Astronomical : From Quarks to Quasars, the Science of Space at its Strangest
'In the same light-heartedly informative spirit as his previous Elemental, Tim James gives us an entertaining gallop through light years of space science, from the big bang to UFOs'Andrew Crumey, author of The Great Chain of UnbeingPRAISE FOR THE AUTHOR'Humorous, yet deep . . . Fundamental will speak to all readers' Professor Charles Antoine, Sorbonne University'Who said science was dry? Certainly not Tim James' New York PostDoes the Big Bang prove the existence of God? What's the Universe expanding into? Is Earth the only planet which supports life? Why did the greatest astronomer in history murder his pet moose?Space is the biggest, oldest, hottest, coldest, strangest thing a human can study. It's no surprise then, that the weirdest facts in science (not to mention the weirdest scientists themselves) are found in astrophysics and cosmology. If you're looking for instructions on how to set up your grandad's telescope this book probably isn't for you. In Astronomical, Tim James takes us on a tour of the known (and unknown) Universe, focusing on the most-mind boggling stuff we've come across, as well as unpacking the latest theories about what's really going on out there. Guiding us through Einstein's relativity, quantum mechanics and string theory, Astronomical delves into the baffling corners of the cosmos and tackles the biggest mysteries we face: from alien life to the zodiac; from white holes to wormholes; from quasars to quark stars. This is the science of space at its absolute strangest! From the creation of the Universe out of nothing to the Large Hadron Collider and the Universe's ongoing expansion, Tim explores our planetary neighbours, where it snows metal on Venus, there are underground lakes on Mars and rivers of petrol on Titan. He then looks beyond our solar system: to exoplanets which could support life, rogue planets, quark stars, quasars, neutron stars and more. Tim looks at black holes (and how to survive in one), wormholes, white holes as well as dark energy, dark matter and even a bit of string theory thrown in for good measure. He explains the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, including the discovery of Martian fossils in the Alan Hills meteorite and the tantalising 'Wow signal' transmission earth received in 1973 - still unexplained. He also rebuts resurgent anti-science movements, including the Flat Earth Society and discusses what's really going on inside Area 51. To close, Tim finishes by looking at human achievements in space including how rockets work, how faster-than-light warp-drives (currently being investigated by NASA) work and how we plan to colonise both the moon and Mars.