Review: Coming of Age in the Milky Way

Sorry about the font size, there was a mistake, and if I resize it, then the texts of other posts get bigger, so…


If anyone wants to learn more about science, you should read this. It tells the story of the “coming of age” of humanity, which is the process at which we became to know our place in the universe and the general picture of it. It tells what we know, and how we know what we know. In it, Timothy Ferris tells the story in chronological order, beginning with the ancient Greek’s first successful attempt at science and math (and you would be surprised how much of their hypothesis they got right) to our modern time with the knowledge of how the universe began. As history progresses, he presents the people who dived bravely head on into the uncertainty of this universe, at times sacrificing sleep and occasionally even their lives to do it. He details their achievement and eccentrities in a way that is like a good story, which anyone can enjoy. He also makes science beautiful and interesting, unlike High School and textbooks and other boring craps that people read and believe that is what all science consists of. Of course, one should be aware that shortening such long history into a 400pg book means that many other things are omitted and many twists and turns that occur in science are not shown. Still, it is a good read, and if you think science is boring, read it.


Anyways, if you are curious about the contents, here it is:


1. The myths of the ancients , and the Greek’s first attempt to understand the universe.


2. The Greek’s Earth centric universe model, Alexandria, the center of knowledge, and the downfall of free inquiry.


3. Voyage and discovery across the Earth took by many men.


4. The new controversial heliocentric model of the universe is made, and Kepler’s attempt to figure out the planet’s orbit.


5. Galileo’s insight of motion and the solar system, insisting with stubbornness that he was right.


6. Newton’s unifying thoughts on gravity and motion.


7. The difficult attempt to calculate distance through space is achieved in the Solar System.


8. Astronomers speculate what the spiral nebulaes are, and Herschel maps the sky.


9. Spiral nebulaes are deeply debated, culminating in the realization that the Milky Way wasn’t the only island universe.


10. Albert Einstein revolutionize physics with new ways of understanding motion and gravity.


11. Hubble finds the astonishing realization that space in between galaxies are expanding.


12. Geology matures after the hard works of many geologists.


13. Darwin realizes the common origin of all species and realizes how great the expanses of time must have been, culminating with a way to measure the age of the Earth.


14. Nuclear Physicists realize the secret behind a star’s power, making them come to the realization of an extremely old universe, one which started as a single point.


15. Quantum mechanics shakes intuition in the subatomic world with quantified values and the uncertainty principle.


16. Physicists try to achieve beauty in the equations, and two disparate forces are unified.


17. Particle accelerators allow scientists to view a window into the big bang.


18. The origin of the universe is speculated.


19. Humans try to find other intelligence.


20. The Persistence of Mystery





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