Mr Tompkins in Paperback

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Mar 26, 1993 - Biography & Autobiography - 185 pages
5 Reviews
Mr Tompkins has become known and loved by many thousands of readers (since his first appearance over fifty years ago) 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 new foreword introduces Mr Tompkins to a new generation of readers, and reviews his adventures in the light of current developments in physics today.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - P_S_Patrick - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HoraceSPatoot - LibraryThing

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 This book is outdated, and can't have been that good when new.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 ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

City Speed Limit
1
The Professors Lecture on Relativity which caused Mr Tompkinss dream
9
Mr Tompkins takes a holiday
19
The Professors Lecture on Curved Space Gravity and the Universe
31
The Pulsating Universe
44
Cosmic Opera
55
Quantum Billiards
65
Quantum Jungles
85
Maxwells Demon
95
The Gay Tribe of Electrons
112
A Part of the Previous Lecture which Mr Tompkins slept through
128
Inside the Nucleus
136
The Woodcarver
149
Holes in Nothing
166
Mr Tompkins Tastes a Japanese Meal
177
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About the author (1993)

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 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.

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