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Atom: Journey Across the Subatomic Cosmos (Truman Talley) Paperback – August 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Series: Truman Talley
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (August 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452268346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452268340
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It takes our best science writers, plus readers current with the whimsical new language of particle physics, to keep up with the leapfrog pace of theory and observation today. Fortunately, Asimov does his part in this report on recent theoretical physics developments that includes just enough history to add human dimension to the latest discussions of the nature of matter. Missing here are the characteristic Asimov metaphors and asides, suggesting that, while juggling so many pure concepts at once, he chooses not to distract his readers. No matter, they will welcome this straightforward guide to the Alice-like world of down-quarks, muons, leptons and other subatomic particles--most of which are believed to exist but have not yet been seen. When information does start coming in from the supercollider, this will be a worthy book to have at hand.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Isaac Asimov authored over 400 books in a career that lasted nearly 50 years. As a leading scientific writer, historian, and futurist, he covered a variety of subjects ranging from mathematics to humor, and won numerous awards for his work.

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Customer Reviews

He did an admiral job keeping the subject matter interesting.
J. head
I've read a lot of popular science books and the first half or so of this book was mostly a repeat of things that I've already read.
MrWillo
Asimov writes in a way that is extremely provocative and very informative.
Kino Espo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. head on December 9, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent summation of the progress made in discovering sub-atomic particles, It may not now be up to date (it was printed in 1991), but I would not forgo the learning within, or the Asimov method of presenting it. Isaac Asimov specialty was explaining difficult subjects to his readers. He did an admiral job keeping the subject matter interesting. Each short chapter is dedicated to a particle, ex. mesons, quarks, bosons. Each chapter also gives a little historical background of the search and discovery behind each particle and how it fits within the sub-atomic world. Nuclear physicists may have progressed far beyond this by now, but this is still a good book for piecing together the subatomic puzzle of particles.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
i'm 15 this year and i am studying physics in school. after reading this book, i have understood more concepts much more easily. the diagrams included are great. Asimov is really a great writer ad i strongly recommend it to anyonee interested in physics.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rick L Pierson on October 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
'Atom' is very easy to read. I have not had any calculus and therefore could not take physics in college. But the author presents the information without using anything more than everyday math! Also, I was taking a 101-level Physical Science class and the class's textbook gave a bit of information about an atom here, and another bit there, and it was nearly impossible to pull the facts together into a single conceptual "model". However, this book does the job quite nicely (by the way, 'Atom' also presents some other physical science material, such as properties of light and electomagnetic radiation and the four fundamental forces, in easier-to-understand language than the college book). I now have a clear understanding of the components of an atom - the oribiting electrons that form a "cloud" and the nucleus (composed of neutrons and protons - and their buliding blocks: quarks), other subatomic particles (leptons, hadrons, baryons, mesons, neutrinos, etc), the 2 fundamental forces that hold atomic nuclei together (the weak and strong nuclear force), and the concept of exchange particles that transmit the fundamental forces. I would have never obtained this kind of clarity from the college text. The author not only informs the reader of the facts, but also explains how they were discovered - this helps to increase the retention of the facts.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kino Espo on January 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book for students of almost all ages (14 up). I was 14 when I read it, with no education in atoms, and I understood it perfectly. Asimov writes in a way that is extremely provocative and very informative. I highly recommed this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
i enjoyed the book. it is easy to read except for the chapter on quarks, which is difficult to comprehend. i will recommend this book to every one who wishes to learn about the subatomic world. there is only one drawback for this book. it was published in 1991 and there have been more additions to the subatomic world since then. the history of the search for atom and its constituents is splendid. I love mathematics but i am too lazy to do it. so for folks who don't like to dwell in mathematics to understand particle physics, this is the right book for you
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Love Historical Fiction on January 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Overall Asimov did an excellent job explaining some pretty difficult concepts. I most especially enjoyed the discussion of nuclear breakdown, ie, the conversion of one radioactive isotope into a completely different element. I never really understood the relationship between mass and energy and now I believe I do. Fascinating to say the least. My only problem was the amount of material covered in the book. I was not really interested in that much history and the discussion of the antiparticle. However, I knew what I was getting into prior to buying the book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 1996
Format: Paperback
Most people probably know Isaac Asimov because of his fiction books.
However, he is also a great writer of nonfiction works. "Atom" is a great example
of his nonfiction work. It is also the best book on Atoms and subatomic particles
I have ever read, and I have read several. Asimov takes an 'easy to understand' approach to the study
of subatomic particles; starting from the beginning of the Atomic theory, all the way to quarks and neutrinos.
The two best points about this book:
(1) It is easy to understand
(2) It is comprehensive and very detailed
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 1997
Format: Paperback
I love Physics,but my math is a little rusty, and this book is perfect for anyone who likes to wonder what those little things are. (I mean atoms). And as I was taking chemistry (I haven't had physics yet) I actually used some stuff fromthe book to help me in the class. And it is a quick read
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