I’ve had a long standing interest in cosmology and astronomy stretching back to childhood ambitions of becoming an astronaut. Consequently I’m quite well versed for a layman, having spent most of my time devouring the latest research in Nature when I had a subscription rather than reading on my own field.
As a result I can’t say I learned much new here, which is why I can only offer it 4 stars. But for someone with a more casual interest in the cosmos, this could be the perfect book.
It’s difficult to sustain a narrative arc in a book like this but there is a feeling of progression as ideas are laid out with something of a historical perspective. And given just how mindbending real astrophysics is, the concepts are always well explained, sufficiently detailed and serve to be a fantastic reminder of the wonderful science of the universe that surrounds us.
The book is not ashamed to point out where the limits of our current knowledge is on a topic, and whilst I could have done without the ‘big idea’ summaries which are occasionally glib and trite (summarising 4 pages of an idea in a short pithy sentence) the content is broad, meaningful and a real pleasure to read.
Buy on Amazon (Hardback): 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Universe
Buy on Amazon (Kindle): 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Universe