The Physics of the Buffyverse

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Penguin, Dec 26, 2006 - Science - 352 pages
Physics with a Buffy the Vampire Slayer pop-culture chaser

In the tradition of the bestselling The Physics of Star Trek, acclaimed science writer Jennifer Ouellette explains fundamental concepts in the physical sciences through examples culled from the hit TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel. The weird and wonderful world of the Buffyverse—where the melding of magic and science is an everyday occurrence—provides a fantastical jumping-off point for looking at complex theories of biology, chemistry, and theoretical physics. From surreal vampires, demons, and interdimensional portals to energy conservation, black holes, and string theory, The Physics of the Buffyverse is serious (and palatable) science for the rest of us.

 

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The physics of the Buffyverse

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Winnowing science from magic, history, mythology, and fiction, science writer Ouellette (Black Bodies and Quantum Cats ) looks at physics through theBuffy the Vampire Slayer andAngel TV series ... Read full review

Contents

Welcome to the Buffyverse
xi
CREATURE FEATURE Physics Meets Biology in a Monster Mash
1
CONDUCTIVITY UNBECOMING The Shocking Truth About Electromagnetism
33
ROUGH MAGIC Spellbound by the Laws of Thermodynamics
67
THE PHYSICS OF THE FIGHT Mass Momentum and the Martial Arts
95
TIME GOES WONKY Relativistic Tricks of the Temporal Trade
123
IMPROBABLE CAUSE When Quantum Weirdness Reigns Supreme
153
ALTERNATE REALITY BITES A Romp Through the Many Worlds of the Multiverse
184
ANY PORTAL IN A STORM How to Build a Big Swirly Wormhole
204
SHATTERED SYMMETRIES Stringing Together a Theory of Everything
224
THE PLURAL OF APOCALYPSE Theres More Than One Way to End a Universe
255
Bibliography
285
Acknowledgments
309
Index
313
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About the author (2006)

Jennifer Ouellette is a science journalist and the author of several books, including The Calculus Diaries, The Physics of the Buffyverse, and Black Bodies and Quantum Cats. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Discover, Salon, and Nature, among other publications. She writes a science and culture blog called Cocktail Party Physics on the Scientific American website. Ouellette served from 2008 to 2010 as the director of the Science and Entertainment Exchange, a program of the National Academy of Sciences that aims to foster creative collaborations between scientists and entertainment-industry professionals. She has also been the journalist in residence at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara and an instructor at the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop. Ouellette holds a black belt in jujitsu and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Caltech physicist Sean Carroll.

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