Cosmic View the Universe in Forty Jumps
by Kees Boeke
John Day Co | English | 1957 | ISBN: 0381980162 | 53 pages | PDF | 2.5 MB
I remember this book from my childhood. I recall being entranced by the illustrations at an early age, revisiting it when I could read, and then revisiting it again when I had some basic science behind me.
The book takes the reader on a journey of scale -- jumping by powers of ten meters (1 meter, 10 meters, 100 meters) to give a sense of the smallness of our Galaxy relative to the Universe... and then jumps back to the same starting point (a picnic scene, I seem to recall) and then works its way through innerspace (.1 meters, .01 meters, etc.) to the atomic level.
Nicely drawn, simply written, and a captivating idea.
NOTE: The book inspired a short film, "Powers of Ten" (which I remember watching in grade-school), and the creators of that short film (Philip and Phylis Morrison) went on to produce a book by the same title ("Powers of Ten") which covers the same basic ground as "Cosmic View" -- but with photographs replacing some of the hand-drawn illustrations of the original, and with more in-depth commentary on the implications of size at each "power of ten". The newer book is geared much more at the adult level -- it is a "Scientific American" branded book after all -- but is nonetheless appealing for people of all ages."
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