Bob Nichols's Reviews > Coming of Age in the Milky Way

Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris
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Oct 11, 09


Ferris takes the reader through the history of the physics, from the Greeks to Newton, to the sun and the Milky Way, and then to the edges of space and time. Ferris was a great choice for an introductory tutorial, even though I stumbled on to him randomly at the used book store. The best part of this book was his description of the four fundamental forces ("interactions" he calls them as they always involve two or more "things") and how these relate to the evolution of the basic physical components of the universe (quarks, atomic nuclei, atoms, stars and galaxies). That evolution begins in the intense (actually, beyond intense) heat of the Big Bang that was necessary in the first fractional seconds of time to bind together the initial particles of matter. It's quite a story, and I'm positive I don't really understand most of it. But that's not the real point of this book. Ferris has a way of capturing the magnificance of the subject matter, and inspiring the reader to learn more.
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message 2: by Jon (new)

Jon Stout Now I'm curious what the four "interactions" are, or at least what would be an example of one. Are these principles that would show a common pattern among quarks and stars, and so forth? Sounds interesting.


message 1: by Bob (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bob Nichols Jon wrote: "Now I'm curious what the four "interactions" are, or at least what would be an example of one. Are these principles that would show a common pattern among quarks and stars, and so forth? Sounds i..."

Gravitational (two bodies drawn together), electro-magnetic (attraction-repulsion), weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force that bind micro (protons, nutrons, electrons) together into atoms, and from atoms to molecules, and from there to macro matter (and planets and galaxies). All of these forces have in common push-pull, attraction-repulsion and balance, which, interestingly, is the theme of the book I just sent you.



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