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The Physics of Star Trek

New or Used: $21.95
New or Used: $21.95

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Even those who have never watched an episode of Star Trek will be entertained and enlightened by theoretical physicist Krauss's adventurous investigation of interstellar flight, time travel, teleportation of objects and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Case Western Reserve professor Krauss maintains that Star Trek's writers were sometimes far ahead of scientists‘and famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking's foreword, endorsing the possibilities of faster-than-light travel and journeying back in time, supports that notion. On the other hand, Krauss also argues that the show is riddled with bloopers and huge improbabilities, as when the Voyager's crew escapes from a black hole's interior. This informal manual for Trekkers offers a porthole on the wonders of the universe as it ponders the potential existence of aliens, ``wormholes'' that allow astronauts to tunnel through space, other dimensions and myriad baby universes. $75,000 ad/promo; BOMC and QPB alternates; Astronomy Book Club dual main selection; Library of Science, Natural Science Book Club and Newbridge Computer Book Club alternates. (Nov.)

Although a bit more physics than Star Trek, this latest effort from the author of Fear of Physics (LJ 10/1/93) is another worthy attempt to coax the TV generation into the esoteric realm of such abstract curiosities as wormholes, time/space curvature, quantum particles, and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The strategy of drawing on the enormous familiarity of the Star Trek universe seems natural and intriguing, and the book certainly informs and entertains-to an extent. The cultural phenomenon of Star Trek is never fully integrated into the book, as the title would imply, with fewer, briefer references and no photos from any of the films or television series that might properly be expected. Krauss does provide memorable descriptions of the immense difficulties facing the actual development of various Star Trek technologies, particularly with the prohibitive energy requirement to power starships near or past the speed of light and the rather shocking operations necessary for transporters and replicators. For general readers.-Patrick Dunn, East Tennessee State Univ. Lib., Johnson City

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