Download A User's Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of by Dave Goldberg, Jeff Blomquist PDF

By Dave Goldberg, Jeff Blomquist

Solutions to science's such a lot enduring questions from "Can I holiday the light-speed barrier like on Star Trek?" and "Is there existence on different planets?" to "What is empty area made of?"

this is often an fundamental advisor to physics that provides readers an outline of the most well-liked physics subject matters written in an available, irreverent, and interesting demeanour whereas nonetheless holding a tone of wry skepticism. Even the beginner could be capable of persist with alongside, because the subject matters are addressed utilizing undeniable English and (almost) no equations. Veterans of well known physics also will locate their nagging questions addressed, like no matter if the universe can extend speedier than gentle, and for that topic, what the universe is increasing into besides.

* offers a one-stop travel of the entire great questions that catch the general public mind's eye together with string thought, quantum mechanics, parallel universes, and the start of time

* Explains severe technology in an pleasing, conversational, and easy-to-understand manner

* contains dozens of delightfully groan-worthy cartoons that designate every thing from detailed relativity to darkish subject

 Filled with interesting info and insights, this e-book will either deepen and rework your figuring out of the universe.

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Extra resources for A User's Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty

Sample text

These two pictures—the particle and the wave—seem very different. On the other hand, it turns out that under some circumstances, both predict the exact same things. When shined on a mirror, we know that light reflects off the mirror and gets absorbed by your eye. Reflection is very easily described by the particle view of light, and by way of analogy, consider a photon as a ball. If you were anything like us, the closest you ever got to “playing catch with the guys” was tossing a tennis ball at the garage door.

And just in case you need Hyde to beat you over the head with what this means, we’ll repeat it: the fact that an electron can interfere with itself means that in reality it goes through both slits at the same time. But no matter how sharp your Ginsu knives are, you can’t possibly split an electron in twain. How’s that for a paradox? The electron goes through both slits without ever breaking in two. Of course, this isn’t just true of photons and electrons. The same experiment has been performed recently with all sorts of microscopic Q uan t u m We i rd n e s s objects: neutrons and atoms, for example.

The electron goes through both slits without ever breaking in two. Of course, this isn’t just true of photons and electrons. The same experiment has been performed recently with all sorts of microscopic Q uan t u m We i rd n e s s objects: neutrons and atoms, for example. All of them reveal this same quantum weirdness. We admit that we’re really giving you the hard sell on the double-slit experiment, but we assure you, it’s absolutely necessary. Topics such as relativity allow a physicist to assume a fact such as the constant speed of light, and then use theory to figure out pretty much everything else without ever leaving the comfort of his or her parents’ basement.

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