Listing books by Arthur H. Compton
|Full title||Cosmic View: The Universe in Forty Jumps [permalink]|
|Authors||Kees Boeke (author), Els de Bouter (illustrator) and Arthur H. Compton (introduction)|
|Publisher||John Day Company|
|Categories||Children's and science|
|ISBN||0381980162 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]|
Cosmic View is the inspiration for the 1977 IBM short video Powers of Ten. It's a pretty short book written for children (though it's very interesting for adults as well) about the relative sizes of things in the universe. The book differs a bit from the video, mainly in that it explores each scale at more depth.
The book starts out showing a girl in Holland, zooming outwards, each time by a factor of ten, 25 times (so that the scale ends up being 1:1025). Each image is accompanied by a bit of explanatory text. Halfway through, the book then zooms inwards, ending at a scale of 1012:1, about the size of an atomic nucleus.
I found the book pretty fascinating, if a bit short and not as detailed as I'd wished it to be. However, I can't hold that against it as it's really a children's book. I can heartily recommend it.