Mr Tompkins in Paperback

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Mar 26, 1993 - Biography & Autobiography - 185 pages
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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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

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User Review  - BobH1 - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

Selected pages


City Speed Limit
The Professors Lecture on Relativity which caused Mr Tompkinss dream
Mr Tompkins takes a holiday
The Professors Lecture on Curved Space Gravity and the Universe
The Pulsating Universe
Cosmic Opera
Quantum Billiards
Quantum Jungles
Maxwells Demon
The Gay Tribe of Electrons
A Part of the Previous Lecture which Mr Tompkins slept through
Inside the Nucleus
The Woodcarver
Holes in Nothing
Mr Tompkins Tastes a Japanese Meal

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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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