“Galactic Quick Fix: Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ‘Astrophysics in a Flash'” By Rohit Nair
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
If you have heard of some funny jokes or hilarious space facts on YouTube Shorts or in some podcast or famous shows like StarTalk and COSMOS related to Astronomy and Astrophysics, then you probably know the name Neil De Grasse Tyson – one of the most beloved and phenomenal science communicators of all time!
Now let’s dive into some detailed insights on Tyson. Neil De Grasse Tyson, an astrophysicist, and a well-known science communicator earned his doctorate from Columbia University and postdoc from Princeton University. He also did his BA from Harvard University. Later, he went on to become the staff scientist of Hayden Planetarium and also a visiting researcher at Princeton University.
Neil became the director of the Planetarium and under his tenure, the place was redesigned and constructed with a whopping price of $210 million. Later in 1997, he established the Department of Astrophysics in the Rose Centre for Earth and Space, where he served as a research associate till 2003. Tyson has been one of the best and most active science communicators, whose interest and passion for explaining complex science made us fall in love with space as well.
BOOKS AND SHOWS
Tyson is well known for his books and shows throughout the world. Tyson has written many books which include some of his articles from the Universe column of Natural History, where he wrote articles in that column from 1995 to 2005. Some famous books which include these articles are Death by Black Hole (2007) and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (2017). Tyson has published 15+ books till date.
Tyson has done several television shows which have been huge successes. They deliver science in an interesting, and informative way to the public. It was in 2009 that he started a podcast named StarTalk, a well-known podcast in the space science community of all time. He even hosted a show named NOVA ScienceNow on PBS from 2006 to 2011. Later he continued as a successor to Carl Sagan’s series of COSMOS: A Personal Voyage, in 2014 COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey at Nat Geo Channel and was quite a hit among the audience.
Credit: © Neil De Grasse Tyson website
Credit: © Neil De Grasse Tyson website
ABOUT AND SUMMARY OF THE BOOK
Whatever we saw till now was just the introduction of Tyson… Now let’s take a tour and enjoy Tyson’s one of the best books of all time; “ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY”. Below you will experience various contexts of his book and this ride will make you feel the universe at a much cheaper rate than commercial space travel.
The book starts with a one page briefing all of his published books and shows a summary of his work till now. This helps the reader to get an idea of what they are diving into. The book consists of 12 chapters, with suitable Preface and Acknowledgments at the start and end of the book respectively. The chapters in this book are well-organised so that readers can start and understand from ZERO!!
The book starts with the history of the Big Bang phenomenon. He explains in a detailed way how in an hour the universe started and developed further. He explained every detailed evolution of the universe and made it simple. He later goes on to explain our solar system, the sun, and about the Earth. Further, he explains the research on discovering the size of the observable universe, especially mentioning CMB and many much more theories.
In the upcoming chapters, he expressed his views and knowledge on especially Dark Matter and Dark Energy, two mind-blowing astronomical topics of all time. He gave detailed explanations about chemicals, and materials in the universe, also explaining about materials emitted after the explosion of Stars. Tyson then took on a journey of invisible light, where he explained various spectra other than visible spectra and how they were detected. In the last few chapters, he expresses his knowledge of the Asteroid Belt, Kuiper Belt, and Exoplanets.
The book in a sense takes us on a huge tour of the universe with little but important facts to be known!!!
REVIEW AND FEEDBACK
The book is self-contained and completely beginner-friendly with no equations, and much high-theoretical interpretations along with that it’s not research-oriented, but it’s a curiosity generator. Tyson’s way of making complex things simple with jokes and funny quotes makes people relate to the concepts much more easily.
Taking on the topics like Dark Matter and Dark Energy itself is a courageous task. These topics have been one of the biggest mysteries in the universe and Tyson has done a killer job of explaining it to the people in his unique way. He has described every chapter in a very detailed manner both scientifically and in how it evolved historically – that’s the beauty of this book. The whole book itself contains every basic topic to be understood by any science lover or even any undergrad preparing themselves for astrophysics.
Another beauty of this book is chapter one, which consists of the album of how our universe was born. He has elaborated every single second in the universe’s timeline as if we were there to watch the birth of the universe ourselves! Every single, minute detail is covered in a simple way, which is why I consider this to be one of my favorite chapters of this book.
On the whole, the book is a great read, with his hilarious jokes in the middle of the text, which are relatable to the topic. He is a man with an extraordinary gift to make astronomy a simpler, more effective, and more curious subject to all!!