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The New World of Mr Tompkins: George Gamow's…
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The New World of Mr Tompkins: George Gamow's Classic Mr Tompkins in… (edição 1999)

por Russell Stannard (Herausgeber)

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1793119,843 (3.5)4
Mr Tompkins is back! The mild-mannered bank clerk with the short attention span and vivid imagination has inspired, charmed and informed young and old alike since the publication of the hugely successful Mr Tompkins in Paperback (by George Gamow) in 1965. In this 1999 book, he returns in a new set of adventures exploring the extreme edges of the universe - the smallest, the largest, the fastest, the farthest. Through his experiences and his dreams, you are there at Mr Tompkins' shoulder watching and taking part in the merry dance of cosmic mysteries: Einstein's relativity, bizarre effects near light-speed, the birth and death of the universe, black holes, quarks, space warps and antimatter, the fuzzy world of the quantum, and that ultimate cosmic mystery of all ... love. This text is revised, updated and expanded by best-selling popular-science author Russell Stannard (who wrote the much-acclaimed Uncle Albert series of books for children).… (mais)
Membro:Magnolia3K
Título:The New World of Mr Tompkins: George Gamow's Classic Mr Tompkins in Paperback
Autores:Russell Stannard (Herausgeber)
Informação:Cambridge University Press (1999), Edition: Revised, Updated, Subsequent, 272 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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The New World of Mr Tompkins: George Gamow's Classic Mr Tompkins in Paperback por George Gamow (Author)

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(read as research for book I'm writing)

This science book, written for adults (despite what the blurbs might say) is a whimsical, highly accessible journey through the main modern results in physics. Unusually, and in a very entertaining, useful and informative way, the essays, framed as lectures, are interspersed with imaginative snippets of fiction, as the token layman, Mr Tompkins, continues to nod off in the lectures, and has dreams about the physics he's just learnt. In some ways, this is the adult equivalent of the Uncle Albert books, and therefore it makes perfect sense that Russell Stannard has rewritten and updated this collection of essays and physics fictional vignettes.

Topics covered include special relativity (light speed being maximum speed, time and space dilation, etc.) and general relativity (curvature of space), expansion and geometry of the universe, cosmology and black holes, quantum mechanics and the uncertainty of particle's position/momentum, heat and entropy, the constituents of atoms, the nature of electrons, elements, molecules, anti-matter, particle accelerators and the zoo of particles, and finally quarks, gluons, fundamental forces and the Standard Model.

Much of the book is explained very well, and the works of fiction help our understanding considerably in places. I loved its imagination, and how illuminating the stories at times were. The plot, if you could call it that, was as usual with these things almost non-existent, but still carried some charm nevertheless.

Some of the early sections include mathematical equations, most of which I welcomed, as they were easy to understand on the whole and made the physics more clear. But some of the time the equations were put in with little or no explanation, and that was rather frustrating. There were also some rather opaque sections, which could have easily been left out.

I'm sure that Stannard's rewriting has significantly improved what is already a very accessible, inspiring exploration of physics. My guess is that Stannard's additions were not necessarily as imaginative as the original Gamow content, but clearer.

Any adult who is interested in physics, but doesn't have a degree in it will love this book, although you may need to skip over the odd section. ( )
1 vote RachDan | Mar 29, 2011 |
Stunning effort, original, beautiful, accurate; very daggy, slight fall due self-genre-awareness, but brilliant; revision necessary?
  jezzaboogie | Oct 17, 2007 |
George Gamow's Mr Tompkins was a fascinating attempt to explain modern Physics to a wide audience without getting bogged down in technical detail. Gamow's use of analogy and simplification works well, and really does explain where Physics was at at the time it was written.

However, some of the attitudes and even the theories now look somewhat dated. Times have changed, and Physics and society have changed too.

So some bright spark thought "Let's update Gamow's work for the present." An admirable idea, but unfortunately one doomed in the execution.

In an attempt to make the female character less of a bystander, she's become a strong, independent woman who is often thrust into situations where she is not required just to prove how strong and independent she is. It reads as if it was updated by skimming over some feminist articles from the 70s and injecting the ideas at random. The impact this has on the remainder of the prose is irredeemable.

Get the original. Even with it's dated ideas on society and women, it's much better than this. ( )
  Anome | Aug 31, 2006 |
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Gamow, GeorgeAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Russell StannardAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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Mr Tompkins is back! The mild-mannered bank clerk with the short attention span and vivid imagination has inspired, charmed and informed young and old alike since the publication of the hugely successful Mr Tompkins in Paperback (by George Gamow) in 1965. In this 1999 book, he returns in a new set of adventures exploring the extreme edges of the universe - the smallest, the largest, the fastest, the farthest. Through his experiences and his dreams, you are there at Mr Tompkins' shoulder watching and taking part in the merry dance of cosmic mysteries: Einstein's relativity, bizarre effects near light-speed, the birth and death of the universe, black holes, quarks, space warps and antimatter, the fuzzy world of the quantum, and that ultimate cosmic mystery of all ... love. This text is revised, updated and expanded by best-selling popular-science author Russell Stannard (who wrote the much-acclaimed Uncle Albert series of books for children).

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