Best Selling Books in Professional Science - Physics

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release date: Dec 06, 2016
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Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

The #1 New York Times bestseller

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.


release date: May 02, 2017
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Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist.

What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

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release date: Mar 21, 2017
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The Greatest Story Ever Told--So Far: Why Are We Here?
Internationally renowned, award-winning theoretical physicist, New York Times bestselling author of A Universe from Nothing, and passionate advocate for reason, Lawrence Krauss tells the dramatic story of the discovery of the hidden world of reality—a grand poetic vision of nature—and how we find our place within it.

In the beginning there was light.
But more than this, there was gravity.
After that, all hell broke loose…

In A Universe from Nothing, Krauss revealed how our entire universe could arise from nothing. Now, he reveals what that something—reality—is. And, reality is not what we think or sense—it’s weird, wild, and counterintuitive; it’s hidden beneath everyday experience; and its inner workings seem even stranger than the idea that something can come from nothing.

In a landmark, unprecedented work of scientific history, Krauss leads us to the furthest reaches of space and time, to scales so small they are invisible to microscopes, to the birth and rebirth of light, and into the natural forces that govern our existence. His unique blend of rigorous research and engaging storytelling invites us into the lives and minds of the remarkable, creative scientists who have helped to unravel the unexpected fabric of reality—with reason rather than superstition and dogma. Krauss has himself been an active participant in this effort, and he knows many of them well. The Greatest Story challenges us to re-envision ourselves and our place within the universe, as it appears that “God” does play dice with the universe. In the incisive style of his scintillating essays for The New Yorker, Krauss celebrates the greatest intellectual adventure ever undertaken—to understand why we are here in a universe where fact is stranger than fiction.
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release date: Aug 02, 2016
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Cracking the AP Physics 1 Exam, 2017 Edition: Proven Techniques to Help You Score a 5 (College Test Preparation)
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO HELP SCORE A PERFECT 5. Equip yourself to ace the AP Physics 1 Exam with The Princeton Review's comprehensive study guide—including thorough content reviews, targeted strategies for every question type, access to our online AP Connect portal, and 2 full-length practice tests with complete answer explanations.

We don't have to tell you how tough the AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based course is to master—or how vital a stellar exam can be to making your college application competitive at the most selective schools. Written by the experts at The Princeton Review, Cracking the AP Physics 1 Exam arms you to take on the test and achieve your highest possible score.

Techniques That Actually Work.
• Tried-and-true strategies to avoid traps and beat the test
• Tips for pacing yourself and guessing logically
• Essential tactics to help you work smarter, not harder

Everything You Need to Know to Help Achieve a High Score.

• Comprehensive content reviews for all test topics—including kinematics, dynamics, Newton's laws, work, energy, rotational motion, electrostatics, DC circuits, mechanical waves, sound, and more
• Tons of charts and figures to illustrate concepts
• Access to AP Connect, our online portal for helpful pre-college information and exam updates

Practice Your Way to Excellence.
2 full-length practice tests with detailed answer explanations
• Practice drills at the end of each content review chapter
• Step-by-step walk-throughs of sample questions
release date: Sep 02, 2014
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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

Millions of people visit each week to read Randall Munroe’s iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following.

Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?

In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by signature xkcd comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.

The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with updated and expanded versions of the most popular answers from the xkcd website. What If? will be required reading for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical.

release date: Feb 07, 2017
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You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters
Now a New York Times Bestseller!  "A riveting and absolutely fascinating adventure that will blow your mind wide open!" —Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi. Deepak Chopra joins forces with leading physicist Menas Kafatos to explore some of the most important and baffling questions about our place in the world. 
What happens when modern science reaches a crucial turning point that challenges everything we know about reality? In this brilliant, timely, and practical work, Chopra and Kafatos tell us that we've reached just such a point. In the coming era, the universe will be completely redefined as a "human universe" radically unlike the cold, empty void where human life is barely a speck in the cosmos.
You Are the Universe literally means what it says--each of us is a co-creator of reality extending to the vastest reaches of time and space. This seemingly impossible proposition follows from the current state of science, where outside the public eye, some key mysteries cannot be solved, even though they are the very issues that define reality itself:
What Came Before the Big Bang?
Why Does the Universe Fit Together So Perfectly?
Where Did Time Come From?
What Is the Universe Made Of?
Is the Quantum World Linked to Everyday Life?
Do We Live in a Conscious Universe?
How Did Life First Begin?
“The shift into a new paradigm is happening,” the authors write. “The answers offered in this book are not our invention or eccentric flights of fancy. All of us live in a participatory universe. Once you decide that you want to participate fully with mind, body, and soul, the paradigm shift becomes personal. The reality you inhabit will be yours either to embrace or to change.” What these two great minds offer is a bold, new understanding of who we are and how we can transform the world for the better while reaching our greatest potential.
release date: Jul 28, 2016
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5 Steps to a 5: AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based 2017

Get ready for your AP Physics 1 exam with this straightforward, easy-to-follow study guide


AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 together replaced the course formerly titled AP Physics B. The new courses debuted in 2014, with the first Physics 1 and Physics 2 exams given in 2015. The wildly popular test prep guide― updated and enhanced for smartphone users―5 Steps to a 5: AP Physics 1 2017 provides a proven strategy to achieving high scores on this demanding Advanced Placement exam.


This logical and easy-to-follow instructional guide introduces an effective 5-step study plan to help students build the skills, knowledge, and test-taking confidence they need to reach their full potential. The book helps students master both multiple-choice and free-response questions and offers comprehensive answer explanations and sample responses. Written by a physics teacher, this insider’s guide reflects the latest course syllabus and includes 2 full-length practice exams, plus the most up-to-date scoring information.


The 5 Steps to a 5: AP Physics 1 2017 effective 5-step plan breaks down test preparation into stages: 1. Set Up Your Study Program 2. Determine Your Test Readiness 3. Develop Strategies for Success 4. Develop the Knowledge You Need to Score High 5. Build Your Test-Taking Confidence.


  • 2 full-length practice exams

·         BONUS interactive AP Planner app delivers a customized study schedule and extra practice questions to students’ mobile devices

·         The 5 Steps to a 5 series has prepared millions of students for success


Greg Jacobs teaches AP Physics at Woodberry Forest School in central Virginia.

release date: Mar 01, 2016
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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
Look out for Carlo Rovelli's next book, Reality Is Not What It Seems.

Instant New York Times Bestseller

“One of the year’s most entrancing books about science.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Clear, elegant...a whirlwind tour of some of the biggest ideas in physics.”The New York Times Book Review

This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics briskly explains Einstein's general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. Carlo Rovelli, a renowned theoretical physicist, is a delightfully poetic and philosophical scientific guide. He takes us to the frontiers of our knowledge: to the most minute reaches of the fabric of space, back to the origins of the cosmos, and into the workings of our minds. The book celebrates the joy of discovery.  “Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world,” Rovelli writes. “And it’s breathtaking.”
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release date: Nov 24, 2015
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Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words
Have you ever tried to learn more about some incredible thing, only to be frustrated by incomprehensible jargon?  Randall Munroe is here to help.  In Thing Explainer, he uses line drawings and only the thousand (or, rather, “ten hundred”) most common words to provide simple explanations for some of the most interesting stuff there is, including:

  • food-heating radio boxes (microwaves)
  • tall roads (bridges)
  • computer buildings (datacenters)
  • the shared space house (the International Space Station)
  • the other worlds around the sun (the solar system)
  • the big flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates)
  • the pieces everything is made of (the periodic table)
  • planes with turning wings (helicopters)
  • boxes that make clothes smell better (washers and dryers)
  • the bags of stuff inside you (cells)

How do these things work? Where do they come from? What would life be like without them? And what would happen if we opened them up, heated them up, cooled them down, pointed them in a different direction, or pressed this button? In Thing Explainer, Munroe gives us the answers to these questions and so many more. Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone—age 5 to 105—who has ever wondered how things work, and why.

release date: Aug 12, 2013
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An Introduction to Statistical Learning: with Applications in R (Springer Texts in Statistics)

An Introduction to Statistical Learning provides an accessible overview of the field of statistical learning, an essential toolset for making sense of the vast and complex data sets that have emerged in fields ranging from biology to finance to marketing to astrophysics in the past twenty years. This book presents some of the most important modeling and prediction techniques, along with relevant applications. Topics include linear regression, classification, resampling methods, shrinkage approaches, tree-based methods, support vector machines, clustering, and more. Color graphics and real-world examples are used to illustrate the methods presented. Since the goal of this textbook is to facilitate the use of these statistical learning techniques by practitioners in science, industry, and other fields, each chapter contains a tutorial on implementing the analyses and methods presented in R, an extremely popular open source statistical software platform.

Two of the authors co-wrote The Elements of Statistical Learning (Hastie, Tibshirani and Friedman, 2nd edition 2009), a popular reference book for statistics and machine learning researchers. An Introduction to Statistical Learning covers many of the same topics, but at a level accessible to a much broader audience. This book is targeted at statisticians and non-statisticians alike who wish to use cutting-edge statistical learning techniques to analyze their data. The text assumes only a previous course in linear regression and no knowledge of matrix algebra.

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