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Atom: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth... and Beyond

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  252 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Now in paperback: the book in which the author of the national bestseller The Physics of Star Trek traces the history of the cosmos by telling the story of a single oxygen atom -- from the beginning of time to the present moment and deep into the future. Writing with grace and wit, Lawrence Krauss explicates cutting-edge science as he takes us on a thrilling, millennia-spa ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 11th 2001 by Little Brown and Company (first published 2001)
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Gijs Grob
Fictieve reis door de tijd vanaf net na de big bang tot het einde der tijden, aan de hand van een zuurstof-atoom en zijn bouwstenen (het zuurstof-atoom wordt pas laat in het boek gevormd). Fantasierijk, helder, komisch en enthousiast geschreven, met vele zijstapjes naar het onderzoek dat de gebruikte kennis heeft gevonden.

Omdat de schrijver graag de spanning erin houdt, is het niet altijd even duidelijk wáár hij het eigenlijk nu over heeft en 'wanneer' we zijn. Bovendien wordt het boek gaandeweg
...more
John

First, “Atom” is one of the two best science books I’ve ever read. (*) Krauss is both an excellent writer and an outstanding story-teller. The majority of this book is compelling, at least to a science geek like me. Carl Sagan famously said, “We are all star-stuff.” Krauss uses the fictional life of an oxygen atom to explain to the reader HOW we all came to be made from star-stuff – how we came to be here – and speculations about the future and fate of the Universe.

Second, this is definitely a g
...more
Rama
Stars are the cosmic incubators for all natural elements

This book requires basic knowledge of physics and chemistry. Chapters 1 - 7 introduce cosmology; Chapters 8 - 9 describes evolution of stars, and physical and chemical process for the production of chemical elements; Chapters 10 - 13 addresses the evolution of life on hospitable planets such as earth. Chapters 8, 9 and 11 provide significant amount of information, while some chapters are too descriptive and boring.

When the universe was at
...more
Aubrey
It's an overview of cosmology following the life of an atom from the Big Bang onward....

It, of course, assumes the Big Bang was a viable theory, but aside from that basic point of misinformation... It is engaging and well written. It's an overview, touches on phsyics/astrophysics/and scientific principle in an easy to understand laymans term kind of way. It is a book for the masses, so you won't find eloquent equations in it, but it was certainly an entertaining read, well, if you're a super sci
...more
Lo
A little tedious at times, but overall, it is a pleasant book about physics. I think it would be understandable for most people; I found it a little simplistic at times, and I would like to see writing by Krauss in the future targeted for a more science literate audience.
Potter Earle
Disappointing. Nice concept, but awkward writing made it difficult to get through.
Nick
Sep 17, 2012 Nick rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science-lovers, humanists
Fascinating, fascinating, fascinating... I learned more than I could have ever hoped about the universe through the perspective of an atom of Oxygen. More than anything it cemented for me how incredibly complex the universe it and how grand the time-frame of action is - our universe has been around for more time than my own mind could ever conceive. Atom makes me excited to be living - a small collection of atoms rushing through space.
Lukas Szrot
I found this book hard to put down. High drama, from the perspective of an oxygen atom making its way through the universe--who'd've thought? Brilliant. I am admittedly drawn to these 'tales of everything' type science narratives. This work filled a much-needed niche, providing a particle physics-based take on such a tale.
Dave Peticolas

Krauss constructs the history of an oxygen atom from the Big Bang to far into the future. Absolutely engrossing.

I think we may be living through a golden age of popular science writing. There is so much quality work to be read in so many scientific fields it is hard to know where to begin.

Denise
Read Physics of Star Trek years ago and liked it. Started this book, switched over to A Universe from Nothing for a book club, and now finally finishing. With three books, I think I'm officially a fan. Atom covers a lot of ground and is a great set up for further exploration.
Jim
Amazing book-I don't think I understood 10% of the material but I feel smarter for having read it! The history of the universe as seen from the perspective of a single atom.
*Redacted*
Went away from the physics and got overly philosophical at times, still an interesting math-free physical history of the universe.
Rich Neal
Hitting full force with relevant data. A 7-course meal of information. Outstanding!
Jeff Rudisel
I also saw a lecture on it my Krauss and Cal-tech with Shermer.
Todd Charlton
A sometimes difficult read but very rewarding.
Scott
Really enjoying this book so far.
Ibis3
Aug 03, 2010 Ibis3 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: na-od
Edition irrelevant.
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  • From Lucy to Language: Revised, Updated, and Expanded
  • The Search for Superstrings, Symmetry, and the Theory of Everything
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  • The Man Who Changed Everything: The Life of James Clerk Maxwell
  • Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions
  • Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information
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Prof. Lawrence M. Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He has investigated questions ranging from the nature of exploding stars to issues of the origin of a ...more
More about Lawrence M. Krauss...
A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing The Physics of Star Trek Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science Beyond Star Trek: From Alien Invasions to the End of Time Fear of Physics: A Guide for the Perplexed

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