Want to know what books Philip Plait recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Philip Plait's favorite book recommendations of all time.
Filled with both humor and drama, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is Mike Brown’s engaging first-person account of the most tumultuous year in modern astronomy—which he inadvertently caused. As it guides readers through important scientific concepts and inspires us to think more deeply about our place in the cosmos, it is also an entertaining and enlightening personal story: While Brown sought to expand our understanding of the vast nature of space, his own life was changed in the most immediate, human ways by love, birth, and death. A heartfelt and personal perspective on the demotion of everyone’s favorite farflung planet, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is the book for anyone, young or old, who has ever dreamed of exploring the universe—and who among us hasn’t? less
Space, time, and matter were birthed 13.7 billion years ago and will continue on longer than we are able to comprehend. Infinitesimally small... more
Space, time, and matter were birthed 13.7 billion years ago and will continue on longer than we are able to comprehend. Infinitesimally small at first, the Universe is immense and ever expanding. Bang! explains how it all started, takes you on a tour of what is known about the evolution of the Universe, and posits how the end of time will come about.
This fascinating book includes photographs, short biographies of key figures, an at-a-glance timeline, a glossary of terms, and suggested resources for further exploration.
Based on the work of history’s most brilliant scientific minds, this amazing story features clear, straightforward discussions of the most perplexing and compelling aspects of existence—from the formation of stars, planets, and other galactic bodies to black holes, quasars, anti-matter, and dark matter to the emergence of life and the possibility that it could exist elsewhere.
Pick up a copy of Bang! It will, it will rock you. less
Christopher RileyAndrew Chaikin writes about all the difficulty of trying to invent all of this stuff at that time. He’s a brilliant writer and journalist. He took the time, back in the early 1990s, to go around and interview as many of the key players—including the astronauts themselves—who turned this dream into a reality. That, to me, is what makes A Man on the Moon the really definitive biography of Apollo,... (Source)
Professor Brian Cox and Professor Jeff Forshaw go on a journey to the frontier of 21st century science to consider the real meaning behind the iconic sequence of symbols that make up Einstein’s most famous equation, E=mc2. Breaking down the symbols themselves, they pose a series of questions: What is energy? What is mass? What has the speed of light got to do with energy and mass? In answering these questions, they take... more
Professor Brian Cox and Professor Jeff Forshaw go on a journey to the frontier of 21st century science to consider the real meaning behind the iconic sequence of symbols that make up Einstein’s most famous equation, E=mc2. Breaking down the symbols themselves, they pose a series of questions: What is energy? What is mass? What has the speed of light got to do with energy and mass? In answering these questions, they take us to the site of one of the largest scientific experiments ever conducted. Lying beneath the city of Geneva, straddling the Franco-Swiss boarder, is a 27 km particle accelerator, known as the Large Hadron Collider. Using this gigantic machine—which can recreate conditions in the early Universe fractions of a second after the Big Bang—Cox and Forshaw will describe the current theory behind the origin of mass.
Alongside questions of energy and mass, they will consider the third, and perhaps, most intriguing element of the equation: 'c' - or the speed of light. Why is it that the speed of light is the exchange rate? Answering this question is at the heart of the investigation as the authors demonstrate how, in order to truly understand why E=mc2, we first must understand why we must move forward in time and not backwards and how objects in our 3-dimensional world actually move in 4-dimensional space-time. In other words, how the very fabric of our world is constructed. A collaboration between two of the youngest professors in the UK, Why Does E=mc2? promises to be one of the most exciting and accessible explanations of the theory of relativity in recent years. less
Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And... more
Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today’s so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms. less
James RandiFirst of all, Carl was my very good friend, and we had a lot of confidences over the years. He was the epitome of the scientific mind and the scientific thinker. In The Demon-Haunted World, one of his later books, he investigates pseudoscience, frauds and fakes, and the mistakes that scientists made over the years. It’s very comprehensive. He had a whole chapter devoted to “Carlos” – or Jose... (Source)
Dallas Campbell@TheChilterns Even if you profoundly disagree with Clarke, it’s very detailed. The classic is of course ‘The Demon Haunted World’ by Carl Sagan. When I’m Prime Minister it will be compulsory reading at school! Best book on what science is/isn’t and why we think the way we do. 👍 (Source)
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