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Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is a book written by the renowned Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. The title says it all, this book is perfect for people who have a slight interest in Astrophysics but don’t have the time to read a whole University textbook. It compiles all the most interesting and impactful moments about Astrophysics in an easy to read package.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is Limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein.
This is not a quote from the book but one that I believe captures the spirit of it. The book reminded me of my love for Astrophysics. It was captivating to learn the ideas that develop from the people’s imagination and limited knowledge and the ingenuity to prove these concepts. I’ve always been a fan of space and learning about the origins of our universe. I was able to relive and enjoy those feelings while reading this book.
“Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” went surprisingly deep into the discovery of different ideas. It was a welcome surprise, learning the backstory to different theories was fascinating and made the final realisation more satisfying. The creativity of humanity is shown as he takes us through the years of collective human knowledge. How each discovery, intended or not, has led to some of the most basic equipment we use today and the most fundamental understandings of our universe.
The imagination needed to theorise and develop concepts was inspiring to read. To realise how incredibly lucky we are to even exist and how ridiculously small we are in the grand scheme of things, was jaw-dropping. I feel like I gained a lot of valuable knowledge that I can apply to my future ideas and stories.
Knowing the many unexplained and unexplored areas really gave me the motivation to write. It gives a sense that almost anything is possible and you can let your ideas run wild. The mysterious “Dark Matter” that is always referenced in Sci-fi and fantasy, learning what it actually is, I can see why many authors have chosen to use it to explain supernatural elements of their stories. It is an interesting idea that can be used in many different ways. The book made it very easy to understand why it is believed to exist and is not just a made-up phenomenon by Sci-fi authors.
Dark matter is “invisible” matter that is used to explain the unexpectedly fast orbit of distant planets. The speed is related to the mass of the plant, therefore the only way to explain the unexpected speed is to say there must be more matter that is unseen i.e. Dark matter. Dark as it doesn’t interact with light but it interacts with gravity. They are not detectable yet as they are not affected by the strong or weak force or electromagnetic forces. It is a theory, based in reality but sounds incredibly Sc-fi esque.
Interesting theories like that are what make it so interesting. I definitely plan on incorporating some information into my next book. I learnt that the last name of my main character, Alexander Charon, is also the name of Pluto’s largest moon. This information can be used for some symbolism. To have a character that is deeply connected to Alex, and name him Pluto to show Alex revolves around him.
Thoughts and opinions
The writing was witty and amusing, it kept me engaged through the more historic aspects of the book. My only “issue” with the book, some details did not need to be explored as much as he did. But this is very subjective, I feel most people would be glad to learn the more minute details of the history behind these theories. The book is relatively short and explains the more complex aspects of astrophysics in a digestible bitesize manner that made it perfect for “people in a hurry”. If you fondly remember learning about black holes and supernovas in your physics class or maybe you just enjoy looking up at the night sky, this book is perfect to satisfy your thirst for more information.
If you’re interested feel free to grab a copy of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry here:
I hope you enjoyed this one. This is my first “Thoughts and Opinions” post. I had a lot of fun reading this book and needed to get some of my thoughts out there. Let me know if you prefer these types of posts to my usual ones.
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