Coming of Age in the Milky Way

Coming of Age in the Milky Way

From the second-century celestial models of Ptolemy to modern-day research institutes and quantum theory, this classic book offers a breathtaking tour of astronomy and the brilliant, eccentric personalities who have shaped it. From the first time mankind had an inkling of the vast space that surrounds us, those who study the universe have had to struggle against political From the second-century celestial models of Ptolemy to modern-day research institutes and quantum theory, this classic boo...

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Title:Coming of Age in the Milky Way
Author:Timothy Ferris
Rating:
Genres:Science
ISBN:Coming of Age in the Milky Way
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:512 pages pages

Coming of Age in the Milky Way Reviews

  • Ryan Marquardt
    Dec 11, 2007
    This is the book that made me get an astronomy minor in college. OK, it was only a minor, but still... I appreciate this book more in retrospect as an example of really excellent science writting. Ferris is equally good at crafting interesting narratives about the discovery process ...
  • Noreen
    Jan 18, 2014
    I loved this book! Though not a dry collection of facts, it's crammed with information. It's a feast for the mind. It's more like a biography or a historical novel than a textbook. It expresses the beauty and power that happens when we get science right. It was perfect for me because I...
  • Tyler
    Oct 20, 2008
    The perfect layman's guide to the universe. It gets pretty hairy as soon as quantum mechanics take the stage about 3/4 in, especially if you have no background in physics whatsoever (as i certainly don't) but i doubt Ferris could have written about the various quantum theories in a sim...
  • Erik Graff
    Oct 15, 2010
    This is an accessible history of cosmology and astronomy, substantially told through brief biographies, written by a popular science author who has won several awards for his work. ...
  • Moire
    Jul 23, 2008
    I had always meant to read this book, but somehow I never had gotten around to it. But I decided recently that, while I spend all day thinking about astronomy (as an astronomy grad student), it might be good to get a "popular science" take on some of these topics so that I can actually...
  • Gendou
    Mar 21, 2011
    Light on science, heavy on the history of cosmology. It's a nice, short read. There is, however, one horrible mistake. Ferris credits Christian creation mythology with contributing the idea of a beginning to time. There is no historical (or logical) basis for this. The theory th...
  • B. Rule
    Jan 01, 2013
    I struggle with the rating on this one. The author is inaccurate and dismissive on questions touching on religion and inaccurate and incomplete on matters of women's contributions to science. The book is frustrating in the earlier historical parts because of this. It gets better in the...
  • Charlene
    Aug 24, 2015
    Ferris provides his reader with an extremely abbreviated version of discovery from Columbus through now. There are some aspects of his stories that are lesser known, which makes them quite enjoyable. The layout of the book is really great as well. Not too many books provide a summary o...
  • Kadri
    Nov 08, 2013
    Covers the history of cosmology from the ancient world to the contemporary theories of the big bang and the inflationary universe. A bit slow in some parts, otherwise a good read. ...
  • Caroline
    Apr 28, 2012
    Ferris begins with the ponderings of ancient societies and brings us forward, with clarity and painstaking research. This approach can lend itself to a predictable scientific greatest hits parade (say it with me, preferably in the singsong of Sherri and Terri twirling the jump rope on ...
  • Sharyn
    Aug 14, 2016
    This is the best book I've ever read. I made up the dates, because I don't remember when I read it. It's a book to be savored and read a little every day, except that it's so interesting, it's hard to put it down. I missed a lot of sleep because of that fact. Timothy Ferris puts so ...
  • Bryan Dunk
    May 16, 2019
    Maybe the best book I've ever read. Definitely the best popular science book. Ferris doesn't just spout facts, he weaves a story. He puts almost every important scientific discovery in the context of the discoverer, explaining the existing thinking and how this new revelation change...
  • Ann
    Apr 14, 2016
    Ferris' book is a readable and engaging summary of the history and philosophy of cosmology with supporting vignettes into mathematics, physics, astronomy, chemistry, and evolution (Darwin). He does a good job of weaving together historical events, personalities, and the little question...
  • Emily
    Feb 02, 2019
    Having had no physics or chemistry beyond the eighth grade, some of this was way beyond me, but it's a testament to Ferris' beautiful prose that I was still able to get the basic gist, finish the book, and get a lot out of it. It's not an easy read, but it just kept blowing my mind and...
  • Sandra Wagner-Wright
    Mar 22, 2015
    The most recent assessment of our universe reveals its energy output is only half what it was two billion years ago. Everything is fizzling. In trillions of years, what was once vibrantly pulsating Milky Way will become a cold, dark place. How did we get to this point? This is the q...
  • Andrew Fish
    Nov 26, 2012
    There's something poetic about the nature of the universe, and it is this as much as a desire for knowledge which drove early man to strive toward a solution of its riddles. The universe, in turn, has also driven men to write poetry, and there's something of the poetic in Ferris' histo...
  • David Mills
    Mar 04, 2013
    An excellent cosmological/astrophysical primer for liberal-arts-minded readers. Favorite quote = "The greatest of all the accomplishments of twentieth-century science has been the discovery of human ignorance." - Lew Thomas ...
  • Wes Cobb
    May 19, 2017
    A tour de force of the history of science. Ferris does a surprisingly good job of making even the most complicated topics somewhat understandable for the lay reader (though a few remained out of grasp) while also avoiding too much pop-science speculation. ...
  • Keit Doesntcare
    Jan 31, 2014
    Astronomy, physics, math, chemistry- these are all subjects that in the past, would have made my stomach cramp, as if I've eaten a whole bowl of suspiciously looking beans... When I was a little kid those were my biggest fears. I just didn't get it, it made no sense, it made my life...
  • Emily Shepley
    Dec 08, 2015
    Fantastic book that covers the relatively short history of cosmology and human discovery that acted to expand the long history of the universe. This book has been on my shelf for a while but, like Carl Sagan's Cosmos, once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. It's easy to read, wh...
  • April
    Oct 21, 2016
    Very dense book but gave an interesting perspective to cosmology that I enjoyed. Bill Bryson did a great job in his book A Short History of Nearly Everything that was easier (and more entertaining) to read but was not as in depth as the information here. And I appreciated the discussio...
  • Cropredy
    Nov 01, 2017
    I hate to use cliches but in this case, apt - Ferris has a lyrical quality to his writing about the evolution of knowledge about the universe - from the earliest days of the Greeks to the latest cosmology. The book in the first few chapters deals with the discovery of planets, moons...
  • Kededra
    Sep 26, 2014
    This was like a coming-of-age story, except with the journey of the human mind. Light on the science, heavy on the history and pretty decently written. If you have even the slightest interest in space, you'll enjoy this one. ...
  • Kirsten
    Feb 02, 2019
    I appreciated the author's methods in this book. First, he mostly focused on the people rather than on the details of various theories, giving just a general overview of each theory along with the history of its development. This kept the book from getting bogged down in complicated te...
  • Jeffrey Schwartz
    Mar 19, 2015
    I went back and forth on whether to rate this 4 or 5 stars. COMING OF AGE IN THE MILKY WAY is a wonderful but challenging book; the latter quality is particularly evident when Timothy Ferris discusses Quantum Mechanics or String Theory. In the end, though, a 5 star book is one I know I...
  • Ami Iida
    May 16, 2015
    Boring,Boring,Boring........setback...........not interesting All the contents are old style, not interesting. ...
  • Ahmed Omer
    Mar 14, 2017
    I?ve read a lot of books of history of science and they all tend to trod similar ground, timothy ferriss has written what is in many ways the same book. however it is not bad, by any stretch. ...
  • Christian Hahn
    Nov 01, 2019
    This book exceeded my expactations in which topics the author discussed. It was not only about astronomy/cosmology, as I expected it to be, but it covered also the fields if physics and biology. The deep discussion of especially modern developments in physics may be a bit too much for...
  • Castles
    Jun 12, 2019
    What much popular science book skip through, the history of the times and the people who developed science, this book dwells on. From Ancient Greece, Ptolemy, Aristotle, through the Renaissance, Kepler and Galileo and more, until Newton and our times, governed by Einstein. This book...
  • Ryan
    Jan 28, 2018
    Short and sweet audiobook read by the author. Is outdated in romanticizing of Christopher Columbus and overall paints a very pretty picture over some ugly truths. Is a fantastic read for the uninitiated or the young. ...