"It was a bank holiday, and Mr Tompkins, the little clerk of a big city bank, slept late and had a leisurely breakfast. Trying to plan his day, he first thought about going to some afternoon movie and, opening the morning paper, turned to the entertainment page. But none of the films looked attractive to him. He detested all this Hollywood stuff, with infinite romances between popular stars.
"If only there were at least one film with some real adventure, something unusual and maybe even fantastic about it. But there was none. Unexpectedly, his eye fell on a little notice in the corner of the page. The local university was announcing a series of lectures on the problems of modern physics, and this afternoon's lecture was to be about Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Well, that might be something!"
So begins the first chapter of "Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland."
George Gamow was perhaps most widely known for his popular writings on science that introduced millions of readers to concepts of relativity and atomic and nuclear physics. These writings have been translated into several dozen languages. In recognition of the global impact of his popular scientific writings, he was awarded the Kalinga Prize by the United Nations in 1956.