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George Gamow (1904–1968)

Author of One Two Three . . . Infinity

48+ Works 3,681 Members 45 Reviews 7 Favorited

About the Author

Born in Odessa, Russia, George Gamow, the son of a teacher, studied at the University of Leningrad, becoming professor of physics in 1931. He emigrated to the United States in 1933 and taught at George Washington University (1934-56) and at the University of Colorado (1956-68). His scientific work show more covered many fields, mostly related to nuclear physics. In the field of molecular biology, Gamow suggested the triplet mechanism for coding DNA. He and his associate Ralph Alpher developed a detailed model of the early stages of cosmic evolution in the "big bang" theory. Although Gamow's basic assumption that the primordial universe contained only neutrons was incorrect, this assumption stimulated a great deal of subsequent work in cosmology. Gamow wrote 30 popular books on astronomy, physics, and related sciences. In his "Mr. Tompkins" series (one of the most famous), Gamow used the figure of a curious, interested bank clerk as a protagonist for various journeys into quantum physics and gravity. His sense of humor is evident in his books and in his scientific career. For example, one of the key papers on the "big bang" theory is called the alpha-beta-gamma paper. In 1956, UNESCO awarded Gamow the Kalinga Prize for science writing. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by George Gamow

One Two Three . . . Infinity (1947) 1,093 copies
Mr. Tompkins in Paperback (1940) 585 copies
The Creation of the Universe (1952) 231 copies
Gravity (1962) 207 copies
Mr Tompkins in Wonderland (1940) 78 copies
Biography of the Earth (1941) 74 copies
A Star Called the Sun (1901) 51 copies
Matter, earth, and sky (1958) 43 copies
A Planet Called Earth (1963) 42 copies
The atom and its nucleus (1961) 21 copies
Puzzle-math (1958) 20 copies
The Moon (1953) 14 copies
Birthmarks 4 copies
M tompkins (1993) 3 copies

Associated Works

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (2008) — Contributor — 803 copies
The Hopkins Manuscript (1939) — Introduction, some editions — 300 copies
Cosmology + 1 (1977) — Contributor — 117 copies
The expert dreamers (1962) — Contributor — 77 copies
Laughing Space: An Anthology of Science Fiction Humour (1982) — Contributor — 56 copies


Common Knowledge



An entertaining read, written at a very accessible level (and before it was decided that math had to be banished from pop sci books.). It is perhaps too basic, if you have any physics/math/astronomy education. Worth 4 stars.

However: this book is now 60-ish years out of date, and it shows. There are several incorrect 'facts' and several own questions now answered. Science!
dcunning11235 | 14 other reviews | Aug 12, 2023 |
I am now over eighty years of age, an emeritus Professor of Physical Chemistry. I read this book over seventy years ago, and remember it clearly to this day. While it was hardly a "how-to" book, it inspired me toward a life of science. I was fortunate enough to meet Gamov in the late 1960's, when he gave a seminar at University of California-Irvine and I tried to express my appreciation for his work in the popularization of science and his influence on me. His hand-drawn illustrations are as witty as the text.… (more)
hcubic | 14 other reviews | May 20, 2023 |
This one really whetted my interest in astronomy.
mykl-s | 14 other reviews | Mar 2, 2023 |



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