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Publisher's Summary

Everything we now know about the universe - from the behavior of quarks to the birth of galaxies - has come from people who've been willing to ponder the unanswerable. And with the advent of modern science, great minds have turned to testing and experimentation rather than mere thought as a way of grappling with some of the universe's most vexing dilemmas.

So what is our latest picture of some of the most inexplicable features of the universe? What still remains to be uncovered and explored by today's scientists?

"We know a lot about the universe. But there's even more that we don't know," says astrophysicist and professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, an award-winning lecturer, and one of the world's foremost experts on the secrets of the universe. This course, which has been honored with a 2013 Telly Award for Outstanding Educational Program, features six self-contained lectures that transport you on a marvelous journey to the frontiers of the known (and unknown) universe and introduce you to tantalizing questions being addressed by the world's top scientists. Engaging and fascinating, this lecture series is a wonderful entrée to scientific pursuits that lie at the very heart of the history and nature of our universe.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses

What listeners say about The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

"The Universe is in us!"

This is a short course on the Universe by Neil de Grasse Tyson which I enjoyed but in some ways it wasn't as good as his television show on the same subjects. Listening isn't as fun as seeing and hearing!

The 6 classes are as follows:
1.History's Mysteries
This class talks about some things that were mysteries but can be explained now with our current knowledge. Examples are the course of Mercury and the mysteries "ether" that scientists believed the Universe was made of.

2.The Spooky Universe
This class gives you examples of weird things that are ongoing within the Universe. The fact that in 1897 electrons were "discovered" but no one has still ever seen one. We learn about particle physics and thermonuclear fusion.

3. Inexplicable Life
This course was one of the best to me. Professor Tyson talks about how life began, and why aren't there different ways life evolved on the earth. Would it be possible life evolved on Mars and then came to Earth? He also talks about how arrogant humans are in searching for intelligent life in the Universe.

4. Inexplicable Physics
I never took Physics in High School so a lot of this was all new to me. He talks about string theory and what will happen if you go through a black hole!

5. Inexplicable Space
This one focuses on dark matter and dark energy. Strange stuff!

6. Inexplicable Cosmology
This class tells of quantum foam, the multiverse, antimatter, and tachyons. He also talks about the possibilities of how the earth and Universe will end. Is there anything else out there?

This was enjoyable, not as in depth as I would have liked, but it's a great course for piquing your interest in further studies.

77 people found this helpful

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Wow! I never knew!

What did you love best about The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries?

A top notch expert explains the details of these mysteries in the most engaging fashion. He keeps your interest up and you wish he had another 3 hours to tell more of the mysteries.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The prof. He explains very intricate details in a way that is easy to understand. I'd like to hear mote.

What about Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson’s performance did you like?

He was clear, detailed and spoke at a level that I could understand and found very interesting.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. Hard to put down.

Any additional comments?

Well done and very entertaining.

31 people found this helpful

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An enjoyable short course

In contrast to the expansive delivery style he used in Cosmos, Dr. Tyson's easy-going lectures seem much more intimate, as if he's talking directly to you. It was a joy to listen to him on my long commutes. The six lectures ended far too soon.

25 people found this helpful

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Excellent lectures but not new material

I was exceited to listen to courses taught by Neil deGrasse Tyson as he is one of my favorite lectures however I was disappointed by this audiobook as it does not cover any new material.
I would not recommend this series to those who have listened to other lectures from Neil deGrasse Tyson or who have studied in this area. However, it is a great short series for those new to the subject.

20 people found this helpful

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The Inexplicable Explained

Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of best known physicists working today because of his ability to explain mind-blowingly complex science to civilians. In this short lecture series, he attempts to apply his unique ability to explain things to things he himself calls inexplicable -- atomic and sub-atomic particles, black holes, dark matter and dark energy, the multiverse, genesis, the origin of the universe, et. al.

And he largely succeeds. In such a short course, he does not have the luxury of giving us background on every building block of science, so it certainly helps to come into this already knowing something about the periodic table, for example, or the general theory of relativity -- not at the Ph.D. level, just at the high school level. Even so, there is something here for everyone who has ever been curious about our origins and how we've come to know what we do know about it and how we are attempting to expand our knowledge into areas that remain mysterious and seem unsolvable.

18 people found this helpful

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Great Learning Experience

What did you love best about The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries?

I love to learn, and this set of lectures contains a lot of valuable, thought provoking material.

Have you listened to any of Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I have not. Although I have watched Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Just as good.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Not sure it really applies. Although there is a video version of this already on Netflix.

15 people found this helpful

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Greate Mysteries--Solved, Unsolved, Unimaginable

Mysteries of the universe, solved and unsolved. . . hmm.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is such an enthusiastic lecturer, I can imagine he could make just about any topic fascinating. He talks about some of the greatest mysteries of our universe, a few that have been already solved and others that we are currently struggling with and may never in our lifetimes find the answers to. He talks about mysteries that keep him up at night and some that defy current imagination. He talks about the existence of mysteries that we don't even have the intelligence or current knowledge to wonder about.

Should we even worry or fret or care about mysteries we cannot solve or even imagine? What was it like when the universe was formed? How about when it will eventually die? Are there parallel universes? What in the heck is dark matter or dark energy? Why should we even care?

If any of these questions interest you, I suggest you get this selection from The Great Courses. It is guaranteed to feel too short for you, no matter what your knowledge base or curiosity index is. It is guaranteed to be fascinating, anyway.

Now, I have to check and see if I can find any other books by deGrasse Tyson. He is a wonderful lecturer! He is worth pursuing further.

12 people found this helpful

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A journey with a genius

Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson is known to stand out because of his staying in touch with the world around him, and knows how to break down and explain sophisticated models and theories to the layman.

In this course, he explains the greatest mysteries of modern science. Definitely worth listening to, probably more than once.

11 people found this helpful

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Great science explanation

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Science is exciting and enjoyable. Mr. DeGrasse is an excelent communicator and he is highly qualified to reveal the topics in a simple and understandable way.

What other book might you compare The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries to and why?

Books similar to Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov.

Which character – as performed by Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson – was your favorite?

Neil himself

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were several passages but I remember the fact that chimps are humans had less than 1% of DNA difference that represents poetry, math, accumulative knowledge, etc.

8 people found this helpful

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Love it

Very pleasing to listen to... Very understandable even if you know the science its good to have a revision...

I love all the books in this series

7 people found this helpful

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  • william mulligan
  • 01-05-15

Very basic

Only useful for those with little science knowledge
Only good thing is it is quite short and cheap. Don't buy

7 people found this helpful

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  • paul
  • 01-04-15

Great!

Simply astounding! Neil's has such a way with his words. He speaks with such clarity that complex matters seem simple.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. J. Cole
  • 05-12-15

Just fascinating

This series of lectures by your personal astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson covers a lot of ground but as ever, Neil makes it enjoyable.
Keep looking up....

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alin Balauca
  • 09-21-22

Interesting short lecture

To me, this type of knowledge is very fascinating, you've got to like space to like this book.

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  • Glezza
  • 08-25-22

Always a fascinating talk from Mr Tyson!

I love listening to Mr Tyson!
He and Brian Cox are brilliant people and they make this stuff incredibly easy to get your head around!
I could listen for days!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • whiff_of_grape
  • 09-29-20

Neil really draws the listener into his universe

You get caught in the event horizon of this series of lectures from liftoff! Neil's passion for his subject is apparent in every sentence and leaves me thirsty for more knowledge of the cosmos! More of these please!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-30-20

Fascinating

Really fascinating concepts if you're into this sort of stuff. We are so infinitesimally small.

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  • matthew
  • 11-25-17

Deeply satisfying

Very satisfying to have beautiful and complex ideas broke down expertly and delivered to the man on the street like me with passion. Perfect if like me ypu are low on expertise and time.

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  • D. G. Mathias
  • 03-23-17

another great lecture

A great lecture by a great communicator of physics. Not found a bad lecture from these guys.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-23-16

Makes none thinkers think!

Really cool book that can be listened to in one hit. Cool, interesting subject matter that makes me want to find out more about spooky quantum physics. The narrator is a dude I've seen on Ted talks, he's great at bringing the subject to life and didn't disappoint here either.

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  • HH
  • 10-28-16

Very short

What disappointed you about The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries?

Way too short and covers roughly the same ground as every other lecture on cosmolgy you've ever listened to. Nothing new here at all.

.