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Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry af…

Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry (udgave 2019)

af Neil deGrasse Tyson (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
2285118,859 (3.9)Ingen
Juvenile Nonfiction. Science. HTML:

Neil deGrasse Tyson's #1 New York Times bestselling guide to the cosmos, adapted for young listeners

From the basics of physics to big questions about the nature of space and time, celebrated astrophysicist and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down the mysteries of the cosmos into bite-sized pieces. Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry describes the fundamental rules and unknowns of our universe clearly-and with Tyson's characteristic wit, there's a lot of fun thrown in, too.

This adaptation by Gregory Mone includes extra explanations to make even the trickiest concepts accessible. Building on the wonder inspired by outer space, Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry introduces an exciting field and the principles of scientific inquiry to young listeners.

… (mere)
Titel:Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry
Forfattere:Neil deGrasse Tyson (Forfatter)
Info:Norton Young Readers (2019), 176 pages

Work Information

Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry af Neil deGrasse Tyson

  1. 00
    The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True af Richard Dawkins (themulhern)
    themulhern: Two famous authors of popular science try writing for children. Dawkins is much better, however, he never seems to be dumbing it down and he doesn't make the dumb jokes.

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Viser 5 af 5
Highly recommend the audio version, read by LeVar Burton! ( )
  preeti1sfr | Dec 5, 2022 |
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
  fernandie | Sep 15, 2022 |
Very engaging book that has humor, detailed descriptions and trivia, and filled with color photographs and illustrations. Tyson has an incredible ability to turn difficult subjects like astrophysics and space exploration and make them accessible for kids and adults alike. This is a very quick read with so much information packed inside. Subjects like the galaxy, solar system, matter, aliens, light, and the elements to name a few, are what Tyson has filled the book with in kid-friendly language and supplies us with a glossary for the terms that may not be so kid friendly. This is great for anyone that is a fan of learning about space and I love the series "Cosmos" originated by the late astrophysicist and astronomer, Carl Sagan. Tyson's voice shines through in this book and the tone is much like it is in Cosmos.
  anicol83 | Jul 29, 2022 |
As an astrophysicist turned educator, this is an excellent book. I used it with a seventh grader who wanted to learn more about science. This text manages to convey accurate information in a manner that is comprehensible by adolescents. ( )
  AliciaBooks | Jun 24, 2021 |
This is an adaptation of Tyson's slightly longer book "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry". My copy, checked out from the library, is much better constructed than "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry", with better quality paper and a better binding. It has many of the features considered appropriate for a book directed at a younger audience: more color on the page, larger type, illustrations, and analogies with what are believed to be relatable young people's experiences, like pizza and school. I believe it has more biographical information about Tyson's childhood. The book for young people has many illustrations, for adults, none.

This detailed review is a combined review of both books:

Prologue: Walking Dogs to See the Stars / Preface

There is a big contrast here. The prologue is mostly biographical, discussing the author's childhood and what sparked his interest in stars, the preface attempts to provide motivation for reading the book (the promise that after reading you will be educated enough about the current, big issues of astrophysics). Neither one really drew me in, the first being too personal, and the second too pop-culture oriented (I don't have much respect for pop-culture as a whole, although I enjoy some of its artifacts) and I think that audiences like science fiction movies because they enjoy the special effects, _not_ because they enjoy the science.

1. The Greatest Story Ever Told

The title is an allusion to the movie about the life of Jesus surely, but the subject is the story of the universe from the big bang to the evolution of humans. There's physics at the beginning that increases my vocabulary a bit, lepton, quark, hadron. Many people have said them over the years, but I never felt the urge to look them up, I guess. Now I sort of know what they mean. There is a remark, which I've heard before, about how just after the big bang the four forces, strong nuclear, weak nuclear, gravity, and electro-something were all just one force. I don't think that abstractly about forces, so it's hard to know what this means. The fascination w/ uniting quantum theory w/ relativity is explained by the fact that everything large was small at and just after the big bang, and so somehow the behavior of the universe then can only be explained by a unified theory. Whatever. There isn't that much difference between the two books, the sentences are smaller and choppier in the book for young people, and the tone is less explanatory and more celebratory.

2. How to Communicate with Aliens/On Earth as in the Heavens

The second title is an allusion to a Christian prayer, Tyson is really going all atheistical for the adults.Both chapters have a dumb story about an annoying person, Tyson, who didn't get whipped cream on his hot chocolate and a remarkably clueless barristo. What the chapter is really about though, is the constancy of physical laws in time and space and how this can be verified, over and over again, by many different methods. The book for young people is more careless of history, because it tells more. Isaac Newton did not leave London because of the plague, he left his college at Cambridge. An unknown person in his early twenties, or no particular birth, he was no "Sir Isaac". A mention is made of the discovery of helium by examination of the sun's spectrum, which I always like to think about.

3.Let There Be Light

The early universe is so high energy that photons can not get very far. Ever photon you might see bounced off an electron a nano-second or less ago. So, it's following path that it began only about 2 meters from your eye, or less. The result is that if you're in this universe, you may be receiving light, but none of it is from very far away. Suddenly, though, the temperature dropped, and the electrons joined up with nuclei, there began to be atoms, and light could travel long distances w/out being deflected. As the light travelled, it decreased in energy, its wavelength increasing. Now, these photons from this time form the CMB (cosmic background radiation). It's lumpy, and it can be examined to discover facts about the state of the early universe.

4. Between the Galaxies

An update and a mind opener. When I was growing up, the stuff between the galaxies was either unknown or seemed less interesting than it does now, so it's good to be told about other things out there in not-so-empty space. I also enjoyed learning that the small and large Magallanic Clouds are small galaxies orbiting the Milky Way in our near neighborhood, since these feature so prominently in another book, "Miss Leavitt's Stars".

5. Dark Matter

The existence of dark matter is inferred from the dynamics of galaxy clusters (Fritz Zwicky) and of spiral galaxies (Vera Rubin). Generally speaking, the calculated mass of the invisible galaxy or galaxy cluster does not correctly predict the movements of the constituent parts. The assumptions is that there is something out there, which is not sending out light waves of any sort, but which is yet supplying mass to the systems examined. The Coma cluster, studies by Fritz Zwicky, should have flow apart long ago with the rate at which its constituent galaxies are moving. The book for adults sets up some alternative explanations for the behavior that lead cosmologists to infer the existence of dark matter. It also claims that this dark matter was essential to the formation of the universe as we know it, without it the universe would have expanded so very fast that no galaxies, stars, planets could have been formed. There is a useful analogy between dark matter and neutrinos: neutrinos were postulated before they were detected, the same could happen w/ dark matter.

6. Dark Energy

Horrors! A neologism I hate, "gifted", and it's a malapropism as well. "...this stunning knowledge of nature that Einstein has gifted us...". News flash! In 2016, which is still quite recent, gravitational waves from a long-ago black hole collision were detected on earth by something called LIGO. Dark energy is orthogonal to dark matter. It's a revival of the cosmological constant, based on the observation, using some distant supernovas as standard candles, that the universe is really expanding faster than can otherwise be explained. The one hypothesis for the mechanism, vacuum pressure, yields a value impossibly large, so it seems like a bad explanation. The current belief is in an ever and ever more rapidly expanding universe. Say goodbye to all those cool galaxies.

7. My Favorite Elements/The Cosmos on the Table

A discussion of the periodic table, and the should-be-more-obvious remark that you can't predict the chemical properties of chemical compounds from the chemical properties of the elements of which they are made. For example, the salt on our potato chips is neither an aggressively reactive metal nor a poisonous green gas. The chapter is mostly just a tour of the elements that are most interesting to astrophysicists. The discussion of titanium in the book for young people was shortened to the point of incomprehensibility. "We even paint parts of our telescopes with a white paint that contains titanium oxide because it helps sharpen the light from stars and other cosmic objects." By what mechanism?!!! The book for adults may be longer but it is a whole lot more believable in this instance. It's the white paint on the outside of the telescope housing which absorbs less infrared than other choices allowing that part of the telescope to cool more quickly to ambient night temperatures. Here's another bad phrasing from the book for young people. "The protons and neutrons inside the iron atom are the least energetic of any element." How can iron have protons and neutrons that are different from the protons and neutrons of other elements?!!!

8. Why the World is Round/On Being Round

A chapter about roundness. Saturn does 360 degrees of rotation in about 10 hours, and because it has such a larger radius than the earth, the velocity of the equator's surface is about 22 times as great. There is a completely dumb joke about how, if the earth spun as fast as Saturn, school days would last only 20 minutes but summer vacation would be much shorter, too. This joke is meaningless in so many ways that I won't even go into it here. The chapter brings up the interesting question, do they really make ball bearings in space, or is that just a thought experiment on the author's part? There's a good deal of muddle there.The assertion is made that mountains much taller than Everest could not be formed on the earth, as gravity would just compress the rocks back down again under all that weight. There was not much useful stuff in the book for young people, the other is far more comprehensible (but stupid, too, On Phobos or perhaps Deimos, "the average person would way as much as five french fries"? I like those moons as much as the next person, not least because lots of characters swear by them in the "John Carter" books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, but now I have bad associations. Sigh. New vocabulary: Roche lobe. The Milky Way was once round, but is now super-flat, through rapid spinning. The Coma cluster is still round; therefore it can't have a spinning motion or it would have flattened out like the Milky Way.

9. The Invisible Universe/Invisible Light
William Herschel measures the heat in different colors of the spectrum and finds that, while red is hottest, the invisible light past red is hotter still. (Big question: Why is red hotter when it has lower frequency, hence less energy than all the others?). Pretty soon somebody else figures out the existence of ultraviolet. However, the first telescope for invisible light isn't constructed until the 1920s, it's a radio telescope. The rest is about the fact that all parts of the spectrum tell us something about the cosmos, and so there are telescopes dedicated to all different wavelenghs; microwaves, x-rays, gamma rays, radio waves, ultraviolet, infrared, and visible light. The data from all of these can be combined and represented in human visible colors.

10. Around our Solar Neighborhood/Between the Planets
There's lot's of interesting non-planet stuff in the solar system: asteroids, comets, moons, man-made satellites and space probes. Some of it could hit the earth some day. Tyson makes some statistical claims about the certainty of the Earth getting hit by an asteroid which he does not bother to back up in any interesting way. Basic stuff that I mostly know about the origin of the moon, the various fascinating moons of jupiter, the Kuiper Belt, the Oort cloud.

11. What Earth Would Look Like to an Alien/Exoplanet Earth
(A typo in the book for adults: "adapting" should have been "adopting", might as well have been "using", and saved a lot of trouble). This chapter considers the possibility of intelligent aliens scoping out planets for signs of life and coming on ours. How would they find it? A useful framing device for the current technologies and practices for finding planets and then attempting to determine if there is life on that planet and further, whether there is technology. Earth is quite bright in the radio spectrum.

12. Looking Up, Thinking Big/Reflections on the Cosmic Perspective
Mostly guff, except for the funny part about the professor and the questionnaire. I can understand how the Copernican revolution might have made people feel less significant; but I don't understand how living on the only known planet w/ life on it in the entire universe should make one feel insignificant. The adult version has an enjoyable quotation from James Ferguson's "Astronomy Explained..." but it doesn't convince me of anything. And I distrust anyone who says: "allow me to suggest".

Summary: I don't think there is any reason for anybody of any age to choose "Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry" over "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry". The former has a bunch of stupid jokes is a bit shorter and in some places a good deal more confusing. Should you read the latter? It's short, and might bring you up to date if your astrophysics, like mine, is way behind. Otherwise, you should not bother. ( )
  themulhern | Jun 2, 2019 |
Viser 5 af 5
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Juvenile Nonfiction. Science. HTML:

Neil deGrasse Tyson's #1 New York Times bestselling guide to the cosmos, adapted for young listeners

From the basics of physics to big questions about the nature of space and time, celebrated astrophysicist and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down the mysteries of the cosmos into bite-sized pieces. Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry describes the fundamental rules and unknowns of our universe clearly-and with Tyson's characteristic wit, there's a lot of fun thrown in, too.

This adaptation by Gregory Mone includes extra explanations to make even the trickiest concepts accessible. Building on the wonder inspired by outer space, Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry introduces an exciting field and the principles of scientific inquiry to young listeners.


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