Fred Hoyle An observer of the world and a ponderer on its problems ...

By Fred Hoyle

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The Small World of Fred Hoyle 1986

Physicist, astronomer, writer of bestselling science fiction - few people have brought such a diversity of talent to bear upon the world as Professor Sir Fred Hoyle. A personal memoir rather than a record of his outstanding public achievements, this charming autobiography shows how the seeds of this eminent scientist's later success were sown in his youth - in the close-knit community of a small village in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and at Cambridge in the years preceding the outbreak of the Second World War.

Fred Hoyle's father was one of the few machine-gunners to survive the First World War. His mother was a remarkable woman In her own right - a musician of exceptional ability, she nurtured the talents of her gifted only son in an unobtrusively liberal way, neither pushing him into over-achievement, nor stifling his development with any preconceived notions about how children should be raised.

She did not fret when Fred showed a marked dislike of primary education and preferred to play truant, exploring his neighbourhood, observing the workings of the lock gates on nearby canals and the machinery of local cloth mills, and beginning to unlock the secrets of chemistry in the scullery at home sometimes to explosive effect. As a result, by the time he came to concentrate on academic achievement and won a scholarship to Cambridge, Fred Hoyle already had a wide-ranging and enquiring mind that would bring him rich rewards in later life. At Cambridge, the young scientist developed his love of fell walking and music, as well as researching with some of the most advanced and influential scientists of his day at the famous Cavendish Laboratory. His studies were curtailed by the outbreak of war, but this delightful book ends on a happy note - with his marriage to Barbara, a Cambridge student, and their idyllic honeymoon in the Lake District, which is where they now live.

As well as providing a lyrical portrait of a Yorkshire boyhood and an affectionate description of Cambridge in the thirties, The Small World of Fred Hoyle offers many rare insights into the making of a great scientific mind. Fresh and original as ever, this memoir perfectly complements the novels and scientific writings that have won Fred Hoyle such popularity and esteem across the world.

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Home is Where the Wind Blows 1994

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 characterise 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.