Friday , December 4 2020

A short introduction to understanding the universe

Title: Astrophysics for people Busy

Original title: Astrophysics for People in a hurry up

Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson

Publisher: Gramedia

Printout: first, October 2018

ISBN: 978-602-06-1632-2

In popular culture, more and more science-fiction movies draw inspiration from science such as the Star Wars and Interstellar (2014) series. Also biographers like Hawking in The Theory of Everything (2014). Next, Einstein's film on the television series Genius (2017), and finally a biography about Neil A Armstrong in the first man (2018). These films show a growing interest in science, especially astronomy and cosmology.

However, attracting scientists often just stops watching in cinemas. The community seems too busy to penetrate the universe. They do not want to read thick scientific books or participate in scientific seminars. For this reason, Neil deGrasse Tyson, an American astrophysicist, wrote this book Astrophysics for Busy People (2018). Tyson also devoted the book to the lines of sentences: "For all those who are too busy not to have time to read thick books, but still look for channels to the universe."

This book provides a basic understanding of all the great ideas and discoveries that support the contemporary understanding of the universe. The author encourages readers to get acquainted with the cosmos, from the history of the Big Bang to the search for life in the universe.

It reveals the power and beauty of the laws of physics, because they are everywhere. Newton's discovery of the law of gravity of apple falling from a tree also appears to apply to planets, asteroids and comets around the Sun (page 13).

The book expresses the relationship between gravity and the height of the mountains. The reason for objects in the universe is round. The origin of the element's name in the periodic table, until scientists discover "invisible" light such as infrared and ultraviolet. Tyson wrote them with a language full of empathy and amazement, but it was still fun because of the large amount of humor.

For example, talking about the discovery of invisible light, gamma rays. He wrote: "Anyone who watches too much science fiction knows that gamma radiation is harmful to humans, people can be green and muscular or remove cobwebs from their wrists" (p. 107).

In this book, we also discuss the possibility of another life outside of Earth. Exoplanets or planets considered similar to Earth were first discovered in 1995. Now the discovered quantity penetrates three thousand. The universe is huge.

It is estimated that there are up to 40 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky-galaxy itself. That is to say, said Tyson, the planets that people may want to visit one day (p. 131). All this sounds exotic and it is hard to believe. But was not it also considered crazy when Copernicus proposed Earth around the Sun?

There are still many unknowns. People just started to celebrate the universe. This book helps readers to realize so many interesting issues of astronomy and cosmology. This book is suitable for those who are too busy to understand the universe in class, textbooks or documents. The Astrophysics book for busy people can be a fun and entertaining short introduction.

Director of Muhammad Khambala, UNJ Alumni

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