Home is Where the Wind Blows: Chapters from a Cosmologist's LifeHardback
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- Publisher: University Science Books,U.S.
- Format: Hardback | 443 pages
- Dimensions: 160mm x 236mm x 41mm | 839g
- Publication date: 26 August 1994
- Publication City/Country: Sausalito
- ISBN 10: 093570227X
- ISBN 13: 9780935702279
- Edition statement: New.
- Illustrations note: 46 b&w photographs, 9 maps
- Sales rank: 1,036,920
Mathematician, physicist, astronomer and cosmologist, Sir Fred Hoyle is perhaps best known, in scientific circles, for his explanation of the origin of the elements from hydrogen nuclei in stars (a process known as nucleosynthesis) and for developing (with Sir Hermann Bondi and Thomas Gold) the controversial steady-state theory of the Universe (which assumes the continuous creation of matter). In 1950, in the last of a series of radio lectures on astronomy that he delivered on the air for the BBC, Hoyle coined the term "Big Bang" to characterize the competing expanding-Universe theory, which has since become the dominant paradigm. This term has now become a permanent addition to the language of cosmology. In this work, Hoyle offers an account of his life and work.
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Hoyle (The Intelligent Universe, 1983, etc.) is never dull. You may disagree with his latest theories; you may take issue with his interpretation of past events; but he is ever the lively protagonist here, telling the story of a life in which he has seen much of the world and discoursed with the prime movers of science. As if to underscore that the child is father to the man, Hoyle begins his story with details of growing up poor in rural Yorkshire and how he did his best to avoid school while at the same time teaching himself to read and do arithmetic. In due course he won scholarships that eventually led to Cambridge, where he stayed for 39 years, accumulating wonderful stories and numerous colleagues who were the movers and shakers of 20th-century theoretical physics. Hoyle describes the chain of events that led to his major contributions in nucleosynthesis - how the elements are formed in stars and supernovas. He also provides details of his radar work in WW II and later snippets about his mathematical creativity, but these are rather compressed in relation to the life. Hoyle eventually resigned from the chair in astronomy he held because of a dispute that had become a bureaucratic nightmare. By this time the reader is well prepared for the backbiting and partisanship that make government science and academic politics anything but genteel and impartial, and Hoyle is ever ready to tell it like it is. He reserves for a final chapter his cosmology theory, which is no surprise: Down with the Big Bang and up with the continuous creation, with the universe perhaps as the manifestation of God. For readers of Hoyle's science fiction, there is an echo of Consciousness and the Black Cloud about it all...and just as controversial. (Kirkus Reviews)
Back cover copy
In Home Is Where the Wind Blows, Sir Fred Hoyle, one of this century's most eminent scientists and author of dozens of successful books, both fiction and nonfiction, offers a revealing and charming account of his life and work. Mathematician, physicist, astronomer, cosmologist - Sir Fred is perhaps best known, in scientific circles, for his brilliant explanation of the origin of the elements from hydrogen nuclei in stars (a process known as nucleosynthesis) and for developing (with Sir Hermann Bondi and Thomas Gold) the elegant but controversial steady-state theory of the Universe (which assumes the continuous creation of matter). In 1950, in the last of a series of radio lectures on astronomy that he delivered on the air for the BBC, Sir Fred coined the term "Big Bang" to characterize the competing expanding-Universe theory, which has since become the dominant paradigm. Ironically, the term has become a permanent addition to the language of cosmology. Sir Fred's name has become well known to the general public because of his unusual ability to describe the ideas of science in a simple and accessible way. In addition to his scientific work, he has written more than a dozen works of popular science (many of them widely translated) and more than a dozen works of science fiction (most of them in collaboration with his son, Geoffrey). In all his work, Sir Fred has shown himself to be ready and able to challenge established thinking. In the author's amusing and memorable account of his childhood in Home Is Where the Wind Blows, the reader will see how this came to be true. Possessed since infancy with a strong streak of independence, he was encouraged by his parents, throughout his schoolyears, to trust his own judgment and to think for himself.