Not only is matter constantly changing - or 'morphing' - but it was created at the beginning of the universe and will cease to exist only when our universe does. In ATOM, Krauss describes the journey of a single oxygen atom throughout our universe. Starting with its emergence at the Big Bang, Krauss will show how atoms were then forged in the nuclear furnaces of stars. From there, the reader will follow the atom as it travels across the Milky Way, and finally arrives on Earth, where it finds itself located in a drop of water, perhaps in the next glass of water you will drink. Along the way, Krauss supplies provocative reflections on the bigger questions, such as the origins of DNA (on a comet?) and the place of atoms in our everyday life. A clever combination of cutting-edge science and everyday phenomena, ATOM allows us to see both in a new light - through a glass, but not darkly!
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(198mm x 126mm x mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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UK Kirkus Review »
From the acclaimed author of The Physics of Star Trek, here is the story of the birth of the atom and the events underpinning life, the universe and everything that we know, translated into a top-class thriller. This is popular physics at its best, as Krauss readily imparts his own enthusiasm and demonstrates a consummate talent for entertaining metaphor. Hence an in-depth discussion of the physics of elementary particles is imbued with high suspense, balancing the nature of life as we know it with the sci-fi world of antimatter, or the ancient concept of circular time with events which happened when the universe was a millionth of a millionth of a second old. You don't have to understand quantum physics, but you do have to be prepared to try to understand - and if anyone can help, Krauss can. He compares quantum mechanics with the antics of various US presidents, discusses observations of the distant universe alongside humans' primal fear of the dark, and the success of cyanobacteria alongside the economic opportunism of the bear market. The language is stirring - protons smash against each other, gravitational collapses herald the agony of stellar death, cosmic lotteries decide the future, life ferments, stars evolve, sex is invented and species die. Sometimes the billions and trillions do get a bit much, yet Krauss is a master at engendering wonder at the scale of the universe at both its large and small extremes, and his countless comparative gems - the fact that it costs about as much to send a landing craft to Mars as it does to make a movie about sending a lander to Mars, or that continents move at roughly the rate that fingernails grow - give a sense of perspective to an amazing interstellar saga. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Lawrence M. Krauss
Lawrence Krauss is the bestselling author of THE PHYSICS OF STAR TREK, FEAR OF PHYSICS: A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED. He chairs the Department of Physics at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.