Summary and Info
"A User's Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty" walks the curious lay reader through the intricacies of physics as it applies to many different situations, some realistic and some completely theoretical and "out there."
I was extremely excited to receive this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers; it was on my Amazon.com Wish List and I had planned to purchase it for my birthday, but was lucky enough to snag it through the program. I eagerly checked my mailbox every day and once I received the book, began reading it immediately. Imagine my surprise when I realized this is actually a book one can read anywhere--on the couch, on breaks at work, in the bathtub, in bed, etc. The writing is remarkably easy to understand and flows along quite readily.
At some points, the concepts did go beyond my grasp--for instance, in chapter two, when the authors began discussing light particles and Schrodinger's cat. However, the book propels the reader along so that if the reader does not fully grasp a concept, it does not matter--the reader can still understand enjoy the book, as I did.
The authors discuss such topics as: special relativity (the speed of light and characteristics of such), quantum "weirdness" (qualities of light particles and quantum mechanics), randomness, the standard model of atoms and particles, time travel (which will make you go "wow"), makeup and characteristics of the universe, the Big Bang, extraterrestrials, and other stuff (dark matter and miscellaneous).
Throughout the text, author-generated sketches are interspersed to inject humor and some concepts; I especially enjoyed the sketches of the fundamental particles. The authors do make an abundance of jokes--there are multiple jokes on every page. I do feel they could have excised some of the jokes and the book would have been just as interesting. Overall, it is an interesting read, especially for someone who took one physics class ten years ago.
More About the Author
David Bruce "Dave" Goldberg (October 2, 1967 – May 1, 2015) was an American management consultant and businessman.