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Exploring Science Through Science Fiction

Exploring Science Through Science Fiction - Free Ebook Download

Book Detail

Author/Editor(s): Barry B Luokkala
Publication Date: October 24, 2013
ISBN-10: 1461478901
ISBN-13: 978-1461478904
Language: English
Edition: 2014
Publisher: Springer
Size: 2.48 MB
Format: pdf

Book Description

How does Einstein’s description of space and time compare with Dr. Who? Can James Bond really escape from an armor-plated railroad car by cutting through the floor with a laser concealed in a wristwatch? What would it take to create a fully-intelligent android, such as Star Trek’s Commander Data? How might we discover intelligent civilizations on other planets in the galaxy? Is human teleportation possible? Will our technological society ever reach the point at which it becomes lawful to discriminate on the basis of genetic information, as in the movie GATTACA?

Exploring Science Through Science Fiction addresses these and other interesting questions, using science fiction as a springboard for discussing fundamental science concepts and cutting-edge science research. The book is designed as a primary text for a college-level course which should appeal to students in the fine arts and humanities as well as to science and engineering students. It includes references to original research papers, landmark scientific publications and technical documents, as well as a broad range of science literature at a more popular level. With over 180 references to specific scenes in 130 sci-fi movies and TV episodes, spanning over 100 years of cinematic history, it should be an enjoyable read for anyone with an interest in science and science fiction.

About the Author

Barry Luokkala is a teaching professor and director of undergraduate laboratories in the department of physics at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his BS and MS degrees in physics at the University of Pittsburgh, where he did experimental research in the physics and chemistry of the ionosphere. He received his PhD in experimental condensed matter physics at Carnegie Mellon University. He has also served as program director for the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the sciences and has been a science consultant for the Sloan Foundation Screenplay Competition in Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama.


The author presents many good discussion and exploration topics, as well as back-of-the-envelope-type estimation problems. The references include DVD release and scene number information, making the chapter and end-of-book bibliographies highly valuable to instructors interested in bringing such subject material into their classroom. Summing Up: Recommended. All undergraduate students, faculty, and general readers.

--S. A. Curtis, Choice, Vol. 51 (10), June, 2014

Exploring Science Through Science Fiction is organized into seven chapters centered on common themes in science fiction film and literature … . this book is an engaging and readable text. … The textbook has the ability to spark in its readers an interest in and appreciation for science and technology. Luokkala provides ample resources in the appendices for interested readers to continue their own investigations.

--Emily Margolis, Quest The history of Spaceflight, Vol. 21 (3), 2014
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