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Mr. Tompkins in Paperback Paperback – March 26, 1993

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'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

'Enthusiastically recommended to both scientific and general readers.' The Guardian

Book Description

Known and loved by thousands since its introduction over fifty years ago, this classic work provides a clear explanation of the central concepts in modern physics--from atomic structure to relativity and quantum theory to fusion and fission--through the fantastic adventures of its bank clerk hero.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (Canto Imprint) (March 26, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521447712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521447713
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am simply delighted to have the new edition of "Mr. Tompkins in Paper Back" by George Gamow available for sale.

My father, George Gamow, created the lovable character Mr. Tompkins in 1938, when I was only three! So in a very real sense I am the older brother of Mr. Tompkins. I was an only child and did not need to create an imaginary friend as many lonely children do- father had created a friend for me.

My father and my mother Rho escaped from the Soviet Union in 1933 and in 1934 my father became a full professor of physics at George Washington University, at the tender age of 30. As luck would have it, father was invited in 1956 to become a professor of physics at the University of Colorado where I joined the department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences in 1967. Father died in 1968, so for one year we were both professors at the same university, which I believe was and still is quite a unique situation.

In 1965 Cambridge University Press combined two of father's earliest Tompkins books, Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland and Mr. Tompkins Explores the Atom, into a single book entitled Mr. Tompkins in Paper Back. As I had mentioned earlier Mr. Tompkins was really my imaginary kid brother, a character that inspired many a high school student to study physics. Literally dozens of visitors to CU, seeing my name over my office door, attested to that.

Just recently rereading father's two books I am stunned how timeless his little books really are and I also understand how he inspired a new generation of physicists. Roger Penrose wrote, in his foreword to Mr. Tompkins in Paperback, how Mr. Tompkins inspired him to go into physics.

Father's books have recently inspired me to create a new series of Mr.
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Format: Paperback
A lovely reprinted edition of a peral from Gamow. The original edition has been out of print for a number of years. This 1993 edition has added commentary and a fascinating bio of Gamow. He was born in Odessa, in what was then Russia, --before the Soviet Union. The story of his escape to the West is straight out of a thriller. Only it is real! Gamow was referred to by a journalist, some time during the Cold War, as "the only scientist in America with a real sense of humor". He can take the most technical stuff and make it simple. Fun too! The book:--Intellectual treats, whimsy, but deep. Illustrated with lovely drawings by Gamow himself. Much of it can be understood by a child, and other parts might require a little concentration. All of it is great fun. Follow your imagination, and while you explore, you will learn about Einstein's theory of relativity. And in unexpected ways! You will see the wonders of physics thru the eyes of a child. With his unexpected thought experiments, Gamow has captured the imagination of generations of readers, and he has inspired a degree of curiosity that comes naturally to children.
The author George Gamow started in nuclear physics, during the Golden Age of Physics, worked with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, then later in the US, on the Manhattan Project during WWII; and after the War, he was professor in Boulder Colorado. He has a building on campus of The University of Colorado named after him! He is one of the few scientists who wrote popular books. They are precious pearls, and they have been equally popular with my parent's generation as with mine. For awhile they were out of print, but luckely some have now been reprinted in recent years!
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Format: Paperback
I first read this about 50 years ago in graduate school, and was wonderfully stimulated. Despite many advances since, this book is still thoroughly up-to-date (except for particle physics and quarks). I remember mainly how Mr Tompkins suffers in a room where the speed of light has been reduced to 100 mph. Could never again think of simultaneity again in quite the familiar Newtonian way. That is but one example of the freshness of view that Gamow's fun-loving mind creates. It taught me more than most formal texts; and with so much more ease.I hope that he and Lewis Carroll have found each other in Heaven, and are discussing how to educate and amuse.
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Format: Paperback
Whe I taught introductory physics, the section on modern physics was pretty hard to grasp for some of my students. When I found this text, then titled "Mr. Tompkins in wunderland", I began to use it to help them (and me!) with the less intuitive concepts. I wish I could have met the obviously delightful man. What all physics teachers should be. I am so glad to see this back in print after all these years so a new generation of budding physicists can be delighted with their physical world.
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Format: Paperback
I am nothing more than a humble interested amateur and my formal science education is limited to some advanced classes for my high school diploma many years ago. I picked up "Mr Tompkins" following a conversation with a physicist sitting next to me on a long flight. I found it to be an excellent introduction to modern physics in general and quantum mechanics in particular. I found it challenging and I wouldn't claim I understood every last detail, but it is definitely not necessary to have a profound knowledge of mathematical and physical concepts to read this book. The writing is witty, precise and thoroughly enjoyable. In fact I was so intrigued that I went and picked up two other books (Alice in Quantumland and Taking the Quantum Leap), both of which I found harder to read and not as suitable for the uninitiated as Mr Tompkins.
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