This book is based on a movie made by Charles and Ray Eames called 'Powers of Ten: A Film Dealing with the Relative Size of Things in the Universe and the Effect of Adding Another Zero'. The image accompanying this text is from the Dutch edition 'Machten van Tien'. In the film you see a scene of two people doing a picnic in a Chicago park, viewed from above, framed in a square. Then the dimensions increase every time ten times and you make a journey that takes you through the planet Earth, the Solar System, the Milky Way into inter-galactic space. Then the journey turns around and the dimensions become ten times smaller each time and go through the scene of the picnic into the hand of one of the picnicers and then, each time smaller, into a cell, a molecule, an atom, to finally arrive at the building blocks of the atomic nucleus.
When the book came out in 1977 I did not see the movie myself, because it was too expensive to buy. Now that there are YouTube versions, it's a breeze and the movie is easy to find (see below). The book made a big impression on me anyway. In addition to photos of the movie, an explanation is also given of what you see in the images.
In the meantime, updates have been made to this journey ... And maybe more updates will come in the future, as soon as there is evidence of the existence of a cosmos made up of multiple universes, a 'multiverse' and / or as soon as there is evidence for the existence of even smaller building blocks than quarks and leptons, such as 'strings' ...
A similar book has also been written about time: 'Time In Powers Of Ten: Natural Phenomena And Their Timescales', by the Dutch physicists Gerard' t Hooft and Stefan Vandoren (2014).
Below the original movie:
And here is an update:
© 2020 Ton Haarmans | Video: Midday Autumn Cloudlapse. By Sam Blight