This compelling collection of facts, theories, and general scientific information is presented in clear, jargon-free language for all non-scientists who want to keep abreast of the latest developments. Two chapters that open the book explain the very small and the very large, starting with the structure of atoms and then going on to describe the composition of the solar system, stars, galaxies and black holes. Author Robert Dinwiddie next describes modern science's understanding of the Big Bang, which scientists believe first brought all of physical reality into existence. A chapter on the planet Earth discusses plate tectonics, continental drift, volcanoes, earthquakes, and extreme weather systems. An overview of the Earth's environment explains the hazards of pollution, the challenges posed by global warming, and the efforts to reverse those patterns by developing renewable energy sources and alternative fuels.