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What If? : Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions - Randall Munroe

What If?

Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

By: Randall Munroe

Paperback | 29 September 2015 | Edition Number 1

At a Glance

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Science's most intriguing questions answered by the web's favourite writer, the genius behind xkcd.com. Munroe's hilarious and compelling answers explain everything from the odds of meeting your one true soulmate to how many humans a rampaging T-Rex would need to eat a day.

From the creator of the wildly popular xkcd.com, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions: How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living? How many humans would a T-Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day?

In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations and consults nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.

About the Author

Randall Munroe is the creator of the webcomic xkcd and bestselling author of What If?, Thing Explainer and xkcd: Volume 0. Randall was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and grew up outside Richmond, Virginia. After studying physics at Christopher Newport University, he got a job building robots at NASA Langley Research Center. In 2006 he left NASA to draw comics on the internet full time, and has since been nominated for a Hugo Award three times. The International Astronomical Union recently named an asteroid after him: asteroid 4942 Munroe is big enough to cause mass extinction if it ever hits a planet like Earth.
Industry Reviews
XKCD is nerd royalty, the alpha dork, there's no geek more widely cited and loved - BEN GOLDACRE, author of BAD SCIENCE

It's totally brilliant and everyone who matters already knows that! - TIM HARFORD, THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST

Required reading across the world - New York Times

With this book and with XKCD, you're a kid with a chemistry set all over again. [Randall Munroe's] enthusiasm for all things scientific is infectious . . . required reading . . . for grown-ups, it's just fun to remember that science is really, really cool - Register

What If? maintains a delightfully free-wheeling tone throughout, especially when complicated calculations lead to whimsical results. Despite all the hard facts and gigantic numbers, it never feels like a textbook-and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy it - Entertainment Weekly

Munroe takes inane, useless and often quite pointless questions asked by real humans (mostly sent to him through his website), and turns them into beautiful expositions on the impossible that illuminate the furthest reaches, almost to the limits, of the modern sciences . . . The answers are all illustrated with xkcd's trademark stick figures.. . . . and these are eminently approachable - Newsweek

What If? includes old favorites, new inquiries and the mix of expert research and accessible wit that has made Munroe a favorite among both geeks and laymen - TIME

Munroe's brilliant What-If? column-which features scientifically rigorous, utterly absurd answers to ridiculous hypotheticals-has been on the bestseller lists since it was announced in March. Today, it hits shelves and: It. Is. A. Triumph - BoingBoing

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