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

"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

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

"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. Daniel was interviewed for Science Friday, and we were featured on Space.com. Jorge was interviewed by Prof. Michio Kaku on Science Fantastic. 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. If you'd like to know how Jorge and Daniel started working together, Physics World published this great review of our book AND later the oral history of our collaboration. We also made awesome video collaborations based on chapters of the book with Henry Reich of Minute Physics, Derek Muller of Veritasium, Joe Hanson of "It's OK To Be Smart", 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.

"We Have No Idea" has been translated to 23 languages (and counting!).

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.

International Editions!

We Have No Idea has been translated to 23 languages (and counting!). Find your local publisher below:

BrazilPortugueseEditora Record
China (Mainland)Chinese (simplified)United Sky
Czech RepublicCzechPrah
EstoniaEstonianHea Lugu
GermanyGermanC. Bertelsmann
GreeceGreekCrete University Press
Latin AmericaSpanishOceano
NetherlandsDutchUnieboek/Het Spectrum
South KoreaKoreanSahoi Pyoungnon
SpainSpanishCapitan Swing
Taiwan and Hong KongChinese (complex)Commonwealth Publishing
TurkeyTurkishIndigo Kitap
U.K., Australia, CommonwealthEnglishJohn Murrays
UkraineUkrainianNash Format
United States and CanadaEnglishRiverhead/PRH
VietnamVietnameseNha Nam

The We Have No Idea
* Book Tour! *

The We Have No Idea

* Book Tour! *

Join us at one of these awesome events!
To get Jorge and Daniel to talk at your school, click here

Previous stops:

May 31, 2018

Bob Baker Marionette Theater, Los Angeles

7:30PM - 1345 W 1st St, Los Angeles, California, 90026

May 8, 2018

UC San Diego, San Diego

6:30PM - Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination

May 8, 2018

San Diego State University, San Diego

1:00PM - Bioscience Center Gold Aud

April 20, 2018

University of California, Irvine, Irvine

4:00PM - Student Center, Pacific Ballroom D

April 14, 2018

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

10:00AM - Physics and Astronomy Lecture Hall

April 12, 2018

University of Michigan

12:00PM - Assembly Hall, 4th Floor, Rackham Building

March 28, 2018

Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen

5:30PM - Wheeler Opera House

March 28, 2018

Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh

10:00AM - Room SR214, Scott Russell Bldg

March 27, 2018

University of Edinburgh

1:00PM - South Gallery, Dovecot Studios

March 26, 2018

Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

11:30AM - Sir Ian Wood Building, Room N344

March 23, 2018

University of Aberdeen

11:30AM - MacRobert Lecture Theatre

March 22, 2018

University of St. Andrews

10:30AM - Parliament Hall (Building 67)

March 21, 2018

University of Dundee

10:30AM - Dalhousie Building Room 1G06

March 20, 2018

Strathclyde University, Glasgow

12:00PM - Livingstone Tower 420

March 19, 2018

Glasgow Caledonian U., Glasgow

10:00AM - Hamish Wood Building W011

March 15, 2018

Columbia University, Irvington

7:00PM - Nevis Laboratories, 136 South Broadway, Irvington NY 10533

March 14, 2018

Atlas Obscura @ Caveat Pi Day, New York

7:00PM - 21 A Clinton Street, New York, New York, 10002

March 12, 2018

American Museum of Natural History, New York City

7:30PM - Hayden Planetarium

February 24, 2018

University of Houston, Houston

11:00AM - SEC Room 100

February 23, 2018

Rice University, Houston, TX

5:30PM - Sewell Hall 301

February 22, 2018

Texas A&M University

5:30PM - MSC Room 2300 A&B

February 21, 2018

UT Austin, Austin

7:00PM - RLM 4.102

February 8, 2018

Oregon State University

09:00AM - and 11:00am

January 29, 2018

Secret Science Club, New York City

8:00PM - 2537 Broadway @ 95th St in Manhattan

January 28, 2018

NC Museum of Natural History, Raleigh

2:30PM - SECU Daily Planet Theater, NC Museum

January 27, 2018

NC Museum of Natural History, Raleigh

11:00AM - SECU Daily Planet Theater, NC Museum,

January 25, 2018

NC Museum of Natural History, Raleigh

7:00PM - Daily Planet Cafe, 11 West Jones Street Raleigh

January 24, 2018

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

7:30PM - UVA Chemistry Bldg, 409 McCormick Road, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904

December 8, 2017

Boston University, Boston

3:30PM - Room L112

December 6, 2017

Tufts University, Medford, MA

3:30PM - Cohen Auditorium, Aidekman Arts Center

December 5, 2017

MIT, Cambridge, MA

5:00PM - Room 34-101

December 4, 2017

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

14:00PM - Northwest Building, Room B-103 (52 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA)

November 29, 2017

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

Time TBA -

November 16, 2017

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

3:30PM - Career Exploration Symposium, CENTENNIAL CENTRE FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE (CCIS) 11335 Saskatchewan Dr NW Edmonton, Alberta Canada

November 15, 2017

Michigan State University, Lansing, MI

6:30PM - E100 VetMed Center

November 3, 2017

Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI

6:00PM - Fisher 135

November 2, 2017

Wisconsin Book Festival, Madison, WI

06:00PM - DeLuca Forum, 330 N. Orchard St.

November 1, 2017

University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI

5:30PM - Deluca Forum, Discovery Building

November 1, 2017

University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago

03:00PM - UIC Physics

October 28, 2017

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

10:30AM - Weiser Hall

October 27, 2017

Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

7:00PM - McPherson Chemical Lab, Room 1000 (Next to the cafe) 140 W 18th Ave

October 26, 2017

University of Pittsburg, Pittsburg, PA

08:00PM - University Club, Ballroom B, Univ of Pitt.

October 25, 2017

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL

3:00PM - Guyon Auditorium, Morris Library

October 24, 2017

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

6:00 PM -

October 18, 2017

Concordia University, Montreal

Time TBA -

October 12, 2017

University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany

5:45PM - Rudolf Virchow Center

September 29, 2017

Dreamworks Animation, Glendale CA

12:00PM - 1000 Flower Street, Glendale

September 27, 2017

International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2017) , Vancouver

6:00PM - Ballroom

September 22, 2017

NIST, Gaithersburg, MD

01:00PM -

September 21, 2017

Harvard Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA

7:30PM - Phillips Auditorium

September 21, 2017

Northeastern Univ, Boston, MA

09:30AM - 2:00pm

September 20, 2017

MIT, Cambridge, MA

7:00PM - Building 10-250

September 20, 2017

Boston University, Boston, MA

11:15AM - CGS 129

September 19, 2017

Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

11:30AM - 4:00pm - Gerstenzang 123 + Abelson 131

September 18, 2017

Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, BC

07:00PM - Vancouver Public Library,350 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6B 6B1Central Branch

September 17, 2017

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

07:00PM - Hebb Bldg, 2045 E Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

September 17, 2017

Science World, Vancouver, BC

02:00PM - 1455 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC V6A 3Z7

September 15, 2017

University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

2:30PM - MSTF Atrium

August 19, 2017

Atlas Obscura

06:30PM - Total Eclipse Festival!

July 17, 2017

Politikens Boghallen, Copenhagen, Denmark

05:00PM - Rådhuspladsen 37, 1550 København V

June 23, 2017


12:30PM - 1220 N. Mathilda Ave Sunnyvale, CA 94089

June 21, 2017

Google Irvine

11:30AM - 19510 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92612

June 9, 2017

University of Oslo

Time TBA - Science Library

June 8, 2017

Blackwells of Oxford

07:00PM - Blackwell's Bookshop 51 Broad Street Oxford OX1 3BQ

June 7, 2017

University of York

11:15AM - Physics Bldg. P/X001

June 7, 2017

Blackwells of Edinburgh

06:30PM - Blackwell's Bookshop Edinburgh 53 - 62 South Bridge Edinburgh EH1 1YS

June 6, 2017

How To Academy, London

06:45PM - CNCFD- Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design 16-17 Greek Street Soho London W1D 4DR

June 5, 2017

The Royal Institution of Great Britain, London

07:00PM - The Royal Institution of Great Britain 21 Albemarle Street London W1S 4BS

June 3, 2017

Hay Book Festival, Wales

07:00PM - Wales Stage, Dairy Meadows Brecon Road, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5PJ

June 2, 2017

University of Bristol, Bristol

04:30PM - Frank Lecture Theatre, School of Physics HH Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue

May 20, 2017

Town Hall Seattle

07:30PM - Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

May 19, 2017

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), Chicago Area

08:00PM - Fermilab Ramsey Auditorium, Pine Street & Kirk Road, Batavia, IL 60510

May 18, 2017

Quimbys Books, Chicago

07:00PM - Quimbys Bookstore 1854 W. North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

May 16, 2017

Science on Tap, Portland Area

07:00PM - Kiggins Theatre, 1011 Main Street, Vancouver, WA

May 15, 2017

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Los Angeles, CA

04:30PM - Von Karman Auditorium (4:30pm) OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Flintridge Bookstore (6pm)

May 11, 2017

The Cellar Door Bookstore, Riverside, CA

05:45PM - The Cellar Door Bookstore, 5225 Canyon Crest Drive Suite 30A Riverside, CA 92506

May 9, 2017

California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA

03:00PM - Noyes Building Room 153, 1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91125

The 2017-2018 Academic Tour!

Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson will be touring and giving lectures at Universities and Research Centers this Academic Year (2017-2018).

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

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