We Have No Idea The Book

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We Have No Idea

A fun and informative guide to the biggest unanswered questions in the Universe.

PHD Comics creator Jorge Cham and particle physicist Daniel Whiteson team up to explain everything we DON'T know about the Universe, from Cosmic Rays and Dark Matter to time travel and the Big Bang. Filled with their popular infographics, cartoons, and clear and entertaining explanations, this book is perfect for anyone who's curious about science and all the big questions we still haven't answered.

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What people are saying:

"Lucid and irreverent... This fun guide is just the ticket for science fans of any age." - Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review

"Lively... An entertaining and educational review for anyone seeking to brush up on or build his or her knowledge--or, perhaps better, lack of knowledge." - Kirkus Reviews

"A delightful combination of comedy and cosmology that is as charming as it is informative." - Zach Weinersmith, creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

"It's hard to imagine a more enjoyable way to explore the unknown than by reading this book. Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson will guide you through the biggest mysteries of the cosmos, smiling all the way." - Sean Carroll, author of The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself

"This witty book reveals the humbling vastness of our ignorance about the universe, along with charming insights into what we actually do understand." - Carlo Rovelli, author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Reality Is Not What It Seems

"Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson bring a whimsical light touch to some very heavy topics, and the result is a sheer delight for the reader." - Jennifer Ouellette, author of The Calculus Diaries and Me, Myself and Why: Searching for the Science of Self.

Media links

Read this excerpt on the PHD website, or this excerpt on Popular Science Magazine. Nautilus Magazine also published this excerpt about space, and BBC Sky at Night reviewed our book and interviewed Jorge (as did Chemistry World in their podcast and in print). Meanwhile, Nature interviewed Jorge and Daniel in their podcast, while Nature Physics gave the book an awesome review. Jorge illustrated over 26 reviews of the book from Amazon, and was interviewed by the NPR show Inquiry. Daniel was interviewed for NPR's Here and Now. We also made awesome video collaborations based on chapters of the book with Minute Earth, Hank Green's SciShow Space and Dianna Cowern's Physics Girl. Check out this great article on Symmetry Magazine about our book and this awesome editorial by Daniel on the need to teach the unknown. Listen to Daniel talk about the Universe on The Lopate Show or read this interview with Jorge and Daniel on Unbound Worlds. Check out this fun comic collaboration with SMBC's Zach Weinersmith. And this one with David Malki's Wondermark. Listen to Daniel introduce why we wrote the book on the PRH Audio website. And listen to this preview of the audiobook. Read Jorge's letter announcing the book.

Watch the trailer >>

About The Authors

Jorge Cham is the creator of "Piled Higher and Deeper" (a.k.a. "PHD Comics"), the popular comic strip about life (or lack thereof) in Academia. Daniel Whiteson is an Associate Professor of Experimental Particle Physics at the Dept. of Physics & Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. Together they have created videos that explain complex physics topics like The Higgs Boson, Gravitational Waves, Dark Matter and Extra Dimensions. Their videos have been viewed by millions of people, appeared in major media outlets and aired on PBS.

The We Have No Idea
* Book Tour! *

The We Have No Idea

* Book Tour! *

Join us at one of these awesome events.
We are also organizing a Fall 2017 Academic Tour (click to learn more).

This map is clickable!

May 9, 2017

California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA

03:00PM - Noyes Building Room 153, 1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91125
Join Jorge and Daniel on book release date for this fun interactive talk and booksigning at Caltech!

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May 11, 2017

The Cellar Door Bookstore, Riverside, CA

05:45PM - The Cellar Door Bookstore, 5225 Canyon Crest Drive Suite 30A Riverside, CA 92506
Join Jorge and Daniel at this cozy bookstore for a short but fun science presentation about the biggest mysteries of the Universe.

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May 15, 2017

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Los Angeles, CA

04:30PM - Von Karman Auditorium (4:30pm) OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Flintridge Bookstore (6pm)
Lecture with Jorge Cham (4:30pm) at JPL's Visitor Center. Enjoy an hour of science fun next to models and displays of satellites and space objects from NASA's amazing history. Booksigning with Jorge and Daniel to follow (6pm) at Flintridge Bookstore down the street.

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May 16, 2017

Science on Tap, Portland Area

07:00PM - Kiggins Theatre, 1011 Main Street, Vancouver, WA
Better Learning with Beer! Join Jorge and Daniel for an evening of fun at one of the best science social events in the Portland area: Science on Tap!

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May 18, 2017

Quimbys Books, Chicago

07:00PM - Quimbys Bookstore 1854 W. North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Book reading and signing with Jorge and Daniel. Join us at one of the edgiest bookstores in Chicago for an evening of fun and science.

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May 19, 2017

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), Chicago Area

08:00PM - Fermilab Ramsey Auditorium, Pine Street & Kirk Road, Batavia, IL 60510
Join us for an evening of fun and science at this landmark particle physics and accelerator laboratory. Jorge and Daniel will give a lively talk as part of the Arts and Lecture Series. Books available for sale. Open to the Public.

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May 20, 2017

Town Hall Seattle

07:30PM - Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
Get an entertaining lesson in Particle Physics and the big mysteries of the Universe with Jorge and Daniel. Join us for an evening of science and fun in this lecture and booksigning. Open to the public.

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June 2, 2017

University of Bristol, Bristol

04:30PM - Frank Lecture Theatre, School of Physics HH Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue
Join Daniel and Jorge for some fun Physics at the U. of Bristol

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June 3, 2017

Hay Book Festival, Wales

07:00PM - Wales Stage, Dairy Meadows Brecon Road, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5PJ
Join Jorge and Daniel for an evening of science and fun at one of the most exciting book festivals in the UK.

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June 5, 2017

The Royal Institution of Great Britain, London

07:00PM - The Royal Institution of Great Britain 21 Albemarle Street London W1S 4BS
Join Jorge and Daniel for an evening of science and fun at the Royal Institution, an independent charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science.

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June 6, 2017

How To Academy, London

06:45PM - CNCFD- Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design 16-17 Greek Street Soho London W1D 4DR
Join us for an illustrated talk by a cartoonist and a physicist that is perfect for anyone who is curious about all the great mysteries physicists are going to solve next.

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June 7, 2017

Blackwells of Edinburgh

06:30PM - Blackwell's Bookshop Edinburgh 53 - 62 South Bridge Edinburgh EH1 1YS
Join us for a cozy evening of science and fun with Jorge and Daniel at Blackwells Bookshop in Edinburgh.

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June 7, 2017

University of York

11:15AM - Physics Bldg. P/X001
Join us on our York stop for a fun morning of science and doodling!

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June 8, 2017

Blackwells of Oxford

07:00PM - Blackwell's Bookshop 51 Broad Street Oxford OX1 3BQ
Join us for a fun and cozy evening of science at Blackwells Oxford. Daniel is buying the first pint.

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June 9, 2017

University of Oslo

Time TBA - Science Library
Join Jorge for a lecture about science communication and grad school as part of the PHD Day celebrations.

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June 21, 2017

Google Irvine

11:30AM - 19510 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92612
Join us for a lunchtime event with Jorge and Daniel! Free books provided (first come first serve!)

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June 23, 2017


12:30PM - 1220 N. Mathilda Ave Sunnyvale, CA 94089
Join us for a lunchtime event with Jorge and Daniel! Free books provided (first come first serve!)

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July 8, 2017

Public Science Communication Master Class, Singapore

02:00PM - Singapore Management University
Join Jorge for a public lecture on Science Communication sponsored by Asian Scientist Magazine.

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July 17, 2017

Politikens Boghallen, Copenhagen, Denmark

05:00PM - Rådhuspladsen 37, 1550 København V
Come see Daniel talk about 'We Have No Idea' at one of Denmark's biggest bookstores!

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The Fall 2017 Academic Tour!

Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson will be touring and giving lectures at Universities and Research Centers this Fall (2017).

To add your institution to the academic tour, please e-mail kfreeman@penguinrandomhouse.com.

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