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Life in the Universe By Dirk Schulze-Makuch (University of Texas at El Paso)

Life in the Universe

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Energy, chemistry, solvents, and habitats - the basic elements of living systems - define the opportunities and limitations for life on other worlds. This study examines each of these parameters in crucial depth and makes the argument that life forms we would recognize may be more common in our solar system than many assume.

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Life in the Universe Summary


Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints by Dirk Schulze-Makuch (University of Texas at El Paso)

Energy, chemistry, solvents, and habitats - the basic elements of living systems - define the opportunities and limitations for life on other worlds. This study examines each of these parameters in crucial depth and makes the argument that life forms we would recognize may be more common in our solar system than many assume. It also considers, however, exotic forms of life that would not have to rely on carbon as the basic chemical element, solar energy as the main energy source, or water as the primary solvent. Finally the question of detecting bio- and geosignature of such life forms is discussed, ranging from earth environments to deep space. While speculative considerations in this emerging field of science cannot be avoided, the authors have tried to present their study with the breadth and seriousness that a scientific approach to this issue requires. They seek an operational definition of life and investigate the realm of possibilities that nature offers to realize this very special state of matter and avoid scientific jargon wherever possible to make this intrinsically interdisciplinary subject understandable to a broad range of readers.

Customer Reviews - Life in the Universe


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Life in the Universe Reviews


From the reviews:

"I would be happy to use this as a text when teaching undergraduate level astrobiology and would certainly recommend it as a good introduction for postgraduates." (Monica M. Grady Meteoritics and Planetary Science 2005, vol. 40, page 507-508)

"This book is [a ]] an in-depth, critical look at the chemical and physical requirements of known living; it also considers the possibilities of some highly speculative environments and living systems. The writing is excellent and, despite the technical nature of the subject, should be understandable for those with minimal exposure to math, physics, chemistry, and astronomy." (P. R. Douville, Choice May 2005, vol. 42, page 459)

"This book provides an articulate overview of Astrobiology in the Springer Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics series. It contains an introduction chapter that is essentially a summary of the book, a chapter outlining definitions used, then seven more chapters describing the history of life, known energy sources for life, types of building blocks, potential solvents, known and possible habitats, examples of exotic life forms, and signatures of life. This is an excellent Astrobiology primer and I highly recommend this as a good reference for all scientists in the field of Astrobiology." (Janice Bishop, Icarus 178 (2005), page 289-290)

"The honest approach of this booka (TM)s authors is stimulating; readers will feel invited to think about problems more deeply, and find solutions of their own a" in short, the book is educational! What could be better than that in the field of astrobiology, a scientific discipline that is still in the process of defining itself?" (Ph. D. HelgaStan-Lotter, Astrobiology 2004, Vol. 4, Number 3)

"The great merit of this work is its attempt to define a restricted set of circumstances under which living systems could arise elsewhere in the universe, with getting rid of the commonplace assumptions about the nature of life [a ]] it is clear that this work introduces new and exciting possibilities into the debate on the strategy for detecting life elsewhere in the universe." (Florence Raulin-Cerceau & Francois Raulin, Planetary Space and Sciences 2005)

"This book provides an articulate overview of Astrobiology a ] . This is an excellent Astrobiology primer and I highly recommend this as a good reference for all scientists in the field of Astrobiology. It nicely covers many topics introduced at recent Astrobiology Science Conferences such as the Drake equation, challenges in defining life a ] . this is an excellent interdisciplinary Astrobiology introduction that I recommend for many a bookshelf." (Janice Bishop, ICARUS, Vol. 178, 2005)

"Exobiology, or life on other worlds a ] . With the upsurge of interest has come a host of books a ] . This book goes more scientifically and embraces the conviction that life is not restricted to our planet. a ] is written with a particular emphasis on the scientific rationale for what one should be seeking, and how one should be looking for it.. a ] The book a ] study of both structure and evolution of planetary ecosystems. The hard cover book is nicely edited following Springera (TM)s high-quality standards." (Roland Carchon, Physicalia, Vol. 73 (3), 2005)

"Life in the universe a ] is the latest in a plethora of books about astrobiology ranging from graduate level texts to popularaccounts. a ] an excellent addition to the canon. a ] This book is well written and illustrated a ] . I would be happy to use this as a text when teaching undergraduate level astrobiology and would certainly recommend it as a good introduction for postgraduates. a ] a good and valuable contribution to the rapidly growing field of astrobiology." (Monica M. Grady, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol. 40 (3), 2005)

"Many books have been written on the possibility of alien life somewhere in the universe a ] . This book is no mere repetition of earlier works, but an in-depth, critical look at the chemical and physical requirements of known living systems a ] . The writing is excellent a ] . Summing Up: Highly recommended. Library collections supporting readers interested in the meaning of life on Earth or elsewhere, at the lower undergraduate level and above." (P.R. Douville, CHOICE, Vol. 42 (9), May, 2005)

"This book reflects the conviction that life is not restricted to planet Earth. The objective is to make a critical scientific analysis a ] required for the sustenance of life. It is written with particular emphasis a ] making predictions about some likely characteristics of other life forms." (Book News on the Internet, January, 2005)

"In recent years there has been an explosion in the number of books written about life in places other than on Earth. a ] The book is a serious attempt to describe the fundamental features of life as we know it and to explore the possibilities of other forms of life existing. Extensive references are provided to both justify the facts that are used and to enable interested readers to study the evidence in more detail." (Dr. C. M. Linton, Contemporary Physics, Vol. 46 (6), 2005)

"I found the book a fascinating blend of serious scientific analysis of what life is and a philosophical evaluation of what it could be. a ] The book is well written and readable for an educated non-specialist. a ] All in all, I enjoyed reading this book. a ] There are also useful tables summarizing various characteristics described in the chapter and their relevance to life in the universe. Relevant figures also provide useful visual aids. I recommend this book for interested non-specialists a ] ." (EGGS Newsletter, Issue 13, October, 2005)

Table of Contents


Definition of Life * Lessons From the History of Life on Earth * Energy Sources and Life * Building Blocks of Life * Life and the Need For a Solvent * Habitats of Life * Ideas of Exotic Forms of Life * Signatures of Life and the Question of Detection.

Additional information

GOR010737746
Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints by Dirk Schulze-Makuch (University of Texas at El Paso)
Dirk Schulze-Makuch (University of Texas at El Paso)
Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. KG
2004-06-21
186
3540206272
9783540206279
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.