By Bill Bryson
One of many world’s so much liked and bestselling writers takes his final trip -- into the main fascinating and intractable questions that technological know-how seeks to answer.
In A stroll within the Woods, invoice Bryson trekked the Appalachian path -- good, so much of it. In In A Sunburned kingdom, he faced the most deadly natural world Australia has to supply. Now, in his largest booklet, he confronts his maximum problem: to appreciate -- and, if attainable, solution -- the oldest, largest questions we now have posed concerning the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory every thing from the large Bang to the increase of civilization, Bryson seeks to appreciate how we bought from there being not anything in any respect to there being us. for this reason, he has hooked up himself to a number of the world’s such a lot complicated (and frequently obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, traveling to their places of work, laboratories, and box camps. He has learn (or attempted to learn) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their strong minds. a brief background of approximately every thing is the checklist of this quest, and it's a occasionally profound, occasionally humorous, and continuously supremely transparent and wonderful experience within the nation-states of human wisdom, as simply invoice Bryson can render it. technological know-how hasn't ever been extra related to or interesting.
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Additional info for A Short History of Nearly Everything (Краткая история почти всего на свете) + audio
Finally, he left clues that led directly to the discovery of the group of elements known as the noble gases, some of which are so elusive that the last of them wasn’t found until 1962. But our interest here is in Cavendish’s last known experiment when in the late summer of 1797, at the age of sixty-seven, he turned his attention to the crates of equipment that had been left to him—evidently out of simple scientific respect—by John Michell. When assembled, Michell’s apparatus looked like nothing so much as an eighteenthcentury version of a Nautilus weight-training machine.
The tireless Edmond Halley had suggested years before that if you measured one of these passages from selected points on the Earth, you could use the principles of triangulation to work out the distance to the Sun, and from that calibrate the distances to all the other bodies in the solar system. Unfortunately, transits of Venus, as they are known, are an irregular occurrence. 3 But the idea simmered and when the next transit came due in 1761, nearly two decades after Halley’s death, the scientific world was ready—indeed, more ready than it had been for an astronomical event before.
One was a blast in 1054 that created the Crab Nebula. Another, in 1604, made a star bright enough to be seen during the day for over three weeks. The most recent was in 1987, when a supernova flared in a zone of the cosmos known as the Large Magellanic Cloud, but that was only barely visible and only in the southern hemisphere—and it was a comfortably safe 169,000 light-years away. Supernovae are significant to us in one other decidedly central way. Without them we wouldn’t be here. You will recall the cosmological conundrum with which we ended the first chapter—that the Big Bang created lots of light gases but no heavy elements.
A Short History of Nearly Everything (Краткая история почти всего на свете) + audio by Bill Bryson