Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Book PrefaceAstrophysics for People in a Hurry
In recent years, no more than a week goes by without news of a cosmic discovery worthy of banner headlines. While media gatekeepers may have developed an interest in the universe, this rise in coverage likely comes from a genuine increase in the public’s appetite for science. Evidence for this abounds, from hit television shows inspired or informed by science, to the success of science fiction films starring marquee actors, and brought to the screen by celebrated producers and directors. And lately, theatrical release biopics featuring important scientists have become a genre unto itself. There’s also widespread interest around the world in science festivals, science fiction conventions, and science documentaries for television.
The highest grossing film of all time is by a famous director who set his story on a planet orbiting a distant star. And it features a famous actress who plays an astrobiologist. While most branches of science have ascended in this era, the field of astrophysics persistently rises to the top. I think I know why. At one time or another every one of us has looked up at the night sky and wondered: What does it all mean? How does it all work? And, what is my place in the universe?
If you’re too busy to absorb the cosmos via classes, textbooks, or documentaries, and you nonetheless seek a brief but meaningful introduction to the field, I offer you Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. In this slim volume, you will earn a foundational fluency in all the major ideas and discoveries that drive our modern understanding of the universe. If I’ve succeeded, you’ll be culturally conversant in my field of expertise, and you just may be hungry for more.
1.The Greatest Story Ever Told
2.On Earth as in the Heavens
3.Let There Be Light
4.Between the Galaxies
7.The Cosmos on the Table
8.On Being Round
10.Between the Planets
12.Reflections on the Cosmic Perspective
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