Beyond Star Trek: Physics from Alien Invasions to the End of Time

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9780465006373: Beyond Star Trek: Physics from Alien Invasions to the End of Time
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In the bestselling The Physics of Star Trek, the renowned theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss took readers on an entertaining and eye-opening tour of the Star Trek universe. Now, responding to requests for more as well as to a number of recent exciting discoveries in physics and astronomy, Krauss takes a provocative look at how the laws of physics relate to notions from our popular culture not only Star Trek, but other films, shows, and popular lore from Independence Day to Star Wars to The X-Files.With his books and popular lectures, Krauss has been compared to the late Carl Sagan as one of the preeminent scientists writing with humor and clarity for the general public. Beyond Star Trek establishes him as today’s leading voice in the discussion of cutting-edge ideas that arise from our growing knowledge of the universe. Join him on a fun mind-bending journey through the nature of alien visitation, interstellar travel including the very latest on warp-drive systems time, consciousness, ESP, the probability of other life in the universe, and quantum reality.Once again Krauss has turned to his colleagues including the foremost theoretical physicists in the world, asking them about the greatest unsolved mysteries of the universe. The answers will surprise you.So buckle up and get ready for an exciting trip that takes the question ”Could this ever really happen?” to new heights and will give you new insights into your favorite science fiction and your favorite universe!

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Review:

Lawrence M. Krauss's publishing record reveals his knowledge of dark matter, cosmic strings, baryon number violations at the electroweak scale -- and the mysterious, sometimes bogus TV "science" that the Star Trek generation cut its teeth on. Krauss's previous book, The Physics of Star Trek, was readable, educational, and clever, never talking down to the layman or trivializing physics.

In this equally amusing companion volume, Krauss analyzes more science in Star Trek and the next generation of sci-fi movies and TV shows. Can telekinesis exist? How about ESP? Like Fox Mulder of The X-Files, we want to believe, and Krauss finesses these issues, allowing, after much discussion of gravity and electromagnetic forces, that "there is little doubt that undiscovered forces...exist at some level." He's a bit harder on the alien spacecraft of the movie Independence Day, arguing that objects so large inside our atmosphere would exert a downward pressure of 450 pounds per square inch, and that the saucers could therefore crush skyscrapers simply by hovering over them. "Of course," quips Krauss, "this wouldn't have made for spectacular previews of coming attractions." Whether you're a Trekkie, an X-phile, or a serious student of physics, you'll like this book.

About the Author:

Lawrence M. Krauss in Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, Professor of Astronomy, and Chairman of the Department of Physics at Case Western Reserve University.

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