Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

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Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Format:  Hardcover,

384 pages

Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc

Publish Date: Jan 2007

ISBN-13: 9780393062243

ISBN-10: 0393062244

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
A collection of essays on the cosmos, written by an American Museum of Natural History astrophysicist, includes "Holy Wars," "Ends of the World," and "Hollywood Nights."


Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
Publish Date: Jan 2007
ISBN-13: 9781572226104
ISBN-10: 1572226102
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 4
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.2
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.75 x 8.5 x 1.25

About the author

Biography of Tyson, Neil deGrasse

Astrophysicist Neil de Grass e Tyson was born in New York City on October 5, 1958. Interested in astronomy since he was a child, Tyson gave lectures on the topic at the age of 15. He attended the Bronx High School of Science and was the editor-in-chief for its Physical Science Journal. After earning a B.A. in Physics from Harvard in 1980, Tyson received an M.A. in Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983. He earned his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Columbia in 1991. Since 1996, Tyson has held the position of Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at Manhattan's American Museum of Natural History.

In 2001, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry. In 2004, Tyson joined the President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. He has hosted PBS's television show NOVA science NOW since 2006. Tyson can also be seen frequently as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Tyson has written many popular books on astronomy, and he began his "Universe" column for Natural History magazine in 1995. In 2009, he published the bestselling book The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet to describe the controversy over Pluto's demotion to dwarf planet. Tyson was recognized in 2004 with the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, and Time named him one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2007.

Chapter outline

Prologue: The Beginning of Science
The Nature of Knowledge: The challenges of knowing what is knowable in the universe
Coming to Our Senses
On Earth as in the Heavens
Seeing Isn't Believing
The Information Trap
Stick-in-the-Mud Science
The Knowledge of Nature: The challenges of discovering the contents of the cosmos
Journey from the Center of the Sun
Planet Parade
Vagabonds of the Solar System
The Five Points of Lagrange
Antimatter Matters
Ways and Means of Nature: How Nature presents herself to the inquiring mind
The Importance of Being Constant
Speed Limits
Going Ballistic
On Being Dense
Over the Rainbow
Cosmic Windows
Colors of the Cosmos
Cosmic Plasma
Fire and Ice
The Meaning of Life: The challenges and triumphs of knowing how we got here
Dust to Dust
Forged in the Stars
Send in the Clouds
Goldilocks and the Three Planets
Water, Water
Living Space
Life in the Universe
Our Radio Bubble
When the Universe Turns Bad: All the ways the cosmos wants to kill us
Chaos in the Solar System
Coming Attractions
Ends of the World
Galactic Engines
Knock 'Em Dead
Death by Black Hole
Science and Culture: The ruffled interface between cosmic discovery and the public's reaction to it
Things People Say
Fear of Numbers
On Being Baffled
Footprints in the Sands of Science
Let There Be Dark
Hollywood Nights
Science and God: When ways of knowing collide
In the Beginning
Holy Wars
The Perimeter of Ignorance
Name Index
Subject Index


Review by Library Journal (2006-11-01)

This essay collection was originally published over 11 years in Natural History magazine. Professional astrophysicist Tyson (director, New York City's Hayden Planetarium) talks here mostly about the cosmos as seen by contemporary science, also touching on the history of science. He demonstrates a good feel for explaining science in an intelligible way to interested lay readers; his rather rakish sense of humor should aid in making the book enjoyable. The two concluding chapters address the relationship between science and religion (Tyson is forthright in arguing that "intelligent design" is not science). Because some of the essays concern overlapping topics, certain brief sections might seem repetitious for those reading the volume straight through, but this does not detract significantly from the overall value of the book. Recommended for public and undergraduate college libraries.

-Jack W. Weigel, formerly with the Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. Here, Tyson compiles his favorite essays across a myriad of cosmic topics. The title essay introduces readers to the physics of black holes by explaining the gory details of what would happen to your body if you fell into one. "Holy Wars" examines the needless friction between science and religion in the context of historical conflicts. "The Search for Life in the Universe" explores astral life from the frontiers of astrobiology. And "Hollywood Nights" assails the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right.

Known for his ability to blend content, accessibility, and humor, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies some of the most complex concepts in astrophysics while simultaneously sharing his infectious excitement about our universe.

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