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Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

W. W. Norton & Company

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4.7 ratings
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AED 65.01

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Celebrity scientist Tyson's profound intellect is matched by his charm and wit. In this slim title, he attempts to explain some of the most complex astrophysics concepts in layman's terms. Readers should be prepared for a challenging yet edifying experience from the get-go: "In the beginning…all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the period that ends this sentence." Tyson riffs on topics such as gravity, the speed and makeup of light, the shape of space, and dark matter, maintaining as chatty a tone as possible as he tries to make these important principles comprehensible to the uninitiated. VERDICT Likely to resonate the most with those with a scientific bent, but Tyson's pop culture appeal expands the audience somewhat.—Jamie Watson, Baltimore County Public Library


"Neil deGrasse Tyson makes a big bang with Astrophysics for People in a Hurry."
Sloane Crosley, Vanity Fair

"Tyson is a master of streamlining and simplification....taking mind-bogglingly complex ideas, stripping them down to their nuts and bolts, padding them with colorful allegories and dorky jokes, and making them accessible to the layperson"

"This book will keep you fascinated with succinct and dynamic explanations of a wide variety of astronomical topics. A winner that every astronomy enthusiast should have on the bookshelf!"
David J. Eicher, Astronomy

"This may have been written for people in a hurry, but I urge you to take your time. It will all be over far too soon."

"Engaging and illuminating."

"Tyson manifests science brilliantly....[his] insights are valuable for any leader, teacher, scientist or educator."

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will blow your mind....it is awesome."

"Infectiously enthusiastic, humorous and, above all, accessible....reading
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is both a humbling and exhilarating experience."

About the Author

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History and the New York Times best-selling author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. He lives in New York City.

Over a year on the New York Times bestseller list and more than a million copies sold.

The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist.

What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

Ratings & Reviews

4.7 ratings
Customer Reviews
  • B. &. R. S.

    Greatly enjoyable…

    I see one or two star reviews because this is difficult to understand for novices or passers-by looking to glean some basics about the cosmos. I believe this is because people read the title and expect the book to contain basic, introductory information. Here the title may be incorrectly interpreted to read ‘Astrophysics for Dummies’ or ‘Astrophysics 101,’ but the book’s title and, more so, the book’s epigraph - “For all those who are too busy to read fat books yet nonetheless seek a conduit to the cosmos” - suggest that a lot of information is presented in a concise manner, a plethora of details in short paragraphs. And so it is.Some low to middling reviews lament Mr. Tyson’s crossing of topics with less detail than would be preferred. Here I believe the brevity offered for each topic is exactly what the title promises; a quick, detailed read with the assumption that the reader has a basic understanding of the maths and sciences astrophysicists require. And so the 12 chapters, each broken in to smaller, quick-burst summaries, provide history and present-day knowledge of the topics that explain mankind’s understanding of the universe.Granted, I am not an astrophysicist, nor am I of much value to any science or math in general being massively right-brained and more a musician, poet, satirist, writer, philosopher.But I love the cosmos! I find a beauty in the universe that quickens my heart, inflates my lungs, consumes my mind, floods my spirit, and etches my deep fascination in to my soul. The unfathomable expanse in which this little blue planet on which we live exists, like a infinitesimal Lilliputian in a Brobdingnagian sea, is simultaneously mesmerizing and terrifying. In the beauty of what appears to be chaos but is actually governed by concrete laws, I find peace and am stilled by the possibilities. Also, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s approach to the universe, and his intense interest in things which affects our daily lives on earth but aren’t particularly relevant to astrophysics, is unique, funny, easily interactive, and deeply moving. So, yes, I read this book, understood the science, the math, the concepts presented, all through my artistic lens informed by my autodidactic penchant for learning. I’m pleased.Our universe is gorgeous and the laws that govern its existence are enjoyably complex but herein I think all is adroitly explained.

  • M. M.

    Shipped fast and with great care!

    I received this order very quickly (3 days from the date ordered). It was wrapped in about 3-4 layers of bubble wrap and placed in a perfectly sized box to ensure there would be no damage in shipping. The book itself is in exactly the described condition. Also included in the box was an order receipt and a nice handwritten note thanking me for my order. Thank you, Georgia Hoarder!

  • e.

    After the laws of physics, everything else is opinion

    I read this book because I wanted to learn the basics about astrophysics. But as I quickly discovered, this is not astrophysics for dummies. Yes it’s a relatively quick read but Neil deGrasse Tyson seems to wrote it with the assumption of basic knowledge from the readers.Nevertheless, the general feel about the subject can still be understood.Firstly, we can assert without further hesitation that the universe had a beginning. The universe also continues to evolve, with every atom in our body is traceable to the Big Bang and to “the thermonuclear furnaces within high-mass stars that exploded more than five billion years ago.”Moreover, while the Big Bang occurred 13.8 billion years ago, it took another 380,000 years before we can see any matter forming, and few more billion years to form a planet that we call home. Yes, time moves slowly in the universe, and in the grand scale of things our 70-100 years of life, by contrast, is ridiculously short.Furthermore, there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on any beach, more stars than seconds have passed since Earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago. In fact, there are about 100 billion galaxies that we have discovered so far in the universe, one of which is our Milky Way galaxy that in turn contains approximately 100 billion more stars, with one of them is our Sun. We truly are nothing but a speck of dust in the face of the massive universe.Meanwhile, as one star (our Sun) can have several planets orbiting it, other stars also have planets orbiting them and quite a lot of these planets are at a similar distance like the Earth to the Sun, not too close that it evaporates the water but not too far that it freezes the water. In other words, there are thousands of planets that have been found so far that are habitable and have the potential to support life just like on Earth.I also find it particularly intriguing that Newton’s Law of Gravity also guides planets, asteroids, and comets in their orbit around the Sun and organised the orbit of the billion stars within our Milky Way Galaxy. This, as it turns out, is a common thing in the world of science: that everything from nature to space all follow certain laws of physics, while everything else, as Tyson remarks, is opinion.The book also mentions so many fascinating facts such as different colour have different temperature, it also features the explanations of most of the elements in the periodic table, amusing speculations like the possibility that Earthlings might just be a descendant of Martians, and many, many space-science stuff that I find it challenging to digest.Needless to say, I came here to find answers but come out with more questions. Questions like what’s in the space between galaxies? Who or what neatly organised the gravitational orbits of the planets and the stars? What is a supermassive black hole? What’s on the dark side of the moon? What’s that bright thing in the center of the Milky Way galaxy?But I guess that’s what a stimulating book is supposed to do, and the amount of mysteries about the space that we still haven’t uncovered yet are intriguing to closely follow.

  • E. K.

    Great read

    I’ve read a fair amount of scientific books, Hawking, Einstein, Tesla… Tyson has a way about explaining the universe in a way that’s fun and entertaining. If you’re a big bang fan it’s a must read.

  • J.

    Informative for newbies

    As someone with no physics or astrology background, i found this book to be enlightening and pleasant to read. I had no trouble following the concepts being explained and the author does an excellent job at creating relatable parallels to our daily lives.

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