The Universe in Your Hand

Christophe Galfard

4.36 based on 24 ratings & 3 reviews on Goodreads.com
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27 August 2015
9781447284086
300 pages
Synopsis

Imagine if The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy were a real, practical book about the mysteries of the universe . . .

The Universe in Your Hand takes us on a wonder-filled journey to the surface of our dying Sun, shrinks us to the size of an atom and puts us in the deathly grip of distant Black Holes. Along the way you might come to understand, really understand, the mind-bending science that underpins modern life, from Quantum Mechanics to Einstein's theory of General Relativity.

Through brilliant storytelling and humour rather than graphs and equations, internationally renowned astrophysicist Christophe Galfard has written an instant classic that brings the astonishing beauty of the universe to life – and takes us deep into questions about the beginning of time and the future of humanity.

Mr. Galfard's jaunty, you-are-there narrative invites us to hitch a ride on a light beam, zoom through an atom and plant our disembodied consciousness within the hellfire of the Big Bang. A onetime Ph.D. student of Stephen Hawking's, he is a loquacious tour guide with an arch sense of humor, as in his proposition that the extinction of the dinosaurs stemmed from their ignorance of theoretical physics . . . In turn come chapters on quantum mechanics, the origin of space and time, quantum gravity, black holes, parallel universes, dark matter and dark energy, cosmic inflation, and string theory-in short, an epic feast of modern physics. As portioned out by Mr. Galfard, the information goes down easily.

Wall Street Journal

Galfard dispenses with mathematical formulas in this foray into modern physics, making a lively imagination the only portal necessary for general readers hungry for the intellectual excitement of astral and atomic exploration. In a series of mind-stretching thought experiments readers plunge into the hydrogen atom in a water molecule, there to contemplate the quantum fields that sustain all matter, then shoot out beyond supernovas to ponder the strangely opaque boundary of space-time . . . these probes into the universe will thrill readers but rarely perplex them . . . Galfard leaves exhilarated readers eager to share in the forthcoming discoveries.

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