Almost fifty years after he first crossed the small screen, Doctor Who remains a science fiction touchstone. His exploits are thrilling, his world is mind-boggling, and that time travel machine—known as the Tardis—is almost certainly an old-fashioned blue police box, once commonly found in London.
Paul Parsons's plain-English account of the real science behind the fantastic universe portrayed in the Doctor Who television series provides answers to such burning questions as whether a sonic screwdriver is any use for putting up a shelf, how Cybermen make little Cybermen, where the toilets are in the Tardis, and much more.
Taking the show as a starting point—episode-by-episode in some cases—Parsons dissects its scientific concepts. In addition to explaining why time travel is possible and just how that blue police box works, Parsons
• discusses who the Time Lords are and how we may one day be able to regenerate just like them
• ponders the ways that the doctor's two hearts might work and introduces us to a terrestrial animal with five
• details the alien populations and cosmology of the Whovian Universe and relates them to what we currently know about our universe
• compares the robotics of the show with startlingly similar real-world applications
This slender, equation-free discussion is penned by a Ph.D. cosmologist and is ideal beach reading for anyone who loves science and watches the show—no matter which planet the beach is on.
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