Coming of Age in the Milky Way

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Harper Collins, Jul 6, 2010 - Science - 512 pages
6 Reviews

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.

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User Review  - mybucketlistofbooks - LibraryThing

Just read this again after having read it the first time about 20 years ago. It really is a beautiful book that hasn't lost any of its relevance even with 20 years of additional discovery (which it ... Read full review

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A great read. It begins with a basic yet comprehensive overview of the history of knowledge, physics, astronomy, and cosmology. Then, a more detailed view of 19th century and modern ideas and techniques is put forth. Finally, saving best for last, Ferris provides great insight and detail on the theories of quantum mechanics, string theory, and things of the sort. Overall, the book is the perfect tool for studying the history of astronomy and physics while beginning to understand the concepts involved. 

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References to this book

The Origin of the Universe
John D. Barrow
No preview available - 1997
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About the author (2010)

Timothy Ferris's works include Seeing in the Dark, The Mind's Sky (both New York Times best books of the year), and The Whole Shebang (listed by American Scientist as one of the one hundred most influential books of the twentieth century). A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Ferris has taught in five disciplines at four universities. He is an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley and a former editor of Rolling Stone. His articles and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Scientific American, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, and many other publications. A contributor to CNN and National Public Radio, Ferris has made three prime-time PBS television specials: The Creation of the Universe, Life Beyond Earth, and Seeing in the Dark. He lives in San Francisco.

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