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The Great Physicists from Galileo to Einstein (Biography of Physics) Paperback – October 1, 1988

ISBN-13: 978-0486257679 ISBN-10: 0486257673

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The Great Physicists from Galileo to Einstein (Biography of Physics) + Thirty Years that Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory + One Two Three . . . Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science (Dover Books on Mathematics)
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Product Details

  • Series: Biography of Physics
  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (October 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486257673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486257679
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A renowned physicist and author of the bestseller One Two Three . . . Infinity, George Gamow is one of the founders of the Big Bang theory.

Modern Science Made Easy
By one of the leading physicists of the twentieth century, George Gamow's One, Two, Three…Infinity is one of the most memorable popular books on physics, mathematics, and science generally ever written, famous for having, directly or indirectly, launched the academic and/or scientific careers of many young people whose first real encounter with the wonders and mysteries of mathematics and science was through reading this book as a teenager. Untypically for popular science books, this one is enhanced by the author's own delightful sketches. Reviewers were enthusiastic when One, Two, Three…Infinity was published in 1947.

In the Author's Own Words:
"If and when all the laws governing physical phenomena are finally discovered, and all the empirical constants occurring in these laws are finally expressed through the four independent basic constants, we will be able to say that physical science has reached its end, that no excitement is left in further explorations, and that all that remains to a physicist is either tedious work on minor details or the self-educational study and adoration of the magnificence of the completed system. At that stage physical science will enter from the epoch of Columbus and Magellan into the epoch of the National Geographic Magazine!" — George Gamow

Critical Acclaim for One, Two, Three…Infinity:
"This skillful presentation is for the non-professional and professional scientist. It will broaden the knowledge of each and give the imagination wide play." — Chemistry and Engineering News

"A stimulating and provocative book for the science-minded layman." — Kirkus Reviews

"This is a layman's book as readable as a historical novel, but every chapter bears the solid imprint of authoritative research." — San Francisco Chronice

"George Gamow succeeds where others fail because of his remarkable ability to combine technical accuracy, choice of material, dignity of expression, and readability." — Saturday Review of Literature


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Ronin on February 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have read a fair amount of books on physics and found this one to be very enjoyable. Gamow keeps things pretty simple (until the end when he starts talking about his specialty) and very accessible. He is careful that the math is sequential; he always builds on previous examples to take you to the next step.
The book was published in the 60's, so there are many recent discoveries missing, but you need to know your history of physics to see how we got where we are. In fact, I found that this book showed just how new all of our current theories are and that there is promise for many new things on the horizon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adam L. Bruce on July 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gamow has long be revered as one of the original science "popularizers"--mostly because of his lucid and well trimmed writing style. This book is no different and it has the added bonus that Gamow actually knew most of the modern physicists--starting with Einstein--personally. It is worth buying for the great "kayak problem" in the relativity chapter alone, but has a wide range of different interesting tidbits, biographical information, and of course physics in Gamow's distinctive way. Well worth a read, especially for only $10.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Courtney Slocum on June 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contained everything you could wish to know concerning just about every physicist that has had a major scientific contribution. This is a great book for intermediate scientific readers. I also liked that it had diagrams especially drawn by the author himself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By fremandn on August 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
The book does a wonderful job of mixing the narrative of how certain ideas came to prominence in physics, the people behind them, and the concepts that underlie our current (as of 1988) understanding of the world. It was very enjoyable to read. I read it from back to front just because the more recent theories are more interesting. However, I would suggest that someone less familiar with physics (without an intro. college physics background) not do the same since many of the earlier concepts are useful in understanding the material later on.
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