- Published: New York : Broadway Books, c2005.
- Year Published: 2005
- Edition: Special illustrated ed.
- Description: 624 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm.
- Language: English
- Format: Book
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A short history of nearly everything
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Call number: 500 Br
One: Lost in the Cosmos -- How to build a Universe -- Welcome to the Solar System -- The Reverend Evans's Universe -- Two: The size of the Earth -- The measure of things -- The stone-breakers -- Science red in tooth and claw -- Elemental matters -- Three: A new age dawns -- Einstein's universe -- The mighty atom -- Getting the lead out -- Muster Mark's quarks -- The earth moves -- Four: Dangerous planet -- Bang! -- The Fire below -- Dangerous beauty -- Five: Life itself -- Lonely planet -- Into the troposphere -- The bounding main -- The rise of life -- Small world -- Life goes on -- Goodbye to all that -- The richness of being -- Cells -- Darwin's singular notion -- The stuff of life -- Six: The road to us -- Ice time -- The mysterious Biped -- The restless ape -- Goodbye.
In this book Bill Bryson explores the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer and attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. To that end, Bill Bryson apprenticed himself to a host of the world's most profound scientific minds, living and dead. His challenge is to take subjects like geology, chemistry, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people, like himself, made bored (or scared) stiff of science by school. His interest is not simply to discover what we know but to find out how we know it. How do we know what is in the center of the earth, thousands of miles beneath the surface? How can we know the extent and the composition of the universe, or what a black hole is? How can we know where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out? On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating, eccentric, competitive, and foolish personalities ever to ask a hard question. In their company, he undertakes a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge.
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