- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue ed edition (27 Aug. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140283781
- ISBN-13: 978-0140283785
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 507,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Stardust (Penguin Press Science) Paperback – 27 Aug 2009
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One of the most fabulous revelations afforded by modern cosmology is the fact that we are all stars, literally. The elements which comprise our bodies (like iron or oxygen) were all forged in the burning cores of distant suns, before being flung across the endless wastes of space by the enormous force of stellar explosions. Great stuff!
Now well-known writer and respected astrophysicist John Gribbin has taken this fairy-tale bit of Big Science and used it as the central premise for a book: which describes how the cosmos made us, and what we can therefore make of the cosmos. It's essentially a biography of man from the molecular point of view, with diversions into evolution, astronomy, geology, extra terrestrial life, and so on. One of the more poetic notions covered is that of "panspermia", the idea that the seeds of life are continually being carried across the universe--like so many sycamore keys in an autumn wood. The author definitely sides with those who believe the answer to life is "out there".
As always with John Gribbin, the writing is fresh and accessible, the thinking clear if occasionally complex. The real joy of Stardust is its perspective: in contrast to so many pop cosmology writers, Gribbin has managed to tell a fairly well-known tale in an original and very satisfying way.--Sean Thomas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
John Gribbin is one of today's greatest writers of popular science and the author of bestselling books, including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, Science: A History and Deep Simplicity. He is famous to his many fans for making complex ideas simple, and says that his aim in his writing - much of it done with his wife, Mary Gribbin - is to share with his readers his sense of wonder at the strangeness of the universe. John Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.
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Top Customer Reviews
On the plus side, there are no tricky explanations of quantum mechanics and astrophysics and the historical details are presented in a very readable fashion.
On the negative side, as I believe another reviewer has mentioned, it does tend to wander backwards and forwards a little, both within an historical framework and between the subjects.
That said, if you are starting out and no very little about twentieth century astronomical discoveries then you will certainly learn something by buying this book. If I had paid full price I would have been disappointed and probably more inclined to giving it three stars, but having paid slightly more than the cost of postage by buying second hand then I feel a little less aggrieved.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written explanation of this crazy unbelievable place we inhabit.Published 18 months ago by Mooncoin
"We are Stardust we are Golden and we have to find our way back to the Garden!"
Now we can't doubt it!