The New World of Mr Tompkins : George Gamow's Classic Mr Tompkins in Paperback, Paperback

The New World of Mr Tompkins : George Gamow's Classic Mr Tompkins in Paperback Paperback

Edited by Russell Stannard

Illustrated by Michael Edwards

0.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Mr Tompkins is back! The mild-mannered bank clerk with the short attention span and vivid imagination has inspired, charmed and informed young and old alike since the publication of the hugely successful Mr Tompkins in Paperback (by George Gamow) in 1965.

In this 1999 book, he returns in a new set of adventures exploring the extreme edges of the universe - the smallest, the largest, the fastest, the farthest.

Through his experiences and his dreams, you are there at Mr Tompkins' shoulder watching and taking part in the merry dance of cosmic mysteries: Einstein's relativity, bizarre effects near light-speed, the birth and death of the universe, black holes, quarks, space warps and antimatter, the fuzzy world of the quantum, and that ultimate cosmic mystery of all

This text is revised, updated and expanded by best-selling popular-science author Russell Stannard (who wrote the much-acclaimed Uncle Albert series of books for children).


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages, 53 b/w illus. 2 tables
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Popular science
  • ISBN: 9780521639927



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George Gamow's Mr Tompkins was a fascinating attempt to explain modern Physics to a wide audience without getting bogged down in technical detail. Gamow's use of analogy and simplification works well, and really does explain where Physics was at at the time it was written.However, some of the attitudes and even the theories now look somewhat dated. Times have changed, and Physics and society have changed too.So some bright spark thought "Let's update Gamow's work for the present." An admirable idea, but unfortunately one doomed in the execution.In an attempt to make the female character less of a bystander, she's become a strong, independent woman who is often thrust into situations where she is not required just to prove how strong and independent she is. It reads as if it was updated by skimming over some feminist articles from the 70s and injecting the ideas at random. The impact this has on the remainder of the prose is irredeemable.Get the original. Even with it's dated ideas on society and women, it's much better than this.