Science Fact Book Review


Atom (2002) Lawrence M Krauss, Abacus, 9.99, pbk, 394pp, ISBN 0-349-11483-8

I'm quite fond of Krauss's books The Physics of Star Trek and Beyond Star Trek and I have to say that I like this book too. It tells the history of the cosmos by following the fate of a single oxygen atom, from its precursors in the big bang to its ultimate fate some 1035 years down the line. The book is full of fascinating, yet simply explained, physics, chemistry, geology and biology covering the atom's 'life' in stars, rocks and biospheres, and whether the atom is being ingested by stars or organisms it's story is wonderful. One of the reasons I like Krauss is that he's not afraid to put the boot into creationsts and other self-deluding wankers, and he makes it well-known how much he despises their ignorance. Good man! Anyway, if you've ever wanted to read a concise and correct guide to our awesome universe (and couldn't be bothered with Hawking's A Brief History of Time), you will find this book very accessible and entertaining. Highly recommended.

Tony Chester

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