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". . . full of intellectual treats and tricks, of whimsy and deep scientific philosophy. It is highbrow entertainment at its best, a teasing challenge to all who aspire to think about the universe." — New York Herald Tribune One of the world's foremost nuclear physicists (celebrated for his theory of radioactive decay, among other accomplishments), George Gamow possessed th ". . . full of intellectual treats and tricks, of whimsy and deep scientific philosophy. It is highbrow entertainment at its best, a teasing challenge to all who aspire to think about the universe." — New York Herald Tribune One of the world's foremost nuclear physicists (celebrated for his theory of radioactive decay, among other accomplishments), George Gamow possessed the unique ability of making the world of science accessible to the general reader. He brings that ability to bear in this delightful expedition through the problems, pleasures, and puzzles of modern science. Among the topics scrutinized with the author's celebrated good humor and pedagogical prowess are the macrocosm and the microcosm, theory of numbers, relativity of space and time, entropy, genes, atomic structure, nuclear fission, and the origin of the solar system. In the pages of this book readers grapple with such crucial matters as whether it is possible to bend space, why a rocket shrinks, the "end of the world problem," excursions into the fourth dimension, and a host of other tantalizing topics for the scientifically curious. Brimming with amusing anecdotes and provocative problems, One Two Three . . . Infinity also includes over 120 delightful pen-and-ink illustrations by the author, adding another dimension of good-natured charm to these wide-ranging explorations. Whatever your level of scientific expertise, chances are you'll derive a great deal of pleasure, stimulation, and information from this unusual and imaginative book. It belongs in the library of anyone curious about the wonders of the scientific universe. "In One Two Three . . . Infinity, as in his other books, George Gamow succeeds where others fail because of his remarkable ability to combine technical accuracy, choice of material, dignity of expression, and readability." — Saturday Review of Literature


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". . . full of intellectual treats and tricks, of whimsy and deep scientific philosophy. It is highbrow entertainment at its best, a teasing challenge to all who aspire to think about the universe." — New York Herald Tribune One of the world's foremost nuclear physicists (celebrated for his theory of radioactive decay, among other accomplishments), George Gamow possessed th ". . . full of intellectual treats and tricks, of whimsy and deep scientific philosophy. It is highbrow entertainment at its best, a teasing challenge to all who aspire to think about the universe." — New York Herald Tribune One of the world's foremost nuclear physicists (celebrated for his theory of radioactive decay, among other accomplishments), George Gamow possessed the unique ability of making the world of science accessible to the general reader. He brings that ability to bear in this delightful expedition through the problems, pleasures, and puzzles of modern science. Among the topics scrutinized with the author's celebrated good humor and pedagogical prowess are the macrocosm and the microcosm, theory of numbers, relativity of space and time, entropy, genes, atomic structure, nuclear fission, and the origin of the solar system. In the pages of this book readers grapple with such crucial matters as whether it is possible to bend space, why a rocket shrinks, the "end of the world problem," excursions into the fourth dimension, and a host of other tantalizing topics for the scientifically curious. Brimming with amusing anecdotes and provocative problems, One Two Three . . . Infinity also includes over 120 delightful pen-and-ink illustrations by the author, adding another dimension of good-natured charm to these wide-ranging explorations. Whatever your level of scientific expertise, chances are you'll derive a great deal of pleasure, stimulation, and information from this unusual and imaginative book. It belongs in the library of anyone curious about the wonders of the scientific universe. "In One Two Three . . . Infinity, as in his other books, George Gamow succeeds where others fail because of his remarkable ability to combine technical accuracy, choice of material, dignity of expression, and readability." — Saturday Review of Literature

30 review for One, Two, Three...Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sanjay Gautam

    There was a young fellow from Trinity Who took √∞ (square root of infinity) But the number of digits Gave him the fidgets; He dropped Math and took up Divinity. There's magic in these pages. Gamow, one of the greatest physicists of 20th century, whose passion for the maths and science is communicated in this book, whether explaining the wonders of infinite series, or how to locate a hidden pirate's treasure chest using imaginary numbers. The book explains how mathematics and science really work, in There was a young fellow from Trinity Who took √∞ (square root of infinity) But the number of digits Gave him the fidgets; He dropped Math and took up Divinity. There's magic in these pages. Gamow, one of the greatest physicists of 20th century, whose passion for the maths and science is communicated in this book, whether explaining the wonders of infinite series, or how to locate a hidden pirate's treasure chest using imaginary numbers. The book explains how mathematics and science really work, in a language that a layman can understand. Some chapters of the book are simple enough to be understood by a child, whereas others require some concentration and study to be completely understood. And he doesn't shy away from hardcore mathematics, if needed. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Orhan Pelinkovic

    I am intrigued by space and time. The pattern of particles we're made of, the material world we're surround by, what's happening billions of light-years away, and the waves of time that defined the past and will dictate the future. How does space in conjunction with time form or behave? Is it a perfectly synchronized rhythmical dance between the physical space and the dimension of time or is spacetime a single flesh, and what does it all mean for us? Since, I am not a physicist, what better way I am intrigued by space and time. The pattern of particles we're made of, the material world we're surround by, what's happening billions of light-years away, and the waves of time that defined the past and will dictate the future. How does space in conjunction with time form or behave? Is it a perfectly synchronized rhythmical dance between the physical space and the dimension of time or is spacetime a single flesh, and what does it all mean for us? Since, I am not a physicist, what better way to feed my curiosity than through books, and who better to ask than the theoretical physicist of the first half of the 20th century, who not once, but twice, with the introduction of the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, fundamentally changed our understanding and perspective of the physical and natural world and its laws, or rather indeterminacy. George Gamow (1904-1968), a Russian physicist known for many discoveries in science, was one of these pioneers and he does an exceptional job in his popular science book One Two Three...Infinity explaining the facts and speculations of science for the educated layman. The exposition of physics is mostly done though the language of mathematics and 128 hand-drawn illustrations by the author himself. Gamow, also employs everyday life examples in order to, in a simplified manner, present a brief history of the mathematicians and scientists, and the evolution and acquired knowledge in mathematics, thermodynamics, relativity, atomic and nuclear physics, cosmology, and even genetics! I'm noticing a tendency that modern physicist, especially those who deal with the physics of the very small (atomic, molecular, and quantum physics) have this urge and inclination to discuss with great confidence genetics, and even continue their research in this field. Gamow is born in Ukraine and at the age of 30 moves to the US, becomes a research professor and wrote this and other books in English. His writing is excellent which is catered for the American public. This is probably one of the best pop science books on physics that I've read. The missing half star is not the fault of the author or his writing; it's more a general side effect that time has on the content of science books, as the branch is constantly evolving. (4.5/5.0)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    Having just read this fine book, closely preceded by the equally excellent Frontiers of Astronomy , I'm beginning to feel that the 40s and 50s were not just the Golden Age of science-fiction; they may also have been the Golden Age of popular science writing, a genre which certainly is not unconnected to SF. I have read a fair number of pop science books over the last year, and most of the modern ones are miserably unsatisfying. They are stylistically weak, the authors alternate between patron Having just read this fine book, closely preceded by the equally excellent Frontiers of Astronomy , I'm beginning to feel that the 40s and 50s were not just the Golden Age of science-fiction; they may also have been the Golden Age of popular science writing, a genre which certainly is not unconnected to SF. I have read a fair number of pop science books over the last year, and most of the modern ones are miserably unsatisfying. They are stylistically weak, the authors alternate between patronising you and boring you with anecdotes from their dull lives, and above all the science isn't well done: they can't find good ways to explain abstract concepts in familiar terms, and they fail to distinguish between fact and speculation. A particularly egregious offender is Susskind's The Cosmic Landscape , which I read a couple of weeks ago; other typical examples are Hawking ( The Grand Design ), Guth ( The Inflationary Universe ) and Krauss ( A Universe from Nothing ). Compared with these dull, pompous fantasists, George Gamow is a breath of fresh air. Despite not even being a native speaker of English, he writes better than any of them. He doesn't clutter up the narrative with stories about his personal life, and it's not exactly because he's short of material: he lived through the Russian Revolution and once tried to escape from the Soviet Union in a small boat. And I was impressed to see how many things he got right. He was one of the first people to see that the Big Bang made sense (he made large contributions to the theory), and he explains it well in the final chapter. He comes close to predicting DNA. He does a nice job of covering Relativity in semi-technical terms. And he's got lots of really pretty, original angles on all sorts of scientific and mathematical problems: visualizing the strength of the strong force, seeing the role neutrinos play in causing supernovae, getting an intuitive understanding of what a hypersphere is like. More than 60 years after its initial publication, this is still a fun read, even if some parts have inevitably been overtaken by more recent discoveries. Check it out and see what pop science ought to be like!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ben Haley

    I love laymen science and this is the best I've read. Gamow presents complex subjects with simple analogies and clever cartoons. His science, rivets like a jackhammer, pounding out universal revelations with each new page. One, Two, Three...Infinity walks us through the worlds of nuclear physics, cosmology, biology, relativity, quantum theory, and astrophysics without skipping a beat. We learn how to measure the height of an oil molecule in a bathtub, the rotation of our milky way with a red shif I love laymen science and this is the best I've read. Gamow presents complex subjects with simple analogies and clever cartoons. His science, rivets like a jackhammer, pounding out universal revelations with each new page. One, Two, Three...Infinity walks us through the worlds of nuclear physics, cosmology, biology, relativity, quantum theory, and astrophysics without skipping a beat. We learn how to measure the height of an oil molecule in a bathtub, the rotation of our milky way with a red shift, and why everything wishes it were silver. Too often, the presentation of real science turns into an imagination's death march into a bleak world of facts and foreign vocabulary. But Gamow keeps it light and by transcending the minutia, makes a reader that floats above it and keeps its value even now, half a decade after its first publication.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ondrej Urban

    It is kind of hard to "take a step back" from this book and try to approach it form the point of view of the "general reader" instead of a scientist who already has a lot of background in the things discussed here. Let's therefore not do that and see where we get. One, Two, Three... Infinity is something like the Brief History of Time before it was cool - with a different theme and slightly less focus. Its aim is to present the reader with a quick overview of the cutting-edge science at the time It is kind of hard to "take a step back" from this book and try to approach it form the point of view of the "general reader" instead of a scientist who already has a lot of background in the things discussed here. Let's therefore not do that and see where we get. One, Two, Three... Infinity is something like the Brief History of Time before it was cool - with a different theme and slightly less focus. Its aim is to present the reader with a quick overview of the cutting-edge science at the time it was published. Now, since that happened decades ago - depending on when your edition comes from - you encounter: - the most of the things being correct, exciting and insightful. The author is a great popularizer - as his breed of scientist tends to be somehow - and takes one through both the macro- (astronomy) and the micro-world (quantum mechanics but also bits of biology) - some things being, expectedly, not quite as cutting-edge. The claim that the Universe is older than 3B years is correct, but now we know much better. Similarly with the nature of supernovae. DNA is never once mentioned. - some things are even wrong but that's science for you At this time, there are probably two main types of audience for this book: - layperson reader that reads this early and later moves on to more recent bits that update them on what's happened since - a scientist reader, who will most probably ending treating this book a lot as a historical curiosity, while feeling smug at certain passages where they'll know better than the big-shot author.

  6. 4 out of 5

    J. Boo

    I am almost certain I read this when I was a kid, because I'm pretty sure I remember the bit about Hilbert's hotel. I am almost certain I read this when I was a kid, because I'm pretty sure I remember the bit about Hilbert's hotel.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael Huang

    A fascinating book written in the 1940s that is surprisingly modern sounding. It has nice explanations of some math, physics, and biology knowledge. For instance, stellar nuclear fusion was explained more clearly than any other pop-sci book I have read. It does show its age by mentioning that 4-color problem hasn't been proven and no rocket can escape from earth's gravity. But still, very clearly written and a pleasure to read. A fascinating book written in the 1940s that is surprisingly modern sounding. It has nice explanations of some math, physics, and biology knowledge. For instance, stellar nuclear fusion was explained more clearly than any other pop-sci book I have read. It does show its age by mentioning that 4-color problem hasn't been proven and no rocket can escape from earth's gravity. But still, very clearly written and a pleasure to read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eric S

    This book is a great read for anyone wanting a "popular" book on science. I would rate this a 5 but it is quite dated and so a number of the subjects have moved on since the original writing. With that caveat in mind the reader will find that this is still a fascinating, fast, and factual read. The parts on numbers, basic physics, and other elementary sciences have lost nothing. The author is EXCELLENT at presenting his subject matter. Though he's not as exuberant as Richard Feynman he's still v This book is a great read for anyone wanting a "popular" book on science. I would rate this a 5 but it is quite dated and so a number of the subjects have moved on since the original writing. With that caveat in mind the reader will find that this is still a fascinating, fast, and factual read. The parts on numbers, basic physics, and other elementary sciences have lost nothing. The author is EXCELLENT at presenting his subject matter. Though he's not as exuberant as Richard Feynman he's still very captivating. I also very much enjoyed how the author would make even dry subjects interesting. A lot of very worthwhile stuff and definitely worth the time.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Arko

    A spectacular book on Science written in the 1960s but much ahead of its time, delving into the basics of numbers to fundamental physics , genetics and cosmology( in which the author is a pioneer). Very lucidly explained and quite captivating & it is a treat for an inquisitive reader.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sairica

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. George Gamow is the man who predicted that there should be Cosmic Background Radiation (CMB – an afterglow of The Big Bang which would have after billions of years cooled down to about five degrees above absolute zero – noticeable as the sizeable amount of static on your television set before we were blessed with cable), which is one of the major proofs of the Big Bang Theory and which elevated him to the status of one of the greatest Scientists of the 20th Century. (Unfortunately, the man never George Gamow is the man who predicted that there should be Cosmic Background Radiation (CMB – an afterglow of The Big Bang which would have after billions of years cooled down to about five degrees above absolute zero – noticeable as the sizeable amount of static on your television set before we were blessed with cable), which is one of the major proofs of the Big Bang Theory and which elevated him to the status of one of the greatest Scientists of the 20th Century. (Unfortunately, the man never won a noble price because I believe he wasn’t taken as seriously as he should have been taken, but after his death his prediction was tested as correct!) It is an honour to hear his words through this book and to get a glimpse into his imagination. This reminds me of a quote by Carl Sagan where he calls Books, the shackles of time. Indeed! This is one of those books that you wish you had read when you were a kid. At least I do! The book makes me yearn for more and more. Every topic is a new subject and there is always something interesting to look forward to, from riddles and relativity to cool topology tricks (which btw are great ice-breakers!) Never did I feel that Physics could be as wonderful as after reading this marvelous book. He has explained the different kinds of infinities that we are familiar with in each field of study and has done so, beautifully. There aren’t enough adjectives to sing in praise of this book. If you have ever wondered about physical phenomena, then, this is a book for you. However, the book does require a fair bit of an inquisitive attitude towards physical phenomena but the great fact about Gamow is that while he doesn’t literally spoon feed you; he makes the concept so simple that with a little bit of effort, you won’t have any trouble in reaching the answers, and oh boy, are you going to have some fun while you’re at it! I am forever indebted to Gamow for explaining to me different types of infinities and how to compare them in a way that I shall find difficult to forget even if someone were to hit me on the head with a hammer (in all seriousness that experiment is out of bounds and quite frankly illegal.) The book led me to one of my favourite limericks, one that is on the Fitz Gerald Contraction. (There was a young fellow named, Fisk; Whose fencing was exceedingly brisk; So fast was his action; The Fitz-Gerald contraction; Reduced his rapier to a disk. ~Unknown) It is like an all-in-one drama only here Gamow gives you a glimpse of all the sexy little bits of the different fields of science. There are illustrations for many topics and Gamow is a master at creating wonder and awe for all the different fields. One thing I will say, though, is that it covered a fair bit of elementary chemistry, something that is hard for me to gulp to this very day. It isn’t that I didn’t understand the chemistry part but just that I prefer the physics of it all except for possibly the part where he refers you to “Explaining the Atom” (1947) by Selig Hecht –A simple book as far as what one amazon reviewer claims, while explaining the only natural fissionable substance – Uranium 235 found in nature diluted with U-238. Seems interesting, well, as interesting as chemistry will get for me! Apart from that, the book kept me cooing till the end. The last chapter is absolutely perfect. He ends with who knows what the universe was like before the beginning of the universe as we know it and narrates the reversal of events from possibly death to life. The man’s brilliant sense of humour and wit kept me giggling throughout the funny bits. A must read for any nosy parker with an interest in Science.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nick Black

    Impulsive acquisition at Borders, 2008-04-08. Dover sure has put out a lot of books recently! This was better for the insight into Gamow as a scientific author than any of the actual details; anyone who's going to reach for a mid-century perspective on last century's physics from an eccentric Soviet, complete with hand-drawn comic-like illustrations and puns heavily weighted by innuendo, via the Dover Mathematics line -- known best for its republishing of opaque Eastern European textbooks having Impulsive acquisition at Borders, 2008-04-08. Dover sure has put out a lot of books recently! This was better for the insight into Gamow as a scientific author than any of the actual details; anyone who's going to reach for a mid-century perspective on last century's physics from an eccentric Soviet, complete with hand-drawn comic-like illustrations and puns heavily weighted by innuendo, via the Dover Mathematics line -- known best for its republishing of opaque Eastern European textbooks having questionable heritage of copyright and symbolisms/terminologies/semantics whose correlations with modern standards are dicey at best -- is likely looking for the first time into neither quantum mysteries nor relativities. For that purpose, it served moderately well, although I intend to read My World Line sometime here and expect that to do better...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Steven Peterson

    I happened to look at a book shelf at home, and this cool book from high school and college years caught my eye. It represents one of the classic volumes that made science accessible to lots of people. It also has humor! In discussing relativity theory, George Gamow uses some limericks: "There was a young fellow named Fisk Whose fencing was exceedingly brisk. So fast was his action, The Fitzgerald contraction Reduced his rapier to a disk." Or, my personal favorite: "There was a young girl named Miss I happened to look at a book shelf at home, and this cool book from high school and college years caught my eye. It represents one of the classic volumes that made science accessible to lots of people. It also has humor! In discussing relativity theory, George Gamow uses some limericks: "There was a young fellow named Fisk Whose fencing was exceedingly brisk. So fast was his action, The Fitzgerald contraction Reduced his rapier to a disk." Or, my personal favorite: "There was a young girl named Miss Bright, Who could travel much faster than light. She departed one day, In an Einsteinian way, She came back on the previous night." Anyhow, the book discusses atoms in a readable manner, the various elements, numbers, Einstein's work, ther world of the small (bacteria, light) and the world of the large (the universe and galaxies). Readable, accessible, with humor injected.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sundarraj Kaushik

    Slightly dated book but very well written. I do not have a deep background in physics and so take my review with a little caution. Covers a variety of topics from simple to complex. Anyone with some background in physics should be able to appreciate the simpler topics. The more complex topics related to relativity and time-space paradigms will need a more erudite reader to understand and appreciate. Having said that some illustrations in the book (the angular shifting of the coordinate system) is Slightly dated book but very well written. I do not have a deep background in physics and so take my review with a little caution. Covers a variety of topics from simple to complex. Anyone with some background in physics should be able to appreciate the simpler topics. The more complex topics related to relativity and time-space paradigms will need a more erudite reader to understand and appreciate. Having said that some illustrations in the book (the angular shifting of the coordinate system) is the closest I have come to understanding the space-time conundrum. A good read for students of physics.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kent Sibilev

    This book is almost 80 years old, but it still a fascinating read. One of the best popular science books.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Xavier Shay

    I'm usually right into this sort of book, but I ended up abandoning ~80% of way through. It's very wide in scope, trying to cover maths, micro- and macro- science. That's admirable, but I think I prefer to go deep on a single thing. I also didn't realise it was published in 1947, which combined with breadth and resulting shallowness meant I was already familiar with most of the material. Feels harsh to give this two stars, since I was sincerely impressed at the scope, but I didn't finish it so th I'm usually right into this sort of book, but I ended up abandoning ~80% of way through. It's very wide in scope, trying to cover maths, micro- and macro- science. That's admirable, but I think I prefer to go deep on a single thing. I also didn't realise it was published in 1947, which combined with breadth and resulting shallowness meant I was already familiar with most of the material. Feels harsh to give this two stars, since I was sincerely impressed at the scope, but I didn't finish it so them the breaks.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    Written in 1947 and last updated in 1961, Gamow's overview of the postwar state of the art in mathematics, physics, biology, and astronomy is lucid, if occasionally challenging, with 128 charming illustrations by the author scattered through the text. I picked this up for its discussions of number theory and topology for the nonspecialist, though if I had checked the table of contents, I would have seen that the discussion of math per se takes up only about a tenth of the book's length. Still, t Written in 1947 and last updated in 1961, Gamow's overview of the postwar state of the art in mathematics, physics, biology, and astronomy is lucid, if occasionally challenging, with 128 charming illustrations by the author scattered through the text. I picked this up for its discussions of number theory and topology for the nonspecialist, though if I had checked the table of contents, I would have seen that the discussion of math per se takes up only about a tenth of the book's length. Still, this is the sort of book that I wish had been on my parents' bookshelf when I was a bored kid reading every book I could get my hands on.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Expounding facts and theories of modern science that as a reader it gives you a vivid image of the universe as it shows the scientist of today. It introduces you some interesting history of big numbers and how it started. Likewise, the differences between natural and artificial numbers. The book was fantastically witty!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gaurav Hirlekar

    Extremely well written book. The author explains his thoughts very concisely and in a very easily understandable manner. If we had books like this for textbooks, every young student would dream of becoming a scientist.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tom Potter

    This book blew my mind when I was in my early teens and I have been interested in math, both avocationally and vocationally, every since. One of the best math books ever written for non-mathematicians.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jose Moa

    a excelent book of popular science in mathematics and physics

  21. 5 out of 5

    Volo Bonetskyy

    1947 book. Explanations and examples are engaging and practical. Science progressed of course since 1947, but this book still feels fresh. Masterpiece of popular physics literature.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    [about 2/3 of the way through; not sure whether I'll finish] There's some interesting stuff in here, but it's marred by too many flaws. On topics too complicated to explain fully, Gamow presents chains of reasoning that don't make sense in the absence of whatever additional evidence is left unspoken. (There's probably no perfect way of handling this, but in my opinion it's much better to acknowledge the gaps than to pretend you're walking the reader through a series of logical deductions.) On topic [about 2/3 of the way through; not sure whether I'll finish] There's some interesting stuff in here, but it's marred by too many flaws. On topics too complicated to explain fully, Gamow presents chains of reasoning that don't make sense in the absence of whatever additional evidence is left unspoken. (There's probably no perfect way of handling this, but in my opinion it's much better to acknowledge the gaps than to pretend you're walking the reader through a series of logical deductions.) On topics that I'm unfamiliar with but capable of understanding (random thermal motion, diffusion) I find his explanations unnecessarily confusing. And on a topic that I do understand (basic probability) he gets at least one thing badly wrong. As for the style, it's fairly readable, but not to my taste. Perhaps it's standard mid-20th century American prose (it does feel somewhat familiar) but to me it reads like an awkward compromise between stuffy 19th-century English and patronisingly folksy children's edu-tainment. (That makes it sound worse than it is; it's really not terrible.) I was also frustrated by the use of imperial units, and more importantly the absence of scientific notation for very large or small numbers. (Writing out numbers like "one hundred millionths of an inch" is a bad idea, especially when it turns out to be a typo for "one hundred-millionth of an inch".) Obviously some of these gripes are subjective, but not all. So I don't understand why this book has such a good reputation, not just as a nostalgic favourite but as a classic worth reading today. I don't recommend it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rishabh Jain

    This book was written in 1960, and for its time, the author did a commendable job in explaining all the phenomenon that he managed to explain. He has given a detailed overview of multiple different phenomenon from mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and astronomy. Some of his thoughts and predictions about then yet ambiguous ideas were also close to what we know today, such as the big bang and spatial inflation. In that respect, the author probably managed to accomplish more than what he m This book was written in 1960, and for its time, the author did a commendable job in explaining all the phenomenon that he managed to explain. He has given a detailed overview of multiple different phenomenon from mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and astronomy. Some of his thoughts and predictions about then yet ambiguous ideas were also close to what we know today, such as the big bang and spatial inflation. In that respect, the author probably managed to accomplish more than what he might have set out to do in writing this book. It is simple enough for people to follow, and yet detailed enough to cover the latest expansions of science at that time. The only slight issue I felt in reading it was that, at times, I felt the author would get a bit too rigid in his approach. Even so, he had a radical and positive vision regarding the progress of science from his time, and it's fair to say that scientific progress managed to do justice to his visions. Apart from getting a refresher at some of the fundamental ideas of the universe and it's intricacies, I also enjoyed reading a bit into the scientific perspective of the 60s through the medium of this book. I feel that anyone who takes this book and goes through it with patience, will definitely find it worth their time.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Originally published in 1947, despite all advances in science, this book teaches basically as much as I learned of pure science in high school science classes in short form. Of course other topics were covered in depth, but unfortunately did not require one to think and some were not covered at all. Written for the layman, Gamow should be required reading considering the simplicity of high school science and mathematics, and the goal stated on almost every syllabus concerning critical thinking s Originally published in 1947, despite all advances in science, this book teaches basically as much as I learned of pure science in high school science classes in short form. Of course other topics were covered in depth, but unfortunately did not require one to think and some were not covered at all. Written for the layman, Gamow should be required reading considering the simplicity of high school science and mathematics, and the goal stated on almost every syllabus concerning critical thinking skills. A very enjoyable read that I almost hate to pass along to the next great thinker hiding behind a minimum wage job, even if the information is a little dated. Bringing me to another often ignored point, the poor state of the US education system. Every high school graduate should have the understanding needed to follow each synopsis and the logical reasoning necessary to follow each explanation, however strange, assuming each student is responsible enough to handle the information presented appropriately. (Ooooops! I just committed suicide again!)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ananta Ambar

    Personally, it was a long read. I had to reread some parts of the book to actually understand the content. You had to follow the details closely, because in a way or another they build the whole idea. If you are lost, chances are the idea won't make any sense. It took me some time to understand certain parts of the book, (e.g. relativity)where the idea is abstract. In my opinion, the reader must have a better than average science knowledge, and good logic. There are some topics that wouldn't make Personally, it was a long read. I had to reread some parts of the book to actually understand the content. You had to follow the details closely, because in a way or another they build the whole idea. If you are lost, chances are the idea won't make any sense. It took me some time to understand certain parts of the book, (e.g. relativity)where the idea is abstract. In my opinion, the reader must have a better than average science knowledge, and good logic. There are some topics that wouldn't make sense if the reader never came across the basic ideas that build it. The explanations on the other hand, were presented in layman terms but still retain the message that it wants to deliver. In conclusion, if you are not familiar with some basic science term, maybe you ought to go back and read it again before reading this book. It was a great read nonetheless.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Juan Ruiz

    I really liked this book. It is a little bit like those educational books by Isaac Asimov, but maybe a little bit harder in the examples and explanations he makes. The author explains different aspects of physics such as relativity, entropy, or supernovas, using very concrete examples, trying to to be very logical in his mental process. He delves a little bit into some areas which you can tell are not his dominant subjects, such as biology. He merely mentions evolution, though when he does he se I really liked this book. It is a little bit like those educational books by Isaac Asimov, but maybe a little bit harder in the examples and explanations he makes. The author explains different aspects of physics such as relativity, entropy, or supernovas, using very concrete examples, trying to to be very logical in his mental process. He delves a little bit into some areas which you can tell are not his dominant subjects, such as biology. He merely mentions evolution, though when he does he seems to be very accurate in all his assertions. He is never speculative, only in the very last pages when he talks about the future of the universe. I really dig the illustrations on this book, which now I find out, were made by the author himself! Apparently this author was very influential in the forming years of Carl Sagan, which is interesting to know.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vipin Agrawal

    A great science book. The writer starts from very basic about everything and goes deep into the subject starting from cells to body and what not. Well, I should not say that the book is as easy to understand for non-science as brief history of time but the writer has done pretty awesome job in tackling tough things pretty nicely. The book starts from end of the world problem / tower of hanoi and ends with the inflation in the universe. This is the best science book I have read till now. One very A great science book. The writer starts from very basic about everything and goes deep into the subject starting from cells to body and what not. Well, I should not say that the book is as easy to understand for non-science as brief history of time but the writer has done pretty awesome job in tackling tough things pretty nicely. The book starts from end of the world problem / tower of hanoi and ends with the inflation in the universe. This is the best science book I have read till now. One very underrated things of the book is it connects every single area of science in very smooth manner. Many a times, you are reading some topic, it is interesting and you won't even notice that you are reading about totally different field of science after a while.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lu Sun

    I have a "collection" of this book in Chinese and in English, in both printed version and Kindle version. My first time reading this book was back when I was a junior middle school student. It was an excellent book, and it still is now as I recently re-read it from cover to end. It is suitable for 12 years old and above, who are interested in science. The book covers a variety of content from maths (numerics), physics (special relativity and atom), chemistry (periodic table), biology (genetics), I have a "collection" of this book in Chinese and in English, in both printed version and Kindle version. My first time reading this book was back when I was a junior middle school student. It was an excellent book, and it still is now as I recently re-read it from cover to end. It is suitable for 12 years old and above, who are interested in science. The book covers a variety of content from maths (numerics), physics (special relativity and atom), chemistry (periodic table), biology (genetics), and many more interesting topics. Given that the book is written 50+ years before, it is still not out-dated. If you are a fan of books such as time theory, etc., I think you would also enjoy this one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anant Kumar

    This book gives a concise and lucid overview of the various branches of science and their evolution. The book is organized into four parts: 1. Part I Introduces mathematics and it's the evolution of various interesting fields like game theory, topology, etc. 2. Part II: Explains space, time, and general relativity. This section also has a beautiful explanation about Entropy and Time Inversion, which was super-useful to me when I watched Christopher Nolan's Tenet ( Damn, I love that movie so much This book gives a concise and lucid overview of the various branches of science and their evolution. The book is organized into four parts: 1. Part I Introduces mathematics and it's the evolution of various interesting fields like game theory, topology, etc. 2. Part II: Explains space, time, and general relativity. This section also has a beautiful explanation about Entropy and Time Inversion, which was super-useful to me when I watched Christopher Nolan's Tenet ( Damn, I love that movie so much may write a separate review of that later). 3.) Part III: This section titled, "Microcosmos" explains the fundamentals of biology and chemistry, and tries to answer questions regarding the Origin of Life. 4.) Part IV: The last section titled, "Macrocosmos" gives an overview of the universe and its evolution on a grand scale. I read this book when a favorite professor at IIST lent it to me, and I will definitely recommend this book to science enthusiasts, whether they are in high-school or university.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kadri

    This book was interesting for several reasons. First Gamow tackled topics from various fields of science such as genetics, particle physics and astronomy in a quite entertaining way. Secondly it was interesting because of the level of scientific knowledge at the time when Gamow was writing this book. Yes, there are bits that are very inaccurate because of it, but it reminds you that scientific theories are born and they die, some sooner than others. Some of the theories that were presented as mo This book was interesting for several reasons. First Gamow tackled topics from various fields of science such as genetics, particle physics and astronomy in a quite entertaining way. Secondly it was interesting because of the level of scientific knowledge at the time when Gamow was writing this book. Yes, there are bits that are very inaccurate because of it, but it reminds you that scientific theories are born and they die, some sooner than others. Some of the theories that were presented as most likely scenarios, by now are considered or proven wrong, which makes it a great book to read if you know where scientists are with their theories now.

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