You Are Here
is simply an amazing book. Christopher Potter takes
his readers on a whirlwind tour that races from the vastness of the universe to
the subatomic particles that make up all of creation, touching on scientific
theory, history, and even evolution along the way. It is a fascinating journey
that can leave one's head spinning. There is a lot of information packed into
this slim volume.
Potter uses the clever technique of allowing exponentials of ten to enhance his readers' grasp of the immense (or infinitesimally small) distances and sizes about which he's writing. He lists, for example, items that are between 1 and 10 metres in length (humans, giraffes). Once the reader easily comprehends that distance, he progresses to items 10 to 100 metres long (pythons, some dinosaurs), and so on until he reaches distances of light years. This makes his...
Beyond the Book
A Brief Biography of Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus was one of the first scientists to remove the Earth (and consequently, humanity) from the center of the universe, countering the theological teachings of his day. As such, his theories are referred to often in You Are Here
. He is regarded as one of the central figures of the Scientific Revolution, and is sometimes referred to as the founder of modern astronomy.
Copernicus was born Mikolaj Kopernik on February 19, 1473 in the Polish town
of Torun, the youngest of four children. His father was a wealthy copper trader
active in local politics (kopernik translates as "one who works with...