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Books
(Concluded from page 62)

Have You Seen These?

RECENT BOOKS likely to be of especial interest to M.I.T. Alumni include:

Arms Control, Disarmament, and National Security, edited by Donald G. Brennan, '55, with the sponsorship of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Braziller, $6).

The Collected Works of Irvin Langmuir, with an Honorary Editorial Advisory Board including William D. Coolidge, '96, and Horace R. Byers, '32 (Pergamon Press, 12 volumes, $150).

The Future Metropolis, edited by Professor Lloyd Rodwin of M.I.T., with contributions by Professors Gyorgy Kepes, Kevin A. Lynch, '47, Martin Meyerson, and others (Braziller, $5).

A History of Metallography, by Cyril Stanley Smith, '26, newly appointed Institute Professor at M.I.T. (University of Chicago Press, $8.50).

Miniaturization, edited by H. D. Gilbert, with a concluding chapter, "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom," by Richard P. Feynman, '39-an article that attracted great attention when published in the May, 1960, issue of The Technology Review-(Reinhold, $10).

Plasmas and Controlled Fusion, by David J. Rose, '50, Professor of Nuclear Engineering, and Melville Clark, Jr., '43, Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering (The M.I.T. Press and John Wiley & Sons, Inc., $10.75).

MAN'S VIEW OF THE UNIVERSE, by R.A. Lyttleton; Atlantic-Little, Brown ($3.95). Reviewed by Martin Mann, '41, Senior Editor, Popular Science Monthly, and author of several science books for laymen.

This little book is a collection of concise, encyclopedia-like chapters.  You can breeze though it in an evening and collect the high points of modern knowledge of the heavenly bodies.  Or you can browse for material that is new or intriguing–the chapters are independent enough to be enjoyed whether you have read the previous pages or not.

The organization is logical.  Lyttleton starts with the earth, describing its structure and the way it may have been created.  He then duplicates this formula as he moves out from the earth to the moon, planets, sun, comets, stars, galaxies, and entire universe.

The two chapters on comets may be the most interesting.  Not many readers will realize that there are more of them than of any other celestial object in the universe (250,000 comets for every star).  There is also plenty of "gee-whiz": the incomprehensible  vastness of space (light, traveling six million million miles in a year requires four and a half years to reach us from the star nearest to the sun), and the equally incomprehensible emptiness of space (a dense cloud of interstellar gas contains 1,000 hydrogen atoms per cubic centimeter, a density of 10^-21 grams per cc.).

While brevity is to be applauded–this book is a paragon of that virtue–it does have drawbacks.  Detail is severely limited.  The drawings are apt and useful, the photographs beautiful but routine.

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64    THE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.