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From the second-century celestial models of Ptolemy to modern-day research institutes and quantum theory, this classic book offers a breathtaking tour of astronomy and the brilliant, eccentric personalities who have shaped it. From the first time mankind had an inkling of the vast space that surrounds us, those who study the universe have had to struggle against political and religious preconceptions. They have included some of the most charismatic, courageous, and idiosyncratic thinkers of all time. In Coming of Age in the Milky Way, Timothy Ferris uses his unique blend of rigorous research and captivating narrative skill to draw us into the lives and minds of these extraordinary figures, creating a landmark work of scientific history.

Topics: Space, Cosmos, Physics, Popular Science, Mathematics, The Moon, Informative, and Exciting

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780062006547
List price: $11.99
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A popular science book of astronomy and cosmology. I am recalling my reading of it from 25 years ago, remembering thoroughly enjoying the lucid prose. The annotated bibliography is huge, widely ranging in history and science, and I wonder if all those books were read, or mined for quotations.more
This fascinating and very readable history of physics takes the read step-by-step through the great discoveries about the universe we live in. The book is divided into three sections. I was right with the author all through Space, got a little lost in Time, and then was quite overcome by Creation. No matter. Ferris's style is accessible for the non-scientist reader, but he doesn't talk down either.I particularly enjoyed getting to know the great thinkers of human history: Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein. Ferris sprinkles his narrative with personal anecdotes that give these geniuses personality. But he keeps pulling the reader onward, from the earliest conceptions of the universe as a closed system, the stars a ceiling just over our heads, to the vast reaches of time and space that we now know the universe to contain, to the mind-warping properties of the sub-molecular universe and the early moments following the Big Bang. I won't claim to have understood it all, but I found it all fascinating, and would recommend this book to anyone who looks out at the night sky and longs to understand what she sees.more
Ferris is such an excellent science writer. His history is rife with the personal anecdotes that make history fun, and his science is competently explained. Presenting physics theories alongside their history and associated experiments makes them much more understandable.more
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Reviews

A popular science book of astronomy and cosmology. I am recalling my reading of it from 25 years ago, remembering thoroughly enjoying the lucid prose. The annotated bibliography is huge, widely ranging in history and science, and I wonder if all those books were read, or mined for quotations.more
This fascinating and very readable history of physics takes the read step-by-step through the great discoveries about the universe we live in. The book is divided into three sections. I was right with the author all through Space, got a little lost in Time, and then was quite overcome by Creation. No matter. Ferris's style is accessible for the non-scientist reader, but he doesn't talk down either.I particularly enjoyed getting to know the great thinkers of human history: Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein. Ferris sprinkles his narrative with personal anecdotes that give these geniuses personality. But he keeps pulling the reader onward, from the earliest conceptions of the universe as a closed system, the stars a ceiling just over our heads, to the vast reaches of time and space that we now know the universe to contain, to the mind-warping properties of the sub-molecular universe and the early moments following the Big Bang. I won't claim to have understood it all, but I found it all fascinating, and would recommend this book to anyone who looks out at the night sky and longs to understand what she sees.more
Ferris is such an excellent science writer. His history is rife with the personal anecdotes that make history fun, and his science is competently explained. Presenting physics theories alongside their history and associated experiments makes them much more understandable.more
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