Christophe Galfard The Universe in Your Hand Review by Astronimate
The Universe in Your Hand: A Journey Through Space, Time and Beyond, attempts precisely what the book’s title states. Through a series of hypothetical situations, readers go on a mental journey of our cosmos through the eyes and mind of an unnamed main character.
Beginning with local and more familiar subject matters, you explore our solar system, planets and Sun. Gradually, you venture further out into the deep cosmos, experiencing other stars, distant galaxies and beyond.
Ultimately, your journey culminates in deep explorations of great scientific mysteries like black holes, time, dark matter and energy and even the bazaar submicroscopic quantum world.
The Universe in Your Hand Review
Actual simple explanations
Too often, astronomy books take on wildly fascinating topics, only to fall short through poor explanation, too much explanation, or not enough at all. Alternatively, despite his extensive star-studded career and vast knowledge of astrophysics, Christophe Galfard truly shines in this regard.
Particularly, Galfard’s simplified synopses of all but unknown subjects like dark matter, dark energy, the very early universe and quantum mechanics are surprisingly easy to digest. Not to mention, he leaves you with a genuine understanding of things. He does not simply overload you with knowledge to the point of needing an advanced physics degree.
Galfard’s ability to bring complex subjects down to Earth through real world comparisons and situations makes this book a home run for most ages and skill levels. Above all, quantum mechanics. After all, even legendary theoretical physicist, Richard Feynman once said, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.” Yet, Galfard tees it up for even novices to at least comprehend and explore one of modern science’s most fascinating worlds. Most authors try, but wind up preventing one from enjoying, or even finishing a book of such a topic.
Using common, everyday items that anyone can easily relate to, Galfard brings previously unseen cosmic wonders to life. Now complex and unknown things become burned into your mind. From a snarky robotic friend to gigantic musical strings, the universe becomes a memorable, Alice in Wonderland style journey.
A plotline…in non-fiction?
Finally, in an unusual twist, Galfard uses an actual plot to guide his reader through the entire universe. Not only is atypical, it is also no easy task! Most often, astronomy and physics books stick to pure facts and figures in an effort to fit vast amounts of necessary information into a single book. Ultimately, while understandable and honorable, it can prove quite exhausting. However, Christophe Galfard not only succeeds, but enhances his writing in doing so.
Indeed, from vivid descriptions that illuminate your learning experience to fun light-hearted interjections about a quirky great aunt, Galfard actually personifies astrophysics! Plus, like the rest of the book, the plot proves engaging and easy to follow. In fact, it ultimately helps you more easily digest large amounts of information.
Regardless of your skill level in astronomy and physics, this book is a must-have for any bookshelf. Novices will learn deeply about our beautiful universe. Not to mention, enthusiasts and beyond will still pick up fun new new facts, or simply enjoy a well-executed and exciting ride through the cosmos!
About Christophe Galfard
Dr. Christophe Galfard earned his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University in England. It was there that he studied under world-famous physicist, Stephen Hawking. In fact, Galfard would go on to study cosmology and black holes with Hawking for several years.
Today, Galfard travels the world, sharing his vast knowledge and passion for astronomy through public speaking, live shows and books. You can visit Christophe Galfard at his official website.