Get a free audiobook

We Have No Idea

A Guide to the Unknown Universe
Narrated by: Daniel Whiteson
Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
Categories: Science & Math, Physics
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Prepare to learn everything we still don't know about our strange, mostly mysterious universe.

PHD Comics creator Jorge Cham and particle physicist Daniel Whiteson have teamed up to spelunk through the enormous gaps in our cosmological knowledge, armed with their entertaining and lucid explanations of science.

In We Have No Idea, they explore the biggest unknowns in the universe, why these things are still mysteries, and what a lot of smart people are doing to figure out the answers (or at least ask the right questions). While they're at it, they helpfully demystify many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. With equal doses of humor and delight, they invite us to see the universe as a vast expanse of mostly uncharted territory that's still ours to explore.

This entertaining science primer is the perfect book for anyone who's curious about all the big questions physicists are still trying to answer.

©2017 Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
No reviews are available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Ritt
  • 2018-01-25

A good primer for those interested in cosmology

I'm returning this book after listening to a few chapters and skimming a few others - but it's not because I don't like it or because it's not a good book. It's a good book and I liked it very much. The information is solid, the humour is funny, the narrator is perfect for this book. It's all just right.

My *sole* issue with it is that it's too basic. Apparently I've read and know more than I realised and just didn't give myself enough credit for it. That's my fault, not the book's.

So if you're just looking into cosmology and physics, want to know more about what we don't know - such as dark energy and dark matter - and prefer to learn in a light-hearted manner, this is the book for you. If you've read most of NDGT's books and are well-versed in what we're clueless on, try something else. The same goes if you don't like (sometimes corny) jokes in your science books, skip this one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Waggs Wolf
  • 2017-07-10

It is wiser to know what you don't know

This was a fun and entertaining book, but it delivered more knowledge more effectively than any other source I can think of. The future of science has always been about the open questions more so than the suggested answers, and this audio telling is the perfect guide to leaning what those questions are and why.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe H.
  • 2019-10-07

Fun read

He continues to make it a fun and humorous experience while keeping fairly informative. Good read.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • cornholio
  • 2019-07-25

Not as funny as they think

If you keep up with science in the news or read a weekly publication, there is nothing new here. And the jokes are so cringe worthy, they should stick to their knitting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Southernboy
  • 2019-07-10

fun and accessable

love it
Challenging but manageable. Dr Whiteson is a good communicator. He took some difficult concepts and framed them in ways that allowed me to understand them. I suspect these two will join Carl Sagan and Niel deGrass Tyson communicating the wonders of science to those of us who are not in that space (luck pun). Well done, gentlemen

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Branson Tibbs
  • 2019-06-20

Great content but full of annoying slapstick humor

The book is filled with distracting and unfunny jokes/sound effects. The content is good but the humor is very annoying

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jj
  • 2019-05-28

loved it

Very interesting take. I love the humility. Science so often acts like scientist from 200 years ago were just idiots but 'now we know' when really we just know a little more and probably half of what we think we know will change, and that's just fine. We are not enlightened. just enlightening;)

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Brian Redfern
  • 2019-05-20

Look Elsewhere

If you do not mind being talked down to and told we know absolutely nothing but we do not know what we know nothing about, this is the book for you. Written like a second grade Sponge bob cartoon, with less content, that doesn't know if you have a workable grasp on reality. It goes into great detail to distract you with worthless content when it is not telling you what you actually came to find out. Every chapter highlights Ad nauseam that we only know what 5 percent of the universe is made of. Then the proceed to beat you over the head with that. Lets not get into the droning monotone speaker who seems overjoyed with the fact that you are an imbecile and supports the book in reminding the audience of this fact.
I once had a linear algebra teacher who was so out there brilliant that he A. could not break the subject down adequately for a student learning the subject for the first time, yes I went to a tutor to grasp the topic. and B. Did not know he was way to brilliant to be explaining the subject to a new initiate.
That being said this writer, backed up by the orator, believes A. They are too smart for you to understand the topic or your existence. and B. Know they are smarter than their audience and are going to prove it too us.

So if you are looking for a good book that explains the current state of science and where we can go, this is not it. Do not waste 9 hours of your life being talked down too.
I will keep looking and so should you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Johnson
  • 2019-05-06

Great listen. Simple yet profound.

I really enjoyed this book. Great thoughts on physics presented in a fun and easy to understand way. Each chapter builds on its self and rereading a chapter is just as enjoyable as the first read. Additionally Daniel & Jorge Explain the Universe is a fantastic podcast that adds to this fantastic read. Thanks for creating a fun and thought provoking read and podcast.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel Lord
  • 2019-03-01

Awesome and WOW

I loved it definitely good making you want more. It left you with more questions than answers but opened your mind to new worlds.