Once Upon a Universe

Not-so-Grimm tales of cosmology

Authors: Gilmore, Robert

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Hardcover $25.00
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  • ISBN 978-0-387-95566-7
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  • ISBN 978-1-4419-3059-0
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About this book

"Once upon a time there was no Universe," began the Storyteller. . . ."

First Snow White encounters one of the Little People, then one of the Even Smaller People, and finally one of the Truly Infinitesimal People. And no matter how diligently she searches, the only dwarves she can find are collapsed stars! Clearly, she’s not at home in her well-known Brothers Grimm fairy tale, but instead in a strange new landscape that features quantum behavior, the wavelike properties of particles, and the Uncertainty Principle. She (and we) must have entered, in short, one of the worlds created by Robert Gilmore, the physicist and fabulist who brought us the classic "Alice in Quantumland."

Whether he’s recasting such classic tales as "Jack and the Quarkstalk," "Waking Beauty," or "Cinderenda and the Death of Stars," Gilmore shows us that there’s more than one way to shed light on the strange profundities of modern physics and cosmology, and what they have to tell us about the nature of time and space and motion. Black holes, dying stars, traveling backward through time to the Big Bang - they’re all here in accessible, instructive, and charmingly illustrated retellings.

Robert Gilmore has published three previous books with Copernicus, "Alice in Quantumland," "Scrooge’s Cryptic Carol," and "The Wizard of Quarks." He is a Visiting Research Fellow, with a special focus on the public understanding of science, at Bristol University in England. He has also worked in particle physics at Brookhaven, Stanford, and CERN in Geneva.

Reviews

From the reviews:

"Gilmore shows us that there’s more than one way to shed light on the strange profundities of modern physics and cosmology, and what they have to tell us about the nature of time and space and motion. Black holes, dying stars, traveling backward through time to the Big Bang – they’re all here in accessible, instructive and charmingly illustrated retellings." (www.firstscience.com, April, 2004)

"For most physicists, the desire to show the public the joys of understanding scientific reality remains unslaked … . Robert Gilmore has acted upon that desire. Once Upon a Universe … is the fourth in a series of his books using fairy-tale approaches to communicate important points about physics. … demonstrates more than one way to shed light on the strange profundities of modern physics and cosmology. … give the book to your scientist friends. They will thank you for it-and mean it." (Donald Goldsmith, Physics Today, December, 2004)

"Physics teachers are always searching for new methods to present, illustrate, and communicate an in-depth understanding of physics to their students. … In this volume Gilmore tries a different approach as he tells the reader fairy or wizard tales about physics, more specifically, about cosmology. … physics teachers may find ideas in some of the tales useful in introducing difficult concepts to their students." (Fernande Grandjean and Gary J. Long, Physicalia, Vol. 57 (3), 2005)

"This readable book includes six amusing tales. They explain the nature and scale of the Universe, the stars and the galaxies, spacetime and gravity, how the Universe came about, and the life and fate of stars." (Book News on the Internet, March, 2004)

"In Once Upon a Universe, fairy tale heroes get crash courses in quantum mechanics and cosmology from an assortment of … characters. … Robert Gilmore’s approach works surprisingly well. … Far clearer are the strait-laced asides dotted throughout the book. If you do know your cosmology, you will find the book … charming … ." (New Scientist, February, 2004)


Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • The PRINCE and p (A quest for the nature of motion)

    Gilmore, Robert

    Pages 1-40

  • SNOW WHITE and the particularly little PEOPLE (Into the deep basement of our world)

    Gilmore, Robert

    Pages 41-75

  • ALI GORI and the CAVE of NIGHT (consider the heavens)

    Gilmore, Robert

    Pages 77-117

  • JACK and the STARSTALK (spacetime and gravity)

    Gilmore, Robert

    Pages 119-156

  • WAKING beauty (the big bang and after)

    Gilmore, Robert

    Pages 157-192

Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4757-4165-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $25.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-387-95566-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $25.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-3059-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Once Upon a Universe
Book Subtitle
Not-so-Grimm tales of cosmology
Authors
Copyright
2003
Publisher
Copernicus
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media New York
eBook ISBN
978-1-4757-4165-0
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4757-4165-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-387-95566-7
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4419-3059-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 225
Topics