine learning researchers. An Introduction to Statistical Learning covers many of the same topics, but at a level accessible to a much broader audience. This book is targeted at statisticians and non-statisticians alike who wish to use cutting-edge statistical learning techniques to analyze their data. The text assumes only a previous course in linear regression and no knowledge of matrix algebra.

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    Barron's SAT Subject Test: Physics, 2nd Edition

    Barron's SAT Subject Test: Physics, 2nd Edition Lowest new price: $9.00
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    Author: Robert Jansen M.A.
    Brand: Barron s Educational Series

    One diagnostic test and three complete SAT Subject Tests in Physics reflect the most recent actual tests in length, subject matter, and degree of difficulty. All questions are answered and explained. Self-assessment guides after each test can help improve the test-taker's score. An extensive subject review covers all topics on the SAT Subject Test, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, thermodynamics, and more. Unique features include a "What's the Trick?" approach to solving problems quickly and effectively. Added tips, called out with "If You See…" are included within the chapters to give test takers critical insight into difficult concepts, and QR codes are provided at "Key Concept" areas link to short videos to enhance instruction. Each chapter is followed by several review questions with answers and explanations. The authors also provide general examination strategies and a detailed appendix with equations, physical constants, and a basic math review.

    Features:

    • Barron s Educational Series

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    Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon

    Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon Lowest new price: $15.96
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    Author: Robert Kurson
    Brand: Random House

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Perfect for Father’s Day: the riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind’s historic first mission to the Moon, from the bestselling author of Shadow Divers.

    “Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian and Artemis


    By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas.

    In a year of historic violence and discord—the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago—the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America’s greatness under pressure. In this gripping insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight.

    Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time—and arrive at a new world.

    Praise for Rocket Men

    “In 1968 we sent men to the Moon. They didn’t leave boot prints, but it was the first time humans ever left Earth for another destination. That mission was Apollo 8. And Rocket Men, under Robert Kurson’s compelling narrative, is that under-told story.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Rocket Men is a timely and thrilling reminder of a heroic American achievement—three dashing astronauts and the first rendezvous with the Moon. It has it all—suspense, drama, risk, and loving families. We could use those days again.”—Tom Brokaw

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    Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity

    Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity Lowest new price: $10.46
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    Author: Carlo Rovelli

    “The man who makes physics sexy . . . the scientist they’re calling the next Stephen Hawking.” The Times Magazine

    From the New York Times–bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and the forthcoming The Order of Time, a closer look at the mind-bending nature of the universe.


    What are the elementary ingredients of the world? Do time and space exist? And what exactly is reality? In elegant and accessible prose, theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli leads us on a wondrous journey from Democritus to Einstein, from Michael Faraday to gravitational waves, and from classical physics to his own work in quantum gravity. As he shows us how the idea of reality has evolved over time, Rovelli offers deeper explanations of the theories he introduced so concisely in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. Rovelli invites us to imagine a marvelous world where space breaks up into tiny grains, time disappears at the smallest scales, and black holes are waiting to explode—a vast universe still largely undiscovered.

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    The Official SAT Subject Test in U.S. History Study Guide

    The Official SAT Subject Test in U.S. History Study Guide Lowest new price: $11.37
    Lowest used price: $12.23
    List price: $19.99
    Author: The College Board

    SAT Subject Tests are a valuable way to help students show colleges a more complete picture of their academic background and interests. Each year, nearly 100K high school students take a history SAT Subject Test to demonstrate their knowledge. Several colleges and universities also require or recommend students to take SAT Subject Tests for admission and/or placement. Taking a SAT Subject Test in history can be a great way for students to demonstrate interest in the humanities.

    The Official SAT Subject Test in U.S. History Study Guide from the College Board is the only source of official questions and answer explanations. Created from the makers of the Subject Tests, this guide offers a total of four (two never-been released) forms of actual past U.S. History exams for students to gain real practice. Students will gain valuable experience and raise their confidence by taking practice tests, learning about test structure, and gaining a deeper understanding of what is tested on the test. The Official SAT Subject Test in U.S. History Study Guide will help students get ready for the test with:

    •4 full-length, previously administered tests in U.S. History
    •Detailed answer explanations for every question in all tests
    •Exclusive test-taking approaches and tips

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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: $25.04
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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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    Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

    Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race Lowest new price: $5.99
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    Author: Margot Lee Shetterly

    The #1 New York Times bestseller

    The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

    Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

    Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

    Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

    Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.

     

    Features:

    • The #1 New York Times bestseller The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America's greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

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