4 out of 5 Stars
My son is a big fan of science, and physics in particular. He loves learning about all of the different facets of the subject and I thought I should do a bit of reading to learn more about the idea of astrophysics. I have been trying to work my way through “We have No Idea” by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson but I am finding I am constantly distracted by other books in my stack that look more exciting. I will finish it but I am taking lots of breaks.
“Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil DeGrasse Tyson looked like something I could handle as this is a relatively small book at 208 pages. The chapters are nice and short and as I already listen to his podcast I find I can hear his voice in my head as I read the words he wrote. As strange as that might sound, I found it quite helpful in keeping me engaged, because frankly, I am not someone who understands many of these concepts right away. He does explain things in ways that I can eventually come around to and at the very least grasp parts of the various concepts. It has opened my mind to different subject matter and hopefully it will help me in the future if my son starts talking about Quarks and Dark Matter and energy and forces and so on.
I loved the opening quote of the book from NDT: “the universe is under no obligation to make sense to you”. After reading half of “We Have No Idea” I am comforted by the fact that universe and many of these subjects don’t always make sense to the experts either. They all admit that not everything has been solved and they “don’t know” when it comes to various things. The fact that it doesn’t make sense to me means I am perfectly normal in this regard and shouldn’t feel like I am just not smart enough (I might not be smart enough regardless, but at least I am in very good company).
If this subject matter is of interest to you and/or your kids, I highly recommend the book. There is great humor and honesty and science to be had, presented by “your own personal Astrophysicist”. Check it out!