The Manga Guide to the Universe (Anglais) Broché – 5 août 2011
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In this one, 3 students need to put on a play to avoid losing their drama club. They decide to do the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, an ancient story about a bamboo cutter who finds a child in bamboo, the child is from the moon. Talking about it, they realize that they need to know a lot more about space so they can update the story and make it their own. The brother of one of the students is a university student studying astrophysics. With his help, and the help of his teacher, they learn a lot more about the universe.
The authors use things like soccer to demonstrate some of the current theories and discuss the history of astrophysics from the time when people thought the earth was the center of a very small universe, to realizing we weren't even the center of our solar system and on to realizing just how vast the universe is.
They explain the measurements used and a little bit about how our current data is being accumulated. They discuss theories as well as what is known and explain how tests and math are validating the theories that scientists currently have about the universe, it's origins, it's possible eventual end, and how it all works. Even talking about the possibility of extra-terrestrial life.
It's a fantastic introduction into basic astrophysics. Not just for kids but also for adults who would like more understanding. I'm not a scientist. Just an occasional dabbler, I watch Nova and read some of the more popular books on the subject. Where these books absolutely shine is how easy it is to apply the material to things you know so that you can learn it in the stories. The further detail in the text sections is then building on what you've learned so you can have a deeper understanding. Because it's engagingly written, these books have a strong appeal both to teens and adults.
Discoveries made by great minds in the ancient world are humbling. Mathematicians and astronomers in those days had access to little more than their own unaided observations and power of thought, yet were able to make remarkably accurate calculations which we have scarcely improved with all of our technology.
The addition of manga to the pages of text is very welcome. Three or four pages of text was my limit before I found myself longing for the manga. The drawings are well done, with expressive characters in a range of manga styles and a variety of backgrounds and page layouts. The story has a clever correspondence to the topics covered.
One unexpected benefit of reading The Manga Guide to the Universe is that I have more insight into the science behind science fiction. Reading a story that includes interstellar travel or hyperspace, I can better appreciate and understand the structure of the world an author has built for the story.
This book is broken up into two parts per chapter: the story and the explanation. The story is just what it sounds like. This when the characters interact and discover more about their world in the "comic" format. The explanation is an exposition where facts are given to the reader to digest. This is where the bulk of detailed information and history lessons come into play. Many people may find this dry or too complex, despite it being simplified. Luckily, even if all you read is the story you'll still learn more than you knew.
This book was great. It begins with ancient world views on the cosmos which was fascinating whether it was looking at the Babylonian concept or the Egyptian and Chinese beliefs. It eases the reader into the more sophisticated theories by building up the history of how the theories came to fruition. It delves into Galileo's theories, touches on Copernicus' concepts, and slowly builds the education about why our world and the worlds beyond are the way they are and why and how space is what it is believed to be both historically and in the present.
By the time it builds to present beliefs, readers will have learned all about the planets in our solar system, Geocentric vs. Heliocentric theories, the expansion of the universe, Dark Matter, Kepler's Laws and how the universe is measured! It is all immensely exciting material for anyone to learn. What is truly impressive (beyond the many awed moments you will have reading this book with what you learn) is how the guide makes the information so accessible. I am no astrophysicist by any stretch and yet I could understand every concept as it was explained in the book. The guide accentuates the ease of learning by having entertaining comical manga panels with an ongoing story for readers to enjoy. There are also many helpful and clear diagrams to assist in the learning process as well as some amazing full colored photographs at the end of the book involving our solar system and beyond.
The very best of the manga guide series so far! It makes learning about the many and at times challenging theories about space fun and easy to grasp.
Review from activeAnime [...]