Friday, 3 December 2010

The Solar System (3 Vol. Set)

This book features essential coverage of all major aspects of Earth's solar system, from every feature of the major planets to their satellites, small bodies, interplanetary phenomena, and cosmological context. Designed to meet the needs of both general readers and students, this completely revised and updated edition covers 180 major topics on Earth's solar system as it is understood from the latest perspectives. For this new edition, 58 new topics have been added and every essay has been thoroughly expanded, from the text through bibliographies, to bring it up to date in view of the many interplanetary missions that have expanded our knowledge of the solar system - from Pioneer and Voyager through the missions of Galileo, Cassini-Huygens, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the latest Mars probes as of 2009. Scope and coverage: No reference dedicated to the solar system is this detailed or complete and up to date

The Seventh Landing: Going Back to the Moon, This Time to Stay

It's been thirty-five years since people last trod the dusty plains of the Moon. Over the course of six landings from 1969 to 1972, twelve men explored, four-wheeled, dug and hiked across the lunar surface. Now, NASA has plans for a seventh landing on the Moon. This time, they want to stay. NASA's plans, dubbed the Constellation architecture, involve the largest launch vehicle ever built, new types of propulsion, and a six-person vehicle to ferry crews from Earth to the Moon. But NASA's plans go far beyond Luna. Eventually, the lessons learned on the Moon's outpost at Shackleton Crater will teach us how to live—permanently—on the most Earthlike world in our solar system, Mars. NASA will have company: plans for future lunar exploration are being drawn by Europe, Japan, China and India.

While specific hardware and mission details will be in flux for some time, the overarching goals, strategies and inspiration for the seventh landing will not change. This book will choose a typical scenario for getting to the Moon that embraces the spirit of exploration embodied by NASA's Constellation architecture. Each chapter moves from a general description to the specific nuts-and-bolts of engineering and science. The Seventh Landing reveals the very latest strategies for how we'll get to the Moon, what we know today, what we want to find out, and what life will be like at the first true outposts on the Moon and Mars.

Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe

How did a single “genesis event” create billions of galaxies, black holes, stars and planets? How did atoms assemble—here on earth, and perhaps on other worlds—into living beings intricate enough to ponder their origins? What fundamental laws govern our universe?This book describes new discoveries and offers remarkable insights into these fundamental questions. There are deep connections between stars and atoms, between the cosmos and the microworld. Just six numbers, imprinted in the “big bang,” determine the essential features of our entire physical world. Moreover, cosmic evolution is astonishingly sensitive to the values of these numbers. If any one of them were “untuned,” there could be no stars and no life. This realization offers a radically new perspective on our universe, our place in it, and the nature of physical laws.

The Life of Stars:

This beautifully illustrated book describes the birth and evolution of the theory of stellar structure through the vehement controversy between biology (as presented by Darwin) and physics (as presented by Kelvin) about the age of the Earth, which culminated with Rutherford suggesting radioactive dating. Shaviv analyzes critically many proclaimed scientific results, showing how and why they were wrong, and explains why it took decades to find the now accepted scientific answers - where there are such - and why there remains much more to be done before we can say we fully understand what happens up there in the heavens.
The Life of the Stars pres fascinating reading for all those interested in the stars, in the history of astronomy and in what their story tells us about how science progresses. Moreover, it will bring readers up-to-date on current problems in astrophysics.

Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel

Solar sailing is a topic of growing popular and media interest. Solar sail propulsion will make space exploration more affordable and offer access to destinations within (and beyond) the solar system that are currently beyond our reach. This book describes solar sails, how they work and what they will be used for in the exploration of space in an easily readable manner which does not necessitate any prior knowledge of physics or solar sailing. It discusses current plans for solar sails and also describes how advanced technology, such as nanotechnology, might enhance solar-sail performance. Much has been accomplished recently to make solar sail technology very close to becoming an engineering reality and it will soon be used by the world’s space agencies in the exploration of the solar system and beyond.

Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 10 edition

A tradition of excellence continues with the long-awaited Tenth Edition of McGraw-Hill's Encyclopedia of Science & Technology The definitive source for keeping up with the amazing changes in science and technology - complete with more than 1,700 new and updated articles Free supplemental website available to all users! Featuring entries written by international leaders in science and technology selected by McGraw-Hill's distinguished board of consulting editors, no other reference so thoroughly and dynamically chronicles the expanding frontier, facts, and trends so vital to students, professionals, and general readers. For more than four decades, McGraw-Hill's Encyclopedia of Science & Technology has provided readers with the information they need in an understandable, authoritative way that invites critical inquiry and captures the imagination. There is truly nothing else like it and no library can be called complete without it.

Surviving 1000 Centuries: Can We Do It?

The circumstances that will shape the long-term future of our planet will be constrained by what is physically possible and what is not. This book provides a quantitative view of our civilization over the next 100,000 years, in comparison to the 40-60,000 years it took for modern humans to emerge from Africa, on the basis of contemporary scientific and technological knowledge. The first 5 chapters provide the general scientific background, starting with a brief history of our planet, from its formation 4.5 billion years ago until the present day. The evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere and the origin of water are highlighted as being the most important factors for the emergence and the development of life, especially in comparison to Earth’s neighbours, Venus and Mars. The authors then consider both cosmic and natural hazards, pointing out that scientific information provided by satellites and communication systems on the ground could prevent many unnecessary casualties by forward planning and the installation of elementary precautions.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Living Without God: New Directions for Atheists, Agnostics, Secularists, and the Undecided

Ronald Aronson has a mission: to demonstrate that a life without religion can be coherent, moral, and committed. In the last few years the "New Atheists"--Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens--have created a stir by criticizing religion and the belief in God. Aronson moves beyond the discussion of what we should not believe, proposing contemporary answers to Immanuel Kant's three great questions: What can I know? What ought I to do? What can I hope? Grounded in the sense that we are deeply dependent and interconnected beings who are rooted in the universe, nature, history, society, and the global economy, Living Without God explores the experience and issues of 21st-century secularists, especially in America. Reflecting on such perplexing questions as why we are grateful for life's gifts, who or what is responsible for inequalities, and how to live in the face of aging and dying, Living Without God is also refreshingly topical, touching on such subjects as contemporary terrorism, the war in Iraq, affirmative action, and the remarkable rise of Barack Obama. Optimistic and stirring, Living Without God is less interested in attacking religion than in developing a positive philosophy for atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, skeptics, and freethinkers--as well as for all those of us who, whatever we call ourselves, manage to live fundamentally secular lives and are searching for bearings today.

A Short History of Nearly Everything (Audiobook)

From primordial nothingness to this very moment, A Short History of Nearly Everything reports what happened and how humans figured it out. To accomplish this daunting literary task, Bill Bryson uses hundreds of sources, from popular science books to interviews with luminaries in various fields. His aim is to help people like him, who rejected stale school textbooks and dry explanations, to appreciate how we have used science to understand the smallest particles and the unimaginably vast expanses of space. With his distinctive prose style and wit, Bryson succeeds admirably.

The Space Book: Activities for Experiencing the Universe and the Night Sky

Grab your space suit and helmet, step into the flight deck, and strap yourself in. You’re about to blast off from Earth to take an incredible tour of the Moon, the Sun, and the planets, plus galaxies, nebulae, and other wonders of space. Featuring more than 50 awesome hands-on activities, The Space Book introduces you to the surprises and mysteries that our solar system and outer space have to offer. You’ll observe Venus and mars, test your space IQ, find the Big Dipper and the North Star, calculate your weight on Pluto, and learn how to cover up a trillion stars with just one penny! You can even help scientists by searching for extraterrestrials from your home computer. So hold on for the ride of your life, check your seat belt one last time, and get ready for liftoff!

Entanglement: The Greatest Mystery in Physics

Will "beam me up, Scotty" become reality? Quantum mechanics suggests it may . . . and soon.
Since cyberspace -- a word coined by a science fiction writer -- became reality, the lines between "science" and "science fiction" have become increasingly blurred. Now, the young field of quantum mechanics holds out the promise that some of humanity's wildest dreams may be realized. Serious scientists, working off of theories first developed by Einstein and his colleagues seventy years ago, have been investigating the phenomenon known as "entanglement," one of the strangest aspects of the strange universe of quantum mechanics.

Charles Darwin and The Origin of Species

In 1859, an amateur British naturalist published a book of findings that shook the scientific community to its core and changed the structure of religion and science as we know them. The Origin of Species challenged the popular belief that species could not evolve and argued that species can adapt to their environment and develop accordingly. Although other scientists had observed some of the phenomena that Charles Darwin addressed, he was the first to theorize that natural selection, and later, evolution, were viable explanations for the origins of life. the implications of Darwin's findings still reverberate today, in the classroom, in the courtroom, and at the highest legislative levels.
Lively thematic chapters explore how Darwin came to the conclusions published in The Origin of Species and in later works such as The Descent of Man from his early years at Cambridge, to his observations of species on the HMS Beagle voyages, through the 20 years of research that culminated in Origin. Also included is an insightful discussion of Darwin's impact as it is felt today, from movies and popular culture to the current Intelligent Design controversy. Biographies of influential figures, primary source letters and selections from Origin, a glossary of terms, and an extensive annotated bibliography round out this accessible work.

The Story of the Solar System

The bodies of our Solar System have orbited continuously around the Sun since their formation, but they have not always been there, and conditions have not always been as they are today. The Story of the Solar System explains how our Solar System came into existence, how it has evolved and how it might end billions of years from now