Publication year: 2010
Format: Print, a Finnish translation
Page count: 218
The translation’s publisher: h.f.ullann
Translator: Jari Sahlgren, Vanessa Sjögren
Publication year of the translation: 2010

The book has been divided into four parts: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Geology. They have been further divided into several parts by chronological era. Because each era get relatively short page count, there’s no space to go in depth so we only get a short overview of each subject. The book has also plenty of pictures which are pretty but which further reduce the word count.

Physics has four parts: Ancient Cultures, From Middle Ages to Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, and Modern Physics.

Chemistry begins with a few pages about alchemy and then moves to 1808 with John Dalton in the second part. It has been further divided into “the Great Leap” starting with plastic and fibers, and “A century of Chemistry” starting with polymers.

Biology starts from the Ancient times. The next chapter is from Middle Ages to the start of the Modern Era, and concludes with Modern Biology.

Like Chemistry, Geology is mostly centered on the modern times. The first part is about measuring the Earth. It starts with a few pages about what people knew in Ancient times and about theories a few men had about the size of Earth and what it was made of. Then it continues to Isaac Newton’s theories (and how they were proven correct) and on to modern science about the changes in the planet. The next part is about the Building blocks which starts again with what people in Ancient and Middle Ages thought about the origin of Earth and the universe. The modern part starts again rather quickly and tells about Earth’s temperature, core, and shell. The next part expands on that with the formations of mountains and seas. The last part is Fragile Planet which is about how we strip mine the planet and what is being done to protect it.

I was a bit surprised when I realized that I already knew most of the stuff about the Ancient Culture Physics and Biology but that probably comes from reading so much history. Although, both Ancient world Physics and Biology are centered on Greek and Roman philosophers and early scientists. Physics has a page devoted to the theory and study of Physics in the ancient India and China which I found fascinating since I don’t know much about them. Most of the second part of the Physics part of the book centers on writings done in the Islamic countries.

The book focuses on modern, European times and it’s a good overview. However, the theories are explained only briefly which can be a problem. The Chemistry part especially went just over my head. Of course, there are plenty of further reading material.