Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cosmos by Carl Sagan (1980): Great book about science

Carl Sagan (Wikipedia) died in 1996 of cancer, dying relatively young at the age of 62. Carl Sagan was one of the people who did a huge amount to popularize the concept of science, especially related to space travel. His most popular work to date remains Cosmos, which was also made into an incredible 13 part TV series in 1980 (Cosmos: A Personal Voyage), that has so far been seen by 600 million people (including a large number of children). I remember being fascinated by the series when it used to come on TV when I was a child; there is a certain fascination of the heavens that draws people to it, especially children. The series should be made essential watching for school going children all over.

Cosmos by Carl Edward Sagan (1980)

The book is based on the series, and is considered a companion to the TV series. It is one the best-selling books in the area of science, while typically science books do not sell as well. The book is divided into 13 chapters, and follows the TV series to a large extent, but there are certain variations (typically when Carl Sagan has already written about something in an earlier book, and it is explained in detail in the TV series). The various chapters are:

1. The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean
2. One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue
3. The Harmony of Worlds
4. Heaven and Hell
5. Blues for a Red Planet
6. Travelers' Tales
7. The Backbone of Night
8. Travels in Space and Time
9. The Lives of the Stars
10. The Edge of Forever
11. The Persistence of Memory
12. Encyclopaedia Galactica
13. Who Speaks for Earth?
Appendix 1: Reductio ad Absurdum and the Square Root of Two
Appendix 2: The Five Pythagorean Solids
For Further Reading

If you want to buy the series on video, click on this link.


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Anonymous said...

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