Life of an atom told by itself

The history of the universe explained to children

Product: Book

Trim size in cm: 14x22

Pages: 184 with colourful pages illustrations

ISBN: 978-88-6137-582-6

Publication date: 01/03/2010


mondo   Rights sold to: South Corea, Turkey, China Mainland

This is the history of all histories, the story of how it all began from the cold and infinite space without matter and life to the present universe crawling with planets, stars and galaxies, and finally to life on earth (whether the result of whim or chance). It would have been difficult to have a humble human being tell a story long 14 billion years!  Human beings can be madly partisan and partial. Who better than an atom could carry out the task—atoms were there at the beginning and will be there at the end. Atoms don’t get carried away by their emotions and they always follow the laws of physics. Pius Simplicius, a hydrogen atom, recounts the most important moments of its life from the Big Bang’s first hot, dense, chaotic moments to the bonds with other atoms. The autobiography of this very peculiar character will fascinate inquisitive children and adults who haven’t lost the desire to learn together with their kids.

- Presentation (Margherita Hack)
- Old but happy
- The craziest soup
- The meeting with Elio Burbero
- A bound proposal
- When I went into business
- Living together
- Impossible
- How crowded is the world
- I’ll try again
- On a star
- Building a globe
- Love letters
- Dislikes
- Here we are
- A nice
- No mercy
- The dive
- Earth party
- The flood
- In the soup
- Life!
- The depths monster
- Evaporation
- An angry one
- Crazy continents
- The survival of the fittest
- In a plant
- The Triceratops
- Almost a bird
- The snow
- Not yet a horse
- Catastrophe
- Memories
- Strange guys
- A memory and then the sky
- Conclusion


The history of the universe explained to children

The story of all stories, for curious children who want to learn while having fun.

Introduced by the words of the Italian astronomer Margherita Hack and enriched with the illustrations by Noémie Risch-Vannier, Life of an atom told by itself is the amusing autobiography of Pio Simplicius, a hydrogen atom that accompanies children on a discovery of his life and his universe.

«This booklet will intrigue its young readers, make them familiar with the concept of particles, atoms, electrons and it will thrill them so that as they grow, they will want to learn more. It is a way to bring children closer to science starting when they begin to read, and to make them understand how fun it can be to know about the world around us ». (Margherita Hack)

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«Hello! I am Pio Simplicius, a hydrogen atom, and what I have written for you is the most incredible of all the stories I know: the story of my life. On the other hand, who knows better than an atom about all the beautiful things that are in nature? When I was born 13,770 billion years ago, I wasn't really an atom, I was just a proton.  A million years passed before I was able to catch an electron and become an atom. Since then, a lot of things have happened: I joined a star, I was thrown into frozen and half-empty space and finally I landed on Earth. Here, together with a friend of mine, another bigger atom - an oxygen atom - I formed water, until I evaporated into the atmosphere from where I could observe the continents separating. Back on Earth again, and through various vicissitudes, I was part of plants and animals, including a dinosaur! It is really impossible to summarize everything that has happened to me to date and my many close links with other atoms, so I wrote an autobiography. And if you want to discover new and exciting secrets of nature, I recommend you read it! ».

Read some chapters from the book, which have been translated into English to facilitate your evaluation:


Luca Sciortino is a philosopher, writer and scientific popularizer. Trained as a physicist, he received his doctorate in philosophy of science from the Open University (UK).  He was a research fellow at the University of Leeds (UK) and a fellow Armenise-Harvard science writer at Harvard University (USA). He has won writing awards and published research articles in international philosophy journals such as "Erkenntnis" and the "International Journal in Philosophy of Science".