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Science and Fiction
cover

Fake Physics: Spoofs, Hoaxes and Fictitious Science

Authors: May, Andrew

  • Provides an entertaining and non-technical overview on (non-malicious) spoofs and hoaxes by professional physicists
  • Introduces the scientific methods to the layperson and provides guidance for distinguishing between science and fiction
  • Connects the science topics to Science Fiction themes and pseudoscience
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Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • Unpublished eBooks cannot be pre-ordered in advance.
  • Due: June 21, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-030-13314-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Softcover $27.99
price for USA in USD
  • Unpublished eBooks cannot be pre-ordered in advance.
  • Due: May 24, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-030-13313-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

People are used to seeing “fake physics” in science fiction – concepts like faster-than-light travel, antigravity and time travel to name a few. The fiction label ought to be a giveaway, but some SF writers – especially those with a background in professional science – are so adept at “technobabble” that it can be difficult to work out what is fake and what is real. To confuse matters further, Isaac Asimov’s 1948 piece about the fictitious time-travelling substance thiotimoline was written, not as a short story, but in the form of a spoof research paper.

The boundaries between fact and fiction can also be blurred by physicists themselves - sometimes unintentionally, sometimes with tongue-in-cheek, sometimes to satirize perceived weaknesses in research practices. Examples range from hoaxes aimed at exposing poor editorial standards in academic publications, through “thought experiments” that sound like the plot of a sci-fi movie to April Fools’ jokes. Even the latter may carry a serious message, whether about the sociology of science or poking fun at legitimate but far-out scientific hypotheses.

This entertaining book is a joyous romp exploring the whole spectrum of fake physics – from science to fiction and back again.


About the authors

Andrew May obtained a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Manchester in 1982 and is an experienced and versatile professional, with a career spanning academia, government and private industry. Since the start of 2011 he has been working as a freelance writer and defence consultant. He has a wide range of interests and has written both authoritatively and entertainingly on the physical sciences, military technology, British history, science fiction, New Age beliefs and the paranormal.
He has recently published Pseudoscience and Science Fiction (2017), The Telescopic Tourist's Guide to the Moon (2017) and Rockets and Ray Guns: The Sci-Fi Science of the Cold War (2018) with Springer.


Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • Unpublished eBooks cannot be pre-ordered in advance.
  • Due: June 21, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-030-13314-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Softcover $27.99
price for USA in USD
  • Unpublished eBooks cannot be pre-ordered in advance.
  • Due: May 24, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-030-13313-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Fake Physics: Spoofs, Hoaxes and Fictitious Science
Authors
Series Title
Science and Fiction
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-13314-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-13314-6
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-13313-9
Series ISSN
2197-1188
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 230
Number of Illustrations
12 b/w illustrations, 21 illustrations in colour
Topics