Some topics covered in ﾓA Short History of Nearly Everythingﾔ are the beginning of the universe, the development of systems of weights and measures, Einstein and the Atomic Age, volcanology, the Earthﾒs biosphere and evolution.
Published in 2003, ﾓA Short History of Nearly Everythingﾔ is author Bill Brysonﾒs personal exploration of science, written, by his own admission, after he realized that he knew almost nothing at all about Earth. He wrote the book in order to understand how the planet formed and how its cosmology works.
The book opens with ﾓHow to Build a Universe,ﾔ Brysonﾒs explanation of the science of Earthﾒs origins. His contention is that by understanding how atoms work, readers can also understand the Big Bang that created the universe. Understanding that leads to understanding how Earthﾒs solar system formed and how Earthﾒs unique cosmology was created. The book includes discussions of the composition of the Earth as well as how carbon-based life developed and began evolving.
Once sentient life developed and began to ask questions, human intelligence developed ways to measure the physical universe. Bryson addresses the evolution of measuring in ﾓThe Measure of Things,ﾔ a catalog of pioneering scientistsﾒ attempts to prove what they learned about nature. Once both very large and small objects and forces could be measured, then it became possible to talk about space and atomic energy scientifically. In ﾓEinsteinﾒs Universe,ﾔ Bryson explores quantum physics, the study of subatomic particles, which in part attempts to prove the origins of Earth and the universe.