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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Paperback – Kindle eBook, 29 September 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 9,318 ratings

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Product details

  • Paperback : 336 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1848549562
  • ISBN-10 : 1848549563
  • Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Publisher : John Murray; 1st edition (29 September 2015)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 9,318 ratings

Product description

Review

With this book and with XKCD, you're a kid with a chemistry set all over again. [Randall Munroe's] enthusiasm for all things scientific is infectious . . . required reading for grown-ups, it's just fun to remember that science is really, really cool, REGISTER

Smart answers to silly questions: Randall Munroe reveals all, GUARDIAN

What If? maintains a delightfully free-wheeling tone throughout, especially when complicated calculations lead to whimsical results. Despite all the hard facts and gigantic numbers, it never feels like a textbook-and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy it, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

The best bathroom book you'll ever buy...Munroe takes inane, useless and often quite pointless questions asked by real humans (mostly sent to him through his website), and turns them into beautiful expositions on the impossible that illuminate the furthest reaches, almost to the limits, of the modern sciences .The first chapter, "Q. What would happen if the Earth and all terrestrial objects suddenly stopped spinning, but the atmosphere retained its velocity?" ends with the anthropomorphized moon worrying over the state of the Earth, and, with the gravity generated by its own rotation around the Earth, saving our dying planet. The physics are real; so is the emotional content. . . The answers are all illustrated with xkcd's trademark stick figures.. . . . and these are eminently approachable, NEWSWEEK

Brilliant, ROLLING STONE

What If? includes old favorites, new inquiries and the mix of expert research and accessible wit that has made Munroe a favorite among both geeks and laymen, TIME

Munroe's brilliant What-If? column-which features scientifically rigorous, utterly absurd answers to ridiculous hypotheticals-has been on the bestseller lists since it was announced in March. Today, it hits shelves and: It. Is. A. Triumph, BOINGBOING

[What If?] has solved my annual birthday-present and holiday-gift dilemmas for a large group of people . . . What makes Munroe's work so fantastic is a combination of two elements: his commitment to trying to answer even the weirdest question with solid science, and his undeniable sense of humour. So, here's a "What If?" from me: If everyone on the planet simultaneously bought a copy of this book, stopped what they were doing and read it cover to cover, would modern civilization and our global economy collapse? It's worth trying the experiment., HUFFINGTON POST

For the record, I'm loving XKCD's What If -- 'Dear Abby for mad scientists', NEIL GAIMAN

Munroe has hit on a wonderful form of science and engineering communication that can do so much-extolling the value of analytical thinking, examining data, and doing back-of-the-envelope calculations-while entertaining readers at the same time . . . an incredibly fun book with quirky, hand-drawn pictures, AMERICAN SCIENTIST

Review

XKCD is nerd royalty, the alpha dork, there's no geek more widely cited and loved - BEN GOLDACRE, author of BAD SCIENCE

It's totally brilliant and everyone who matters already knows that! - TIM HARFORD, THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST

Required reading across the world - New York Times

With this book and with XKCD, you're a kid with a chemistry set all over again. [Randall Munroe's] enthusiasm for all things scientific is infectious . . . required reading . . . for grown-ups, it's just fun to remember that science is really, really cool - Register

What If? maintains a delightfully free-wheeling tone throughout, especially when complicated calculations lead to whimsical results. Despite all the hard facts and gigantic numbers, it never feels like a textbook-and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy it - Entertainment Weekly

Munroe takes inane, useless and often quite pointless questions asked by real humans (mostly sent to him through his website), and turns them into beautiful expositions on the impossible that illuminate the furthest reaches, almost to the limits, of the modern sciences . . . The answers are all illustrated with xkcd's trademark stick figures.. . . . and these are eminently approachable - Newsweek

What If? includes old favorites, new inquiries and the mix of expert research and accessible wit that has made Munroe a favorite among both geeks and laymen - TIME

Munroe's brilliant What-If? column-which features scientifically rigorous, utterly absurd answers to ridiculous hypotheticals-has been on the bestseller lists since it was announced in March. Today, it hits shelves and: It. Is. A. Triumph - BoingBoing

Customer reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars A total joy for anyone with an enquiring mind and interest in science
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute genius. Please read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What if all popular science books were written like this?
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