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The New World of Mr Tompkins: George Gamow's Classic Mr Tompkins in Paperback [Hardcover]

George Gamow , Russell Stannard , Michael Edwards , Wu Bozhe
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 63.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

16 Sep 1999
Mr Tompkins is back! The mild-mannered bank clerk with the short attention span and vivid imagination has inspired, charmed and informed young and old alike since the publication of the hugely successful Mr Tompkins in Paperback (by George Gamow) in 1965. In this 1999 book, he returns in a new set of adventures exploring the extreme edges of the universe - the smallest, the largest, the fastest, the farthest. Through his experiences and his dreams, you are there at Mr Tompkins' shoulder watching and taking part in the merry dance of cosmic mysteries: Einstein's relativity, bizarre effects near light-speed, the birth and death of the universe, black holes, quarks, space warps and antimatter, the fuzzy world of the quantum, and that ultimate cosmic mystery of all … love. This text is revised, updated and expanded by best-selling popular-science author Russell Stannard (who wrote the much-acclaimed Uncle Albert series of books for children).

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The New World of Mr Tompkins: George Gamow's Classic Mr Tompkins in Paperback + A Short History Of Nearly Everything
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2Rev Ed edition (16 Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521630096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521630092
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 14.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 169,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'The best just got better. Two of the most influential popular science books ever were Mr Tompkins in Wonderland (1940) and Mr Tompkins Explores the Atom (1945) … They were brought together in one volume, slightly updated, and reprinted in 1965 as Mr Tompkins in Paperback … Russell Stannard, the very best writer of science books for young readers [has updated Mr Tompkins] with immense care and subtlety, rearranging the text, adding new material and changing a word or two where necessary … I had two fears - that my remembered delight in the original would be destroyed by looking at it through more mature eyes, and that Stannard might spoil the book. Both were unfounded. There is a certain period charm about the original, but Stannard has improved on both the physics and the narrative … It is absolutely the best place to get a feel for the most important scientific ideas of the twentieth century.' John Gribbin, The Independent

'… as I kept reading, I began to realize that Stannard had actually done a remarkable job of preserving the mood and feeling of the original … The book still has a charming naiveté, and although the illustrations have been changed, they too still have that same, almost Victorian quality. So, to my surprise, I have to pronounce the translation a success. If newcomers who have not seen the original read the book, they will find a charming, whimsical introduction to modern physics … Are there other good books that cover the same material? Lots of them! Is there another book that does it so pleasantly, giving the reader a direct, sort of inside view of otherwise very remote phenomena, all within the context of a running short novel? I doubt it! The New World … is a unique book.' Physics Today

'… here is a version that Stannard believes Gamow himself might have written, had he been at work today. Physics took a giant leap at the junction of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries … the book deals very well with the more recent developments and Mr Tompkins' visit to a particle accelerator is well described. Stannard has also updated the language, where appropriate. This has been a successful exercise that Gamow … would have liked. I can recommend the book both for general readers, and for specialists who may like to check how their subject is being presented to Mr Tompkins today.' Physics World

'A new version of the Mr Tompkins' adventures, revised and updated by Russell Stannard, brings the experiences into modern day. A welcome addition to the original.' Astronomy Now

'For more than five decades the fictional Mr Tompkins has helped familiarize people with many esoteric concepts of physics. Russell Stannard … has brought George Gamow's Mr Tompkins into atomic physics and cosmology but has kept the British flair.' Sky and Telescope

'For more than five decades the fictional Mr Tompkins has helped familiarize people with many esoteric concepts of physics. Russell Stannard … has brought George Gamow's Mr Tompkins in atomic physics and cosmology but has kept the British flair.' Sky and Telescope

'Russell Stannard is a brilliant communicator.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

From reviews of Mr Tompkins in Paperback: 'Enthusiastically recommended to both scientific and general readers.' The Guardian

'Not only entertaining; the ordinary reader can learn from it a great deal about sub-atomic particles - electrons, neutrons and the rest - and the strange rules which govern their behaviour.' The Observer

'Will vastly fascinate the whimsical, and is also entirely scientific.' Scientific American

'An inspired double reissue'. GNOMON

'All in all, this has been a successful exercise … I can recommend the book both for general readers, and for specialists who may like to check how their subject is being presented to Mr Tompkins today.' Jayant Narlikar, Physics World

' … a new edition of this classical book, revided and updated by Russell Stannard. Such an update was, indeed, long overdue … If you need a gift for a non-physicist, The New world of Mr Tompkins is the right thing for you to buy.' Volker Perlick, General Relativity and Gravitation

'Popular science author Russell Stannard, has treaded - successfully in this reviewer}s opinion - on hallowed ground by updating a classic, written by an author who has made major contributions to cosmology and nuclear physics, and who was a tireless populizer of science … other than there not being enough sex, this is a wonderful introduction to the most important scientific ideas of our time.' MNASSA

'Modern physics has never been explained in such an entertaining way.' School Science Review (Association for Science Education)

Book Description

An inspirational introduction to the physics of the twenty-first century, Mr Tompkins explores the extreme edges of the universe to understand Einstein's relativity, the birth of the universe and more. In this 1999 edition, Russell Stannard (the Uncle Albert Trilogy) has revised, updated and expanded George Gamow's book Mr Tompkins in Paperback (1965).

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It was a public holiday, and Mr Tompkins, a little clerk of a big city bank, slept late and had a leisurely breakfast. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Andrew Johnston VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
My introduction to the world of the mild-mannered bank clerk with an interest in modern Physics came through copies of the original 1940s books rescued from a school library "disposal" pile. Unlike the school librarian I treasured those books, which presented hard science in a humorous, accessible way, and learned a lot from them.
George Gamow brought his original material up to date for "Mr Tompkins in Paperback" shortly before his death in 1968. However, since then Physics has moved on still further, and a new update was appropriate. Russell Stannard took on the challenge, and has done a superb job.
The new version brings both the science and the charming human back story fully up to date, and also addresses some inconsistencies in the earlier text and illustrations caused by their derivation from a group of separate magazine articles.
The books tackles all the main areas of modern Physics, from relativity to particle physics. Each topic is presented by both a serious (but straightforward) lecture text, and also by analogies in a dream experienced by one off the main characters. The two reinforce one another, and should leave the reader with a good basic understanding of all the key concepts. Familiarity with basic arithmetic and elementary concepts of classical physics are the only prerequisites, but the text should also be enjoyable for those with greater background knowledge.
I am very glad to see this classic developed for a new generation, and thoroughly recommend it.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An modern update of the classic 17 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
George Gamow's classic introduction to a number of modern physics has been updated by Russell Stannard. Why? Well, despite it being an excellent introduction for young and old to the frankly bizarre concepts and affects of relativity and quantum physics, the original text was becoming somewhat dated. Telling a young girl to 'run along' as physics did not concern her, or talking about a 'tiger shoot' in todays modern climate, could distract the more sensitive away from the ideals of the book. What Stannard has done is modernise the text and analogies, provide more consistent stories and explanations, added some recent developments in modern physics, and updated the illustrations, all with the approval of Gamow's family. The result is a more accessable book that is still fun and thought-provoking. Buy it for yourself or your kids!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By dd
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had read the original both in paperback and on the kindle once it was released, I love the book! The way Gamow explains difficult concepts in such an illustrated way is excellent. I am a Physics teacher and wanted to read sections of the book to my class as an introduction to Special Relativity. I read various reviews, but final decided to purchases the more up-to-date version. I have to say it is very similar, but the author has done well in modernising the story without loosing its charm. All in all it's a must read for anyone interested or studying Physics. It is one of the greats!

Excellent service as usual from amazon, ordered it and it arrived the next day! And one final note - my A-Level Physicists are hooked!
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