Atom: A Single Oxygen Atom's Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond

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9781435296688: Atom: A Single Oxygen Atom's Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond
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Every atom in our bodies was once inside the fiery core of a star that exploded billions of years before our solar system was formed. Like the original Homeric epic, the atom at the center of this book makes its way across a truly cosmic stage. Exploding supernovas, solar winds, collapsing stars preceded the rise of life on earth and one day may foretell its end. Yet the story that Krauss tells is inextricably our story. Throughout this astonishing and monumental work, he manages to stoke our wonder at the powers and unlikely events that conspired to create our solar system, our eco-system and us.

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About the Author:

Lawrence M. Krauss is the best selling author of The Physics of Star Trek. He received his Ph.D. in physics from MIT and now chairs the Department of Physics at Case Western Reserve University.

From Publishers Weekly:

This meticulously detailed, if partly speculative, account of an oxygen atom's life is aimed at a broad audience, but Krauss (The Physics of Star Trek, etc.), the department chair of physics at Case Western Reserve University, is likely to alienate some of his Trekker fans with his ungainly discussion of quantum mechanics. Several billions of years ago, the protagonist of this tale emerged from a dazzling explosion that resulted in a slight imbalance between matter and antimatter. Although it is unclear how this disparity came about, it produced all the matter that exists in the universe today. Deciphering what occurred amid the resulting primordial soup to fuse quarks into protons and unite them with neutrons and electrons will prove a strenuous task for the lay reader, but Krauss's muddled prose becomes much more lucid as his oxygen atom grows older, flitting in and out of emerging stars and young planets. The atom bears witness to many cosmic phenomena before settling into the hot, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere of a budding Earth. Through an exploratory discussion of how life may have unfolded, the author's ripe imaginative powers and literary prowess come into play. Krauss presents a wealth of information that covers a range of disciplines (such as geophysics, biology and paleontology) and concludes with a glimpse of the future, where the forces that spawned life will destroy it. Although physics fans may rush to pluck this one off the shelves, they will find that the book's virtues lie in its vivid descriptions of an evolving planet rather than its scholarly discussions of particle physics. (Apr. 11)Forecast: Despite its flaws, this will sell, thanks to Krauss's visibility (he's a contributing editor of Discover); the book has been optioned for a PBS series.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780316499460: Atom : An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond

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ISBN 10:  0316499463 ISBN 13:  9780316499460
Publisher: Little, Brown, 2001
Hardcover

9780965187688: Atom : an odyssey from the big bang to life on earth-- and beyond

Little..., 2001
Softcover

9780756774240: Atom: An Odyssey From The Big Bang To Life On Earth . . . And Beyond

Diane ..., 2004
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