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El universo en tu mano

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No estás solo en el universo. Y no estás solo en este viaje por el universo. Estás tumbado mirando el cielo en una playa cuando alguien te coge de la mano. Te guía en una odisea alucinante hasta los agujeros negros, las galaxias más lejanas y el inicio mismo del cosmos. Abandonas tu cuerpo y te desplazas a velocidades imposibles, te introduces en un núcleo atómico, viajas en el tiempo, entras en el Sol. No es que te expliquen el universo. Es que lo tocas. No es que por fin entiendas el universo. Lo tienes en tu mano.

Christophe Galfard, el mejor discípulo de Stephen Hawking, es uno de los divulgadores científicos más renombrados del planeta. "El universo en tu mano" ha recibido el premio al mejor libro de ciencia de 2015 en Francia, donde lleva vendidos más de 100.000 ejemplares.

464 pages, Hardcover

First published June 3, 2015

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About the author

Christophe Galfard

23 books180 followers
Christophe Galfard is a French physicist and author with a PhD. in theoretical physics from Cambridge University. He is co-author with Stephen Hawking and his daughter on their first YA book, George's Secret Key to the Universe. In the past few years, he has given talks, and written a live show, about our universe attended by more than 130,000 people, of all ages and educational backgrounds.

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5 stars
3,101 (53%)
4 stars
1,987 (34%)
3 stars
584 (10%)
2 stars
116 (1%)
1 star
33 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 672 reviews
Profile Image for Max.
347 reviews336 followers
June 10, 2018
Popular science books about physics seem to fall into three types. Some are dense digging directly into the hard science. While they have much to offer, they can be frustratingly difficult. Some are lightweight resorting to extended analogies and oversimplifications. They can create the illusion of understanding rather than genuine understanding. Others try for the middle ground. Too often these alternate between oversimplifications and detailed science resulting in a disjointed narrative.

Galfard, an accomplished physicist who was mentored by Stephen Hawking, tries for the middle ground and largely succeeds. He lightens up on the details: only one well known equation, only the simplest math, the minimum of particle names and scientific lingo required to be coherent. Also important, Galfard manages to maintain a consistent level of detail throughout. He presents concepts in a straightforward way that doesn’t diminish their meaning or their challenges to our intuition. With this style, he can’t dig deeply into how scientists have formulated their theories, but he does a good job of presenting their conclusions.

Galfard uses a protagonist – you. You become an ethereal mind exploring the universe from the very large to the very small. At first I thought this approach was a little hokey, but I grew comfortable with it and found myself enjoying it. Galfard has a conversational style and a sense of humor that keeps you moving along. He did an excellent job of using his protagonist to visualize concepts. The travelogue helped tie ideas together giving the book a continuity often lacking in science books. It also served as a spacer giving a break between difficult sections.

Galfard’s book is comprehensive. You travel through space to the end of the visible universe and along the way Galfard explains what you are seeing. He digs into general relativity as you slide through the curves of space time. He puts you on a rocket ship at near the speed of light to explain special relativity. He morphs you into a mini you to explore quantum mechanics and explain field theories. He takes you to a black hole then to the edge of a singularity and explains theories about the big bang, inflation and the multi-verse. He doesn’t leave out dark matter or dark energy. At the end he ventures into pure theory discussing quantum gravity and string theory.

So despite the light touch in his presentation, the subject matter is not light. Galfard says his “ambition” is to leave no reader behind. While that may be a stretch, I think any reader with a genuine interest can get something out of this book. Galfard is an unusually skillful writer for a physicist and I think he hits a sweet spot offering substance without being intimidating. As someone who regularly reads this genre, I can’t say there was much new. But I did like the way he showed the relationships and contradictions between theories, particularly field theories and theories of gravity and space-time, which he used to explain the need for theories of quantum gravity. I enjoyed my ride through space and the quantum and I think others who are fascinated by the cosmos will as well.
Profile Image for Anna.
580 reviews107 followers
October 17, 2017
Ένα εκπληκτικό βιβλίο εκλαϊκευμένης φυσικής που θα το πρότεινα ανεπιφύλακτα ως δώρο για όποιον έφηβο γνωρίζετε που θα του άρεσε να ασχοληθεί με τη Φυσική!

Ιδανικό επίσης για όσους θέλουν να μάθουν πέντε απλά πράγματα για τη σύγχρονη Φυσική!
Profile Image for Abigail.
199 reviews437 followers
September 9, 2017
Czytałam tę książkę powoli, po rozdziale raz na jakiś czas, nie pochłonęłam jej całej za jednym zamachem i przez to: a) nawet nie spostrzegłam się kiedy ją skończyłam i b) zapomniałam dodać jej do aktualnie czytanych na Goodreads.

Jestem totalnym laikiem jeżeli chodzi o fizykę, kosmos i tego typu sprawy, więc kiedy usłyszałam o "Wszechświat w twojej dłoni" wiedziałam, że to będzie książka dla mnie.

I faktycznie: jak bardzo nie lubiłabym fizyki to jednak książka Galfarda otworzyła mi oczy na niektóre rzeczy i rzeczywiście osiągnęła to, co autor sobie założył - pokazała mi w prosty i przystępny sposób piękno wszechświata.

Dzięki Galfard za tę książkę ♥
Profile Image for Javier Santaolalla.
35 reviews1,235 followers
February 7, 2018
"No estás solo en el universo. Y no estás solo en este viaje por el universo. Estás tumbado mirando el cielo en una playa cuando alguien te coge la mano. Te guía en una odisea alucinante hasta los agujeros negros, las galaxias más lejanas y el inicio mismo del cosmos ..."
Es parte de la descripción de libro que aparece en la contraportada y la copio tal cual porque es muy descriptiva y fiel de lo que ocurre dentro de él.
Allí te vas a encontrar un viaje por la física, con mucha narrativa y un lenguaje casi poético, en un intento por hacerte evocar, imaginar, recrear... Así que lo tienes muy fácil:
if(te gusta este tipo de lenguaje y no tienes muchos conocimientos de física)
Tiene un grandísimo mérito y un gran valor colocar tanto conocimiento (es doctor en física por la Universidad de Cambridge y alumno de Hawking) en términos tan básicos, con símiles MUY acertados, dignos de aplaudir. Solo es una pena, para un lector avanzado, que se quedara ahí, en conocimientos tan básicos. Algo que el lector que se inicia seguro que aplaude con vigor. Yo... me salté páginas enteras.
Libros así son necesarios y no puedo sino elogiar el trabajo de Christophe. ¡A leer, malditos!
Profile Image for Carlos.
617 reviews291 followers
September 28, 2017
Wow this book kicked ass... It was so good, it is a perfect marriage between perfect narrative and interesting context while at the same time not letting anything out . If you are interested in physics, black holes, string theory and quantum science but feel intimidated to read about it, make this your introductory book because it will explain everything in layman terms and you'll have fun learning all the components that make up our known universe while getting a glimpse at our future in science. I couldn't recommend this book more ,please read it as this would help anyone to broaden their horizons.
Profile Image for Roxana.
9 reviews26 followers
April 28, 2022
Such a brilliant description of modern astrophysics in a relatively accessible way. I can only say that I loved it and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in astronomy and astrophysics. 5/5.
Profile Image for Alexander Páez.
Author 35 books622 followers
July 25, 2018
Probablemente el mejor ensayo divulgativo sobre cositas cósmicas que he leído hasta ahora. A veces redunda en las analogías dummies (los granos de arena de una playa, etc), pero consigue que muchos conceptos complicadísimos sean entendibles a través de un texto. Quiero decir, habla de muchísimas cosas que se explican mejor con imágenes, vídeos e incluso fórmulas. Galfard lo consigue con palabras. SI os interesa el tema y queréis ese sentido de la maravilla estallando en vuestra cabeza, ultra recomendado.
Profile Image for Radiantflux.
428 reviews412 followers
January 11, 2022
1st book for 2022.

Remains one of my favourite, popular summaries of the current state of theoretical physics.




67th book for 2019.

Galfard—who amongst other claims to fame, was a graduate student of the late, great Stephen Hawking—has written a excellent general introduction to modern physics as a series of whimsical thought experiments. While thought experiments have a long history in theoretical physics—Einstein used thought experiments to elucidate many of his theoretical insights (e.g., what would it be like if an observer were to travel at the same speed as a beam of light?)—Galfard has taken the radical step of rewriting the entire canon of modern physics into a series of thought experiments that allow the non-mathematically inclined reader to get an intuitive grasp of current theoretical knowledge in physics. And he has managed to do this with a writing style that is both highly entertaining and informative.

Profile Image for P42.
241 reviews1,617 followers
September 12, 2017

RECENZJA FILMOWA - https://youtu.be/pzB1yKDT04Q

Najważniejsza rzecz - jest to książka o tzw. fizyce współczesnej, dodatkowo uzupełniona o najnowszą wiedzę.
Żeby nie było, że nie ostrzegałem :D

+ lekko fabularny wątek nadaje książce wyjątkowego uroku
+ humor narratora
+ przez większość lektury książka jest bardzo przystępna dla osób niezaznajomionych, ale ciekawych fizyki
+ tylko jeden wzór w całej książce :D
+ ale to napewno nie jest łatwa książka ;)
- powtarzanie rzeczy wcześniej opowiedzianych i zapowiadanie tego, co będzie za 100 stron jest rozpraszające

No i to wydanie!! <3

Profile Image for Muhammad Abdullah.
89 reviews53 followers
April 17, 2021
This is an amazing read which takes readers to the journey through infinite distances in the far-reaches of the universe. The readers see mind-boggling things throughout the journey and get amazing experiences which one can't imagine in daily life. Galfard did a stupendous job to write such a wonderful book. I really love this book and enjoy it a lot.

Scientists have created the first map of a colossal supercluster of galaxies known as Laniakea, the home of Earth's Milky Way galaxy and many other. This computer simulation, a still from a Nature journal video, depicts the giant supercluster, with the Milky Way's location shown as a red dot.

This book can be categorized into three parts.

1. The World of Very Lagre

2. The World of Very Small

3. The World of Very Fast

The first two chapters take us to the journey in the world of very large things. This includes stars, galaxies, clusters, black holes etc. The third chapter takes us in the world of very fast where we travel to the far-reaches of heavens with enormous speeds which are much faster than the speed of light. This is the portion where the physical laws breakdown , not in physical manner but in truly imaginative way. The middle chapters take us to scuba dive into the quantum world.The last few chapters strengthen our knowledge about the mysterious worlds of string theory and multiverse.

A very good book for layman to know a lot about the universe, black holes, quantum worlds and many more in a very easy and simple way. This is a great book in all aspects. I highly recommend it to all.
Profile Image for Vishy.
680 reviews216 followers
February 6, 2016
One of my alltime favourite books on physics for the general reader. Written by Christophe Galfard, who was at one time Stephen Hawking's student, it covers in wonderfully accessible prose all the important events, theories, personalities and gives us a glimpse into what is in store for the future - stuff like Relativity, Quantum mechanics, Black Holes, Origin of the Universe, the birth and death of stars, the Big Bang Theory etc. Galfard's wonderful sense of humour is infectious - I couldn't stop laughing at many points in the book. If I have compare this with competing works which cover similar themes - like books by Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose, John Gribbin, Brian Greene, John Barrow, George Gamov, Bill Bryson - I think its closest competitors would be works by John Gribbin and Bill Bryson. If compares favourably with both of them, though Gribbin's works have more depth and Bryson covers all the sciences in his book. I would say that this is the best first introduction to physics for the general reader. If you love science, you will love this.
Profile Image for Ο χρήστης τάδε.
160 reviews8 followers
July 16, 2020
Τρομερό βιβλίο πραγματικά! Γραμμένο σαν παραμύθι σε παίρνει από το χέρι και σε ταξιδεύει στις δυσκολότερες έννοιες με πολύ απλό και κατανοητό τρόπο. Σε κάνει να αγαπήσεις την αστροφυσική και την κοσμολογία με τον τρόπο του. Από τα καλύτερα βιβλία που μπορεί να δωρίσει κανείς σε κάποιον που θέλει να πάρει μια όμορφη και κατανοητή γεύση για τον κόσμο της αστροφυσικής.
Profile Image for Thuong Le.
139 reviews31 followers
January 6, 2016
If you’re like me and you are really fascinated by the universe and how it was created (The Big Bang Theory), then you’re going to want to pick this one up! I was browsing in Waterstones, (like I usually do) checking out the new releases when I saw this book, picked it up and thought, ‘I need to read this!’ I’ve had an interest in astronomy ever since I studied a small module of it in Science, but my knowledge of it has not progressed since then, so this book was the perfect opportunity for me to find out more about the universe.

This book is divided into 7 parts. Part 1 – 2 was easier to understand, but as we go into parts 3 – 7 of the book it gets a bit more complicated with cosmic, black holes, energy, quantum, vacuums and electrons. The only equation was E = mc 2 this made it a little less complicated.

I bookmarked the pages that were interesting to me and as for the rest, it was history! Aha, what I mean is it went through one ear and out the other.

“The Sun, being a star, is not a big ball of fire – fire needs oxygen, and although the Sun creates bits of it along with other elements, there’s not enough free oxygen in outer space to sustain any fire whatsoever.”

It was very intriguing to learn about the sun. The sun is already half way into its life span but it has another 5 billion years before its energy, hydrogen and helium ran out and thus becoming a red giant. The sun is the sole reason why we’re alive. Without the sun, the water will evaporate and Earth will not survive. Did you know the sun is actually white?! It’s actually all the colours of the rainbow. Mind blown.

My cousin asked me a trick question: Can the speed of light travel faster than time? I said light travels faster. It was a right mild guess, as I had no idea. I just assume that maybe time is slower than light. I asked my colleague and she said that it's a trick question because light is controlled by time. According to the book, I have my answer at page 151:

“In outer space, light travels at around 300,000 kilometres per second.”

In Chapter 4 of Part 4 A Drive into the Quantum World, talks briefly about magnets and why it can’t collide through a fridge – it will only be stuck to it because of electrons keeping them apart. I don’t think I ever thought about magnets analytically much in Science, all I knew that it has a magnetic force that attracts metal. This is part of a quantum-mechanical principle called Pauli Exclusion Principle, discovered by Swiss theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli, who was also awarded the 1945 Noble Prize.

One thing I am curious about is: where the did all the water come from?! It covers about 71% of the Earth. When the Earth first formed, it was constantly hit by comets and asteroids, and this is where the water came from. Having watched a documentary about it, it is still a mystery to me. This universe is a mystery... its often said that the universe was created 13.8 billion years ago but no one knows for sure, it could be more than that.

“Without radioactivity, life on Earth would be impossible.”

Polish French Scientist called Marie Curie, who is the first person ever to be awarded the Noble Prize in Physics, discovered radioactivity. Radioactivity is particles that released from nuclei because of nuclear instability.

Overall I give this a 3 solid stars. I think Galfard did a good job of writing it, so that everyone could follow and understand it, but I was still confused. Since I have no background in Science, this was still a struggle to read (the reason for my rating). That was how Science class was for me because I was always learning about metals and rocks, which didn’t exactly, piqued my interest. But nonetheless, it provided me with an eye-opener that there is much much more to the universe than I imagined.
Profile Image for Annina.
261 reviews74 followers
February 15, 2018
Was für ein Buch. Obwohl ich eine absolute Astrophysik-Laiin bin, verstand ich doch ein paar Abschnitte. Vieles ist zwar für mich immer noch absolut unvorstellbar, aber das liegt wohl mehr an mir als am Autor. Trotzdem war es faszinierend durch das Universum zu reisen. Ich werde es wohl noch kaufen, damit ich immer wieder mal ein Kapitel nachlesen kann. Empfehlenswert!
Profile Image for Laura.
89 reviews22 followers
October 13, 2018
He hecho un viaje al mismísimo universo. He visto de cerca los planetas, las estrellas, las galaxias... y he ido tan lejos que me he tropezado con un muro. Un muro que delimita nuestro universo visible. Un universo finito. He conseguido viajar un poco más allá de él, hasta el nacimiento del espacio-tiempo. Me he encontrado con partículas con propiedades misteriosas, como la de estar en muchos sitios a la vez al mismo tiempo. Me he encogido para poder entrar en una de esas partículas y poder conocer más íntimamente a los electrones, los fotones, los protones, los neutrones, los quarks y los gluones. He viajado a velocidades similares a las de la luz y me he adentrado en un agujero negro. Y no solo eso, he podido ver otras realidades, otros universos paralelos, las cuerdas cuánticas, las branas, los campos que componen nuestra realidad.
Ha sido toda una aventura. Alucinante. Emocionante. Estremecedora.

Si algo de todo esto os resulta mínimamente interesante, os recomiendo encarecidamente este libro. Para alguien que no entiende de física o que tiene los conocimientos básicos del instituto y de bachillerato, va a ser una experiencia maravillosa y enriquecedora.
El autor hace de lo complejo algo accesible, entendible. Aporta mucha información pero de una manera amena. No se hace pesado, ni denso, al contrario, solamente quieres que te cuente más, que te abra más puertas. Sin duda en mí ha creado la necesidad de seguir profundizando en todo ello. Y ha supuesto también una especie de terapia, porque me ha ayudado a relativizar los problemas, a desestresarme, a dejar de preocuparme por cosas mundanas sin importancia, a sentirme más pequeñita, más humilde. Uno de esos libros que, sin duda, va a ocupar un puesto en mi lista de favoritos.
Profile Image for Miquel Reina.
Author 1 book375 followers
February 10, 2018
I read this book without any expectations and quickly I realized that this, was an amazing book with an amazing adventure. The book mixes a novelistic structure with a learning style and I loved this combination. I think that the idea of explaining hard and abstract concepts from physics and astronomy using a narrative thread that connects and guides the reader in a kind of journey is perfect. I highly recommend this book to all astronomy and physics fans who want to enjoy a space adventure.

Spanish version:
Empecé a leer este libro sin ninguna expectación y rápidamente me di cuenta que se trataba de un libro exraórdinario que contaba una aventura extraordinaria. El libro mezcla una extructura novelesca con un estilo de aprendizaje, y me ecnantó. Creo que la idea de contar conceptos físicos y espaciales abstractos y díficiles de entender usuando una voz narrativa que guía al lector es perfecto. Recomiendo esta libro a todos los amantes de la astronomía y la física que quieran aprender de una forma mucho más dinámica y divertida.
Profile Image for Saqueadora.
50 reviews8 followers
October 21, 2016
"Comenzamos a comprender que no debíamos buscar el pasado sólo bajo nuestros pies, sino también en las estrellas."
Profile Image for Moon Stream.
177 reviews69 followers
August 29, 2020

Hər şeydən öncə kitab arxa qabağında yazarın Stephen Hawking'in tələbəsi olması diqqətimi çəkdiyi üçün və əlbəttə bu mövzulara marağım olmasından bu kitabı almışdım və peşman da deyiləm. Çünki Galfard niyyət etdiyi şeyə həqiqətən də nail ola bildi: Hər kəsin anlaya biləcəyi şəkildə yazılmış bu kitabla biz indiyədək kosmos, göy cisimləri, planetlər, qara dəliklər; kainatın yaranması, başlanğıcı və s. haqqında ümumi fikirlər əldə etmiş oluruq.

Kitabda həqiqətən də, bildiyim və ya ən azından adını eşitdiyim bir çox şey görsəm də, bildiklərimin bilmədiyim tərəflərini və indiyədək eşitmədiyim yeni məlumatlar da öyrəndim. Daha öncə başqa bir teorik fizikaya aid kitab oxumaq istəmişdim, amma çox da yaxşı anlamamışdım oxuduqlarımı. Amma bu kitab sayəsində bir çox bu tərz kitabları daha aydın başa düşərək oxuya biləcəyimi bilirəm. Odur ki, başlanğıc kitabı olaraq bu kitabı hər birinizə tövsiyə edə bilərəm👍🏻

Öyrəndiklərim həqiqətən heyrətamiz şeylər idi. Ən sevdiyim məqamlar kainatın örtüyü(evrenin dokusu); işıq sürətinə çata bilsək nələr olardı; qara dəliklərin içinə düşdükdən sonra nələr baş verə bilər oldu. Əlbəttə, teorik fizika adından da göründüyü kimi heç də bilavasitə sübut olunmuş şeyləri göstərmir bizə, amma bu teoriyalar doğru, ya da yanlış olsalar belə özlərinə yetərincə sübut tapana qədər ən azından başqa qapıları da üzümüzə açmış olur və yeni kəşflərin də təməlini qoyur. Kitabda müəllifin də tez-tez qeyd etdiyi kimi "Bir doğruyu bulmak, ilerleyebilmek için yanlışlar gerekir".

Kitabda ən maraqlı məqamlardan biri də, indiyədək hər şeyi dəyişə biləcək qədər böyük kəşflər etmiş fizikçilərin doğru və yanlışlarına yer verilməsi, bunların nələrə təkan olduğunun, bu kəşflərin necə qarşılanmasının danışılması oldu. Heç də hər şey indi göründüyü qədər asan başa gəlmirdi, onlar bir şey kəşf etdikləri zaman çoxları ilk başlarda qarşı çıxırdı, qınayırdı və s. Hətta Einstein özünün tapmış olduğu bir fikri qaralamış, yəni yanlış olduğu fikri ilə onu silmişdi, amma daha sonra bu yanlışı bir çox şeyə təkan verdi. O, bunu, əlbəttə, heç bir zaman bilməyəcək olsa belə. Həqiqətən maraqlı idi bunları oxumaq.

Kitab yazarın bizimlə söhbəti formasında irəliləyir. Bu, oxunuşu asanlaşdırır əlbəttə, lakin yenə də, bəzi yerlərdə bunu yazarın hədsiz çox qabartdığını və o yerlər üzündən kitabın daha uzun olmuş olduğunu düşünürəm. Digər tərəfdən yazar sanki bizi ofsunlamaq istəyirmiş kimi görünürdü😅 bizi kainatın bu ecazkarlığına qapdırıb xəyallarımızı bəzəmək istəyirdi sanki. Hər nəysə, bu qismi çıxsaq, kitabı həqiqətən bəyəndim və tövsiyə edirəm👍🏻📚

Düşünürəm ki, insan yaşadığı dünya haqqında az-çox məlumatlı olmalıdı. Çünki hara düşdüyümüzə durub bir göz ucuyla belə baxmayacaq insanlar da var dünyada, hansı ki, sadəcə həyatın rutin axışına qapılıb yaşayırlar. Amma dediyim kimi necə bir yerdə yaşayırıq, məncə bunu bilmək lazımdı. Həyat görə bildiklərimizdən çox görə bilmədiklərimizdədi. Mən demirəm ki, hər kəs kosmosa getməlidi, fizikçi olmalıdı və s. Mən sadəcə deyirəm ki, ən azından bir gözümüzü qaldırıb yuxarılarda nələr baş verdiyinə baxmaq lazımdı. Bəlkə o zaman necə gözəlliklər içində yaşadığımızı fərq edərik.

Kainat həqiqətən ecazkardır və bunu qiymətləndirib, insanın yaşadığımız dünyanın mərkəzində və hər şeyin mərkəzində olduğu düşüncəsindən sıyrılmalıyıq. Kainatın qanunları insan, heyvan, zərrəciklər, göy cisimləri və kainatda olan heç bir şeyi digərindən ayırmır və onun gözündə hər şey eynidi. Heç kim və heç kim dünyanın mərkəzi deyil, hər şey bir bütünün parçasıdır əslində. Bunu görə bilsək, bəlkə o zaman hər şeyin qiymətini bilər və gözəl olan heçnəyi məhv etmək üçün bu qədər səy göstərməzdik🤦🏼‍♀️/ p.s. bu dediklərimin mövzudan əlaqəsiz olduğunu düşünəcəksiz bilirəm, amma kainatda mövcud olan heç bir yox oluş, birbaşa yox oluş olmadığı halda, əslində yeni bir başlanğıcın əzəlini qoymuş olmasına baxmayaraq, insanların məhv etdiyi, yox etdiyi şeylər sonradan bərpa oluna bilməyəcək. Qorxuram ki, insanlar öncə Yer kürəsini məhv edərək, daha sonra isə digər planetləri, göy cisimlərini zəbt etməyin bir yolunu tapacaq və onlara da zərər verəcək(bu hal-hazırda mümkün olmasa belə, gələcəkdə hər şey mümkün ola bilər).🙄
Profile Image for Panagiotis.
297 reviews112 followers
April 20, 2019
Το Universe in Your Hand (στα ελληνικά: Το Σύμπαν στα Χέρια σας, εκδ. Καλέντης) είναι ένα βιβλίο εκλαϊκευμένης επιστήμης πάνω στον τρόπο που κοιτάζουμε το σύμπαν γύρω μας, τι γνωρίζουμε για τον τρόπο που λειτουργεί η πλάση, από την κλίμακα του απειροελάχιστου, έως του τιτάνιου και αμέτρητου. Όλα αυτά αναλαμβάνει να μας τα διηγηθεί ο Κριστόφ Γκαλφάρ, ο οποίος σύμφωνα μ’ όσα γράφει το βιβλίο είναι ένας λαμπρός αστροφυσικός που έχει θητεύσει στο πλευρό του συγχωρεμένου Στίβεν Χόκιν (ο φημισμένος θεωρητικός αστροφυσικός που έπασχε από μυατροφική σκλήρυνση κα�� ήταν καθηλωμένος σε αναπηρικό αμαξίδιο).

Η ανθρωπότητα έχει κάνει τεράστια βήματα, και αυτό το βλέπουμε γύρω μας σε όλες τις εκφάνσεις της δημιουργικότητας: τέχνες, μηχανική, φαρμακευτική και ιατρική έχουν αλλάξει τον τρόπο που ζούμε. Από δίποδα πλάσματα που τρέχαμε να κρυφτούμε σε σπηλιές τις νύχτες, έχουμε αυξήσει το προσδόκιμο της ζωής μας, έχουμε τιθασεύσει γύρω μας ό,τι κάποτε μας απειλούσε, επικοινωνούμε και συνδιαλεγόμαστε με εξωφρενική ευκολία από την μια άκρη του πλανήτη στην άλλη και δίνουμε νόημα στην ζωή μας μέσα από μουσική, έργα και άλλα πανέμορφα καλλιτεχνήματα. Ωστόσο, για μένα, δεν υπάρχει τίποτα πιο εντυπωσιακό από τα εξωφρενικά άλματα που κάναμε στην θεωρητική φυσική: από απλά θεωρήματα στα χαρτιά, δηλαδή από δημιουργήματα των μαθηματικών και της φαντασίας μας, φτιάξαμε απαντήσεις που επαληθεύονται μέσα από πειράματα. Ο Γκάλφαρ γράφει απλά και κατανοητά και φοράει στον αναγνώστη τα γυαλιά για να σχηματίσει μόνος του την εικόνα ενός μεγαλείο και για λίγο θα τον κάνει να σκεφτεί πόσο μάταιες είναι οι θνητές φοβίες μας και πως η ζωή μας πάνω στον πλανήτη που ταξιδεύει σ’ αυτόν τον κοσμικό χορό ηλιακών συστημάτων και γαλαξιών είναι μάλλον μικρή. Το μόνο που έχουμε να κάνουμε είναι να την χαρούμε αυτή την ζωή. Είναι εξαιρετικός ο Γκάλφαρ γιατί τοποθετεί την φυσική πάνω σε μια κλίμακα μεγεθών: η γενική θεωρία της σχετικότητας αφορά τα πολύ μεγάλα πράματα, αυτά που έχουν τόσο μεγάλη μάζα που αλλοιώνουν τον χώρο και τον χρόνο γύρω τους, και η κβαντικομηχανική και πιο συγκεκριμένα η κβαντική θεωρία πεδίων, εξηγεί τι συμβαίνει όταν τα πράγματα γίνονται τόσο μικρά που τίποτα απ΄ όσα ξέρουμε δεν ισχύει πια.

Αυτές οι ανακαλύψεις πρέπει να διδάσκονται στα σχολεία. Είναι κτήμα της ανθρωπότητας που έχει έρθει μέσα από κόπο, μέσα από πολύ αγώνα. Οράματα τα οποία γεννήθηκαν σε μυαλά τα οποία καρποφόρησαν και κάποιοι άλλοι πίστεψαν, πήραν αυτούς τους καρπούς και συνέχισαν ένα έργο πολύ σημαντικό. Είναι κρίμα να μην γνωρίζουμε για αυτά τα πράματα που δίνουν απαντήσεις στα πιο μακρόβια ερωτήματα του ανθρώπου. Ο Γκάλφαρ γράφοντας αυτό το βιβλίο αποδεικνύει πως μια επιστήμη τόσο έντονα βασισμένη στα πιο απαιτητικά μαθηματικά, μπορεί να συνοψισθεί χωρίς ούτε μια μαθηματική εξίσωση (για την ακρίβεια μόνο μια χρειάστηκε ο ίδιος).

Κάποια στιγμή, και ενώ δεν είχα διαβάσει παρά ελάχιστες σελίδες, έκλεισα το βιβλίο και αναζήτηση το ερευνητικό προφίλ του Γκάλφαρ. Έχει όλες κι όλες τρεις δημοσιεύσεις. Οι ουσιαστικά ερευνητικές είναι μονάχα δύο, αριθμός πενιχρός. Ο δε αριθμός αναφορών του είναι κοντά στις 30. Τα στατιστικά γίνονται ακόμα πιο μικρά αν σκεφτεί κανείς πως ο Γκάλφαρ έκανε διδακτορικό στο Κέιμπριτζ, και μάλιστα υπό την καθοδήγηση του Στίβεν Χόκινγκ. Μα… μισό λεπτό – ο Χόκινγκ δεν έχει συμμετάσχει σε καμία από αυτές τις τρεις δημοσιεύσεις! Κάτι δεν πάει καλά… Ο Γκάλφαρ, λοιπόν, ανήκει στην κατηγορία των ανθρώπων που έχουν σαν επάγγελμα να διαδίδουν στις μάζες τα επιστημονικά επιτεύγματα. Δεν είναι ερευνητής ή επιστήμονας εν ενεργεία, κι αν κάποτε ήταν, δεν έκανε κάτι ιδιαίτερα πετυχημένο. Τέτοιοι άνθρωποι υπάρχουν αρκετοί, με πρώτο και καλύτερο τον Ντόκινς, τον βιολόγο που φέρεται κατά οτιδήποτε θρησκευτικού, καθώς και τον Νιλ ντε Γκρας Τάισον, τον αστρονόμο/αστροφυσικό που έχει περσόνα ποπ σταρ. Είναι άνθρωποι με μικρό αντίκτυπο στην ερευνητική κοινότητα, που επέλεξαν πετυχημένα να μορφώσουν τις μάζες. Θα πρέπει να είναι προσεκτικός ο αναγνώστης – ο Γκαλφάρ πολύ συχνά στο βιβλίο θα υπενθυμίσει στον αναγνώστη πως δούλεψε στο πλευρό του Χόκινς, το θέτει με μια γιαλαντζί μετριοπάθεια, αφού την ίδια στιγμή θα φροντίσει να επιλέξει να πει πως «τον κάλεσε ο Χόκινς να εργαστούν πάνω στις μαύρες τρύπες». Μια ίδια αίσθηση κομπορρημοσύνης που στεγάζει διαφημιστικές επιδιώξεις αποκόμισα από μια σύντομη περιήγηση στην ιστοσελίδα του.

Ο Γκαλφάρ εξαργύρωσε μ’ έναν πολύ έξυπνο τρόπο την θητεία του δίπλα -ή παραδιπλά, τέλος πάντων- σ’ έναν θρύλο της επιστήμης. Ξέρει να γράφει αυτό που θέλει και αυτό αρκεί, και τ’ άλλα τα παραβλέπω. Πάρτε το βιβλίο και δεν θα χάσετε. Οφείλουμε να γνωρίζουμε αυτά τα πράματα.
Profile Image for Deniz Urs.
49 reviews41 followers
August 28, 2022
Tüm sırlar en küçük ile en büyüğün içinde. Bu ikisi arasında Newton’a tabiyiz de ya ötesi…

Yazarı Christophe Galfard, Stephen Hawking’in öğrencisi yani içinde paralel evren teorilerini bile öyle aşırı gizemli ve mistik şeylermiş gibi kanalize eden bir anlatım yok. Tam tersine betimleyici ve hayal gücünü harekete geçiren naif bir üslup ve %100 bilim.

Sözelciler için bulunmaz nimet. Aklımız şaşarken evrene olan merakımız daha da bir artıyor. Anlatımı sıkmıyor konudan koparmıyor. Bitmesin diye hem yavaş okumak istiyor hem de bir an önce ilerlemek istiyorsunuz.
Evrenin nasıl işlediği , başlangıcı, sonu var mı gibi soruları sorup, kumaşımız yıldız tozları olan bizler; içinde bulunduğumuz bu devasa varoluşu çözmeye nereye kadar muktedir olabiliriz diyoruz. Daha doğrusu dedirtiyor Galfard.

Çok az temel fizik bilgisi yeterli okumak için. Öncesinde Kozmos izlenebilir.
Profile Image for Philippe Malzieu.
Author 2 books115 followers
June 16, 2015
Galfard work with Stépane Hawking. Another astrophysician book? What's news? I was not very interested in reading this book. A friend offered it to me in french edition and I must recognize I had pleasure to read it.It is well written and in fact exciting.
Rémi Brague remarked that cosmos etymologically came from beauty, women and jewel. In latin, mundus design cosmos and also female jewelry.
Cosmos, beauty, women. I like this association.
Profile Image for Ivana.
411 reviews
November 6, 2016
Mind-bending, fascinating, inspiring, and awe-striking. I'll be thinking about what I've read for weeks. What an amazing universe we live in, and how vastly unknown it is. With new discoveries looming just over the horizon, I can't wait (or imagine) the things we'll come to understand; for understanding our universe ultimately means understanding ourselves and how we came to be.
A fantastic read. Simply fantastic.
Profile Image for Mcruz.
194 reviews12 followers
February 20, 2017
Me costó un poco meterme en el juego mental que propone el libro, pero una vez dentro lo he disfrutado de lo lindo. Es un texto asequible que no deja nada fuera del índice, desde Newton a la teoría de cuerdas. Una buena opción para aquellos que quieran una visión actualizada y divulgativa de las últimas teorías astronómicas.
Profile Image for Anka Räubertochter.
954 reviews39 followers
July 5, 2019
4.5 Sterne

Wem wie mir "Eine kurze Geschichte der Zeit" von Stephen Hawking zu komplex war, der sollte zu diesem Sachbuch seines Schülers Christophe Galfard greifen.

Während des Lesens habe ich öfter darüber gesprochen, dass der Autor zwar sein Bestes gibt, dem Rezipienten komplexe physikalische Erkenntnisse und Theorien zu vermitteln, ich aber trotzdem viel zu oft an meine Grenzen kam.
Es ist daher wahrscheinlich wichtig, sich viele Notizen zu machen, was ich bei einem erneuten Griff zum Buch unbedingt beachten muss.
Allerdings habe ich mir heute dann zufällig ein Video von Terra X mit Harald Lesch angeschaut. Und ich habe dabei nicht halb so oft nur Bahnhof verstanden, wie das bei mir sonst der Fall gewesen ist. Das liegt sicherlich daran, dass ich jetzt durch "Das Universum in deiner Hand" vieles zumindest schon mal ansatzweise gehört hatte und Zusammenhänge nun wenigstens ein klitzekleines bisschen besser erkennen kann.
Von daher habe ich die Hoffnung noch nicht aufgegeben, unser Universum irgendwann besser verstehen zu können.

Meine allergrößte Empfehlung!
Profile Image for R. .
33 reviews
February 14, 2021
Estoy un poco atascada con la lectura (llevo varios libros leídos un tanto desastrosos, me ha entrado la bajona y he disminuido mucho el ritmo de lectura), así que este fin de semana me he acercado a la estantería de mis libros favoritos y he releído esta M A R A V I L L A para ver si así consigo volver a encarrilarme. Ha funcionado.
Profile Image for Cher.
817 reviews281 followers
September 29, 2020
3 stars = Good and worthwhile but something held it back from being great.

As the Greek philosopher Plato said - about twenty-five centuries ago, when no one had a clue what the heavens were about - mathematics is the language in which gods speak to people.

Theories are explained as simply as possible, though some of the concepts are still difficult to wrap your mind around, more from a magnitude standpoint than a technical one.

At the speed of light, time freezes. Completely...When we gather light originating from the furthest reaches of our visible universe, we get pictures of the universe as it was back then.

For every one pound of ordinary matter made out of neutrons and protons and electrons, there are five pounds of dark matter, made out of who-knows-what.

Most of the chapters were interesting, but there were also a few that were not. I personally have a strong preference for macro concepts vs micro. The book starts and ends with a bang (pun intended), while the middle felt like a dull high school lecture.

If mankind could, one way or another, harvest all the energy the Sun radiates in one second, it would be enough to sustain the entire world’s energy needs for about half a billion years.

For some stars, when they die, can leave behind diamonds the size of a moon.

I learned much from this book and would recommend it to anyone that is interested in the subject and appreciates technical concepts explained in an approachable way.

The Milky Way is big. The Sun (and therefore the Earth), being a bit deeper inside, travels around the Milky Way in slightly less than 225 million years, a period called a galactic year. The last time the Earth was at the galactic position it has today, the dinosaurs still had 160 million years to live. Using such terminology, the Big Bang occurred about sixty-one galactic years ago, and if we start from today, after twenty more rounds the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy will be so close to each other that they will start to collide. Incidentally, the sun will explode a few galactic months later. Put like that, it doesn’t sound that far off.
First Sentence: Picture yourself on a faraway volcanic island on a warm, cloudless summer night.

Favorite Quote: However humble one needs to be before the majesty of nature, science, and only science, has given us eyes to see where our bodies are blind.
Profile Image for Izaskowronska.
47 reviews51 followers
August 22, 2021
DNF - nie dotarłam do końca. Książka miejscami jest bardzo ciekawa, ale w dużej mierze jest infantylna. Przez większość czasu byłam przekonana, że czytam książkę dla dzieci. Autor chyba sam nie wiedział jaka będzie jego grupa odbiorców, bo czasem używa trudnych słów i przykładów raczej dla dorosłych, a innym razem zdecydowanie zbyt długo rozwodzi się nad tym czym jest elektron. Czytałam z bratem i 12 latek był zachwycony, ja nie za bardzo ;)
Profile Image for Ania.
142 reviews63 followers
December 21, 2018
Trudno jest oceniać książkę popularnonaukową, która napisana jest trochę jak powieść, trochę jak wykład dla uczniów liceum i trochę jak faktyczna pozycja popularnonaukowa. Olbrzymim plusem dla większości "człowieków" będzie to, że jest w niej tylko jeden (!!!) wzór. Wzór, który zna każdy z nas, więc nie ma problemu. Ale. Jak dla mnie momentami było zbyt chaotycznie (najbardziej chyba przy teorii kwantowej grawitacji i pól kwantowych) i mały robot w kształcie maszyny do wyrzucania tenisowych piłek, który wypluwał przez rurę cząstki to było dla mnie za dużo.
Szkoda, że teorii strun poświęcono tylko jeden, w sumie krótki rozdział. Dla mnie to jest własnie ta część, która w fizyce teoretycznej jest najciekawsza. Ale nie można mieć wszystkiego.
To bardzo fajna, potrzebna i przystępnie napisana książka, która powinna ucieszyć każdego amatora fizyki teoretycznej niekoniecznie lubującego się we WZORACH ;)
Profile Image for Charlene.
875 reviews524 followers
January 25, 2019
How am I supposed to rate a book that was written by Stephen Hawking's grad student, who is brilliant, when the writing made me dizzy? The description of this book touted it as Miss Frizzle for adults interested in physics. That was an apt description. Galfard took the reader on a chaotic adventure through the world of physics, so chaotic that I feel like I unlearned everything I had previously learned. I found previously familiar subjects hard to follow, simply because of the writing style. This book got tons of great reviews. So, obviously his writing style worked well for others. I honestly felt a sense of motion sickness with each turn of the page. It felt as if facts were flying at me while I read, but I was not being connected to the larger picture. If I had no understanding of physics and tried to read this book I would have been hopelessly lost and would have certainly given up.

If the style does not agree with you and you have even a rudimentary grasp of physics, I would suggest you skip to Part Five, where Galfard began to talk about his work with Stephen Hawking. If you start at Part Five, there is a wealth of information in this book because he allows you to understand ongoing black hole research, which made the book worthwhile. Also, I have to say, for as difficult as it was to understand most of the concepts covered in this book (concepts I understood fairly well prior to reading this book), Galfard did an excellent job of summarizing Lisa Randall's work on extra dimensions (not an easy task).
Profile Image for Empirical Rationalist.
29 reviews11 followers
June 21, 2017
I started this book with no high expectations. And the thought experiment Galfard uses at the beginning felt almost fatuous. But with that feeling, I kept breezing through the book. All chapters are being grouped under 7 overarching parts, and they are tied and flow organically. There is a summary whenever lots of ground is covered. A lot of concepts, which are taken for granted, are being elucidated fantastically. I was irked when he changed the thought experiment setting from just mind to corporeal one and back, but again it helped to clarify the concepts he is trying to explain. I feel like I have a better understanding on theories like Cosmic Background Radiation, Cosmological Inflation, and General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics' takes on Black Holes. This is the first Popular Science book from which I understood why and how General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory are contradictory. And the whole purpose of Schrödinger’s cat gedanken experiment is being put in context beautifully. The tone of the book is very conversational. Considering my reading pace, I finished this quite fast. This work stands very well with Einstein's quote "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
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