One Two Three...Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science

One Two Three...Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science 
by George Gamow

0-486-25664-2 (paper) 


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"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things."' So begins the preface to George Gamow's One...Two...Three...Infinity, a delightful and whimsical book that discusses almost all things between heaven and earth and considerably beyond. Gamow writes and draws pictures, and readers understand or at least imagine that they do. The latter state is a reasonably good substitute because it induces the reader to continue, and with interest stimulated, the substitute is likely to become reality.

Numbers, relativity, the small worlds of atoms and the huge world of the Universe are the main subjects. In the 35 years since publication, that huge world has become huger still. But Gamow was far enough ahead of his time for the book to sound quite contemporary.

The book is dedicated to "my son, Igor, who would rather be a cowboy." It may be of interest to the reader that Igor Gamow is now a biochemist, and a good one, a situation his father would have approved. However, the change illustrates the dangers to which readers expose themselves by reading the book, provided, of course, they are young. In a word, of all Gamow's remarkable books, this one is the most Gamovian.
--Reviewed by Edward Teller in Science Digest, 89 (June 1981), p. 103.