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Herra Tompkins fysiikan ihmemaassa by George…

Herra Tompkins fysiikan ihmemaassa (edition 1999)

by George Gamow, John Hookham ((Kuv.)), Markus Hotakainen ((KčAčAnt.))

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465534,692 (3.96)4
Since his first appearance over sixty years ago, Mr Tompkins has become known and loved by many thousands of readers as the bank clerk whose fantastic dreams and adventures lead him into a world inside the atom. George Gamow's classic provides a delightful explanation of the central concepts in modern physics, from atomic structure to relativity, and quantum theory to fusion and fission. Roger Penrose's foreword introduces Mr Tompkins to a new generation of readers and reviews his adventures in light of recent developments in physics.… (more)
Title:Herra Tompkins fysiikan ihmemaassa
Authors:George Gamow
Other authors:John Hookham ((Kuv.)), Markus Hotakainen ((KčAčAnt.))
Info:[Helsinki] : Art House, 1999.
Collections:Your library

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Mr. Tompkins in Paperback by George Gamow



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Showing 5 of 5
Interesting. It's a bit dated but still highly relevant and entertaining. ( )
  jefware | May 29, 2013 |
This is a very readable and amusing book on relativity, the universe, quantum theory, and atomic structure. It is based around the adventures of a character called Mr Tompkins, who is interested in learning more about physics. He attends lectures on physics, in which he often falls asleep, and then experiences the physical phenomena (such as space time dilation, quantum coherence, particle annihilation et cetera) on a scale that is directly observable, during dreams.
This book is non-technical, and written for a general audience, and though there are a few equations, to completely understand them is not essential. The book does a good job of making difficult concepts easy to understand partly by scaling them up to every day life, and partly by involving the character in them (such as when he is changed into an electron). The illustrations are also good, and fit the light-hearted nature of the stories.
The separate parts that make up this book were originally published 50 to 60 years ago, so some of the things on elementary particles are a bit out of date, and a small amount of progress has been made in quantum physics, but the stuff on the universe and relativity still holds up well. There are other books that do just as good a job of explaining some of these concepts (A Brief History of Time, for example), but the way that Gamow writes is at times hilarious, and I think worth reading this for in itself. ( )
1 vote P_S_Patrick | Feb 24, 2012 |
Changing the conditions of the real world in order to demonstrate the effect of scientific principles has been a traditional tool since Flatland by Edwin Abbott Abbott. I have to disagree with the other reviewers and say that this book taught me to understand relativity, which only became less clear when reading Stephen Hawking. This is a book of its time in the same way as Flatland is a book of its time, the language and style of both have dated, but the underlying metaphors and explanations in both remain clear. Stephen, though undoubtedly clever, remains dense and unclear.
  BobH1 | Dec 1, 2009 |
I agree with rmckeown (if that's your real name). This book is outdated, and can't have been that good when new. This subject has been treated much more entertainingly and effectively by others, including Hawking. Einstein (who is popularly believed to have said everything quotable at one time or another)said, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." This book crosses that line. ( )
  HoraceSPatoot | Sep 27, 2007 |
I can readily understand why this book has been out of print for so long. Despite attempts to update (e.g. references to Viet Nam instead of WWII), the language is archaic, the explanations in some cases nearly incomprehensible, and WAY too many mathematical formulae.
If you are interested in this topic, I can heartily recommend Stephen Hawking’s book, A Brief History of Time, and Einstein: His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson [see my review]. Both of these have easily accessible explanations of space-time and relativity, with a bit of humor in the case of Hawking, and virtually no math in either. In fact, Hawking says in his preface that “someone” told him that every formula reduces the readership by one half.
This book needs to return to the out of print list. One star for some nifty illustrations.
--Jim, 6/20/07
( )
  rmckeown | Aug 22, 2007 |
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