Wizards, aliens, and starships : physics and math in fantasy and science fiction / Charles L. Adler.

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Bibliographic Details
Published: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2014]
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Format: Book


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008 130715s2014 njua b 001 0 eng
010 |a  2013027794 
020 |a 9780691147154  |q (hardback ;  |q acid-free paper) 
020 |a 0691147159  |q (hardback ;  |q acid-free paper) 
020 |a 1400848369  |q (electronic bk.) 
020 |a 9781400848362  |q (electronic bk.) 
035 |a ocn840160967 
035 |a (OCoLC)840160967  |z (OCoLC)862039494  |z (OCoLC)871238541  |z (OCoLC)873073369  |z (OCoLC)880497146 
040 |a DLC  |b eng  |e rda  |c DLC  |d YDXCP  |d BDX  |d UKMGB  |d OCLCF  |d FM0  |d COO  |d ZCU  |d QGK  |d BKL  |d DEBBG  |d STF  |d CHVBK  |d OCL  |d MHB  |d CDX  |d IDU  |d OCLCQ 
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050 0 0 |a PN3433.8  |b .A35 2014 
050 4 |a QC75  |b .A35 2014 
082 0 0 |a 809.3/8762  |2 23 
097 |3 Bib#:  |a 2348642 
100 1 |a Adler, Charles L. 
245 1 0 |a Wizards, aliens, and starships :  |b physics and math in fantasy and science fiction /  |c Charles L. Adler. 
264 1 |a Princeton :  |b Princeton University Press,  |c [2014] 
300 |a xi, 378 pages :  |b illustrations ;  |c 24 cm 
336 |a text  |b txt  |2 rdacontent 
337 |a unmediated  |b n  |2 rdamedia 
338 |a volume  |b nc  |2 rdacarrier 
504 |a Includes bibliographical references (pages 359-369) and index. 
520 |a "From teleportation and space elevators to alien contact and interstellar travel, science fiction and fantasy writers have come up with some brilliant and innovative ideas. Yet how plausible are these ideas--for instance, could Mr. Weasley's flying car in Harry Potter really exist? Which concepts might actually happen--and which ones wouldn't work at all? Wizards, Aliens, and Starships delves into the most extraordinary details in science fiction and fantasy--such as time warps, shape changing, rocket launches, and illumination by floating candle--and shows readers the physics and math behind the phenomena. With simple mathematical models, and in most cases using no more than high school algebra, Charles Adler ranges across a plethora of remarkable imaginings, from the works of Ursula K. Le Guin to Star Trek and Avatar, to explore what might become reality. Adler explains why fantasy in the Harry Potter and Dresden Files novels cannot adhere strictly to scientific laws, and when magic might make scientific sense in the muggle world. He examines space travel and wonders why it isn't cheaper and more common today. Adler also discusses exoplanets and how the search for alien life has shifted from radio communications to space-based telescopes. He concludes by investigating the future survival of humanity and other intelligent races. Throughout, he cites an abundance of science fiction and fantasy authors, and includes concise descriptions of stories as well as a glossary of science terms. Wizards, Aliens, and Starships will speak to anyone wanting to know about the correct--and incorrect--science of science fiction and fantasy"--  |c Provided by publisher. 
505 0 |a Playing the game -- Part I. Potter physics. Harry Potter and the great conservation laws -- Why Hogwarts is so dark -- Fantastic beasts and how to disprove them -- Part II. Space travel. Why computers get better and cars can't (much) -- Vacations in space -- Space colonies -- The space elevator -- Manned interplanetary travel -- Advanced propulsion systems -- Speculative propulsion systems -- Interstellar travel and relativity -- Faster-than-light travel and time travel -- Part III. Worlds and Aliens. Designing a habitable planet -- The scientific search for spock -- The mathematics of talking with aliens -- Part IV. Year googol. The short-term survival of humanity -- World-building -- Dyson spheres and ringworlds -- Advanced civilizations and the Kardashev scale -- A googol years. 
650 0 |a Fantasy literature  |x History and criticism. 
650 0 |a Science fiction  |x History and criticism. 
650 0 |a Physics in literature. 
650 0 |a Mathematics in literature. 
650 0 |a Physics  |v Miscellanea. 
650 0 |a Mathematics  |v Miscellanea. 
991 |a 2016-07-26 
992 |a Created by sico, 26/07/2016. Updated by fiwi, 22/08/2016. 
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952 f f |p For loan  |a University Of Canterbury  |b UC Libraries  |c Central Library  |d Central Library, Level 4  |t 0  |e PN 3433.8 .A35 2014  |h Library of Congress classification  |i Book  |m AU19880359B