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We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Cham, Jorge, Whiteson, Daniel
ISBN: 0735211523     ISBN-13: 9780735211520
Publisher: Riverhead Books
    OUR PRICE: $16.20  
Product Type: Paperback
Published: May 2018
Annotation: Prepare to learn everything we still don’t know about our strange and mysterious universe.

Humanity's understanding of the physical world is full of gaps. Not tiny little gaps you can safely ignore —there are huge yawning voids in our basic notions of how the world works. PHD Comics creator Jorge Cham and particle physicist Daniel Whiteson have teamed up to explore everything we don't know about the universe: the enormous holes in our knowledge of the cosmos. Armed with their popular infographics, cartoons, and unusually entertaining and lucid explanations of science, they give us the best answers currently available for a lot of questions that are still perplexing scientists, including:

* Why does the universe have a speed limit?
* Why aren't we all made of antimatter?
* What (or who) is attacking Earth with tiny, superfast particles?
* What is dark matter, and why does it keep ignoring us?

It turns out the universe is full of weird things that don't make any sense. But Cham and Whiteson make a compelling case that the questions we can't answer are as interesting as the ones we can.

This fully illustrated introduction to the biggest mysteries in physics also helpfully demystifies many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. With equal doses of humor and delight, Cham and Whiteson invite us to see the universe as a possibly boundless expanse of uncharted territory that's still ours to explore.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Science | Physics
- Science | Cosmology
Dewey: 530
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 8.00" H x 5.25" W x 1.00" (0.80 lbs) 354 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Jorge Cham is the creator of the popular online comic Piled Higher and Deeper, also known as PHD Comics. He earned his PhD in robotics at Stanford.

Daniel Whiteson 
is a professor of experimental particle physics at the University of California, Irvine, and a fellow of the American Physical Society. He conducts research using the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 March #2)

Cham, creator of PHD Comics, and Whiteson, professor of experimental particle physics at UC-Irvine, take their YouTube talent to the page for this lucid and irreverent survey of the many unsolved mysteries of our universe. The authors set a brisk pace as they charge fearlessly across the shadowy terrain of modern physics and cosmology, covering gravity and fundamental particles as well as the Big Bang and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. An opening section on dark matter and dark energy explores the 95% of the universe that seems impervious to human curiosity. Continuing their journey, they ask such questions as: What are cosmic rays? Where's our universe's antimatter? Why does time only move forward? And just how big is the universe anyway? The book's cast includes hamsters, evil twins, Doctor Who, and others. Black holes, the Higgs boson, and theories of everything rub elbows with Pi charts, pop culture, and Lego philosophy. Cham and Whiteson mesh comics, lighthearted infographics, and lively explanations to painlessly introduce curious readers to complex concepts in easily digestible chapters. This fun guide is just the ticket for science fans of any age. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (May)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 November)

Accompanied by funny cartoons, this title takes readers on a mind-expanding, exhilarating trip through everything scientists don't know about the universe, which turns out to be quite a lot. Cham and Whiteson start with the humbling fact that 27 percent of the universe is made up of dark matter—which we can't see, interact with, or measure. A staggering 68 percent of the universe is dark energy, which the authors point out is just a convenient and possibly misleading term for something we know even less about. The rest of the book explores the remaining five percent, detailing our incomplete understanding of everything from mass to space-time to gravity and more. Fortunately, Cham and Whiteson present a wealth of information about what physicists do know, and their excitement about scientific advancement and their optimism about future discoveries are infectious. Their stabs at levity are a bit grating (although they're aware how lame their jokes are) and unnecessary, since their prose is lucid, even when the concepts become almost impossible to grasp. VERDICT An enjoyable and thought-provoking read for older teens with at least a cursory understanding of physics.—Mark Flowers, Springstowne Library, Vallejo, CA

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.