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Follow Markus into the cockpits of a glider over the Swiss Alps and of a fighter jet over Indiana, onto the bridge of a Royal Navy survey ship, to the largest optical telescope on Earth with the Milky Way reflecting on its two huge mirrors, to a non-descript field in the middle of Germany that is home to an ultra-sensitive gravitational wave detector, and into a mysterious world beneath Geneva that houses the World's largest particle accelerator and the detectors that observe the collisions of elementary particles to probe into the building blocks of our Universe.

But this book is not just a collection of personal adventures of the author--only the first two chapters on SOFIA and HMS Enterprise are. Instead it covers, in Seven chapters, a number of topics that Markus Voelter has repeatedly covered in over ten years of recording episodes for the omega tau podcast: aviation and aerospace engineering, astronomy and telescopes, particle physics and large-scale physics experiments as well as models and modeling languages. With 220,000 words, over 150 illustrations (plus lots of pictures online here) and a couple dozen formulas, Markus explains the engineering of the marvelous machines that power modern science.

Click on the seven pictures below for details on the chapters and check out what others say. There are also preview PDFs, and I will add more over the next weeks and months.

The e-book is around 25 EUR / USD on each of the platforms. The print version is around 30.

Print Edition (Amazon.com)
(.de, .co.uk, .es, .fr, .it)
Kindle E-Book
via various Amazon marketplaces
Plain PDF
via Gumroad
via Gumroad
iBooks (ePub)
via Apple Books

Other versions, including a softcover print edition are forthcoming.

With this book Markus Völter masters the balancing act between a great depth of detail in the individual topics and tremendous ease in explaining at the same time, which makes "Once You Start Asking" a pleasure to read. I believe the reason for this unique combination is the author's authentic curiosity. It is this inquiring mind that makes the book something very personal and honest. Markus wants to understand and proceeds meticulously to find out and learn even the finer details that are necessary to understand complex topics. It is our great luck that Markus is not only a passionate and talented questioner, but also a great didact and storyteller. He shares with us what he has experienced and learned on his journey to the most fascinating achievements of our technical world. In the end, admiration remains: for the inventiveness of mankind and for the path Markus has taken, initially with the omega tau podcast and now with this book. We are fortunate to be able to tag along on this journey.

Nicolas Wöhrl
Physicist, University of Duisburg-Essen
Co-creator and co-host of the Methodisch Inkorrekt Podcast