A Brilliant Darkness

Author: Joao Magueijo
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465020089
Format: PDF, Kindle
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On the night of March 26, 1938, nuclear physicist Ettore Majorana boarded a ship, cash and passport in hand. He was never seen again. In A Brilliant Darkness, theoretical physicist João Magueijo tells the story of Majorana and his research group, “the Via Panisperna Boys,” who discovered atomic fission in 1934. As Majorana, the most brilliant of the group, began to realize the implications of what they had found, he became increasingly unstable. Did he commit suicide that night in Palermo? Was he kidnapped? Did he stage his own death? A Brilliant Darkness chronicles Majorana's invaluable contributions to science—including his major discovery, the Majorana neutrino—while revealing the truth behind his fascinating and tragic life.

The Physics of Ettore Majorana

Author: Salvatore Esposito
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107044022
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Unique volume exploring Majorana's work, for graduate students and researchers interested in the history of science.

John Stewart Bell and Twentieth Century Physics

Author: Andrew Whitaker
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191060690
Format: PDF, ePub
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John Stewart Bell (1928-1990) was one of the most important figures in twentieth-century physics, famous for his work on the fundamental aspects of the century's most important theory, quantum mechanics. While the debate over quantum theory between the supremely famous physicists, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, appeared to have become sterile in the 1930s, Bell was able to revive it and to make crucial advances - Bell's Theorem or Bell's Inequalities. He was able to demonstrate a contradiction between quantum theory and essential elements of pre-quantum theory - locality and causality. The book gives a non-mathematical account of Bell's relatively impoverished upbringing in Belfast and his education. It describes his major contributions to quantum theory, but also his important work in the physics of accelerators, and nuclear and elementary particle physics.

Ettore Majorana

Author: Giuseppe-Franco Bassani
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3540480951
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A century after his birth, Ettore Majorana is rightfully considered one of the greatest physicists of the first half of the last century. With this volume the Italian Physical Society presents a collection of Ettore Majorana's scientific papers in the original language and, for the first time -- with three exceptions -- translated into English. Each paper is then followed by a comment in English of an expert in the scientific field.

A Mind Always in Motion

Author: Emilio Segrè
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520076273
Format: PDF
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The renowned physicist Emilio Segr� (1905-1989) left his memoirs to be published posthumously because, he said, "I tell the truth the way it was and not the way many of my colleagues wish it had been." This compelling autobiography offers a personal account of his fascinating life as well as candid portraits of some of this century's most important scientists, such as Enrico Fermi, E. O. Lawrence, and Robert Oppenheimer. Born in Italy to a well-to-do Jewish family, Segr� showed early signs of scientific genius--at age seven he began a notebook of physics experiments. He became Fermi's first graduate student in 1928 and contributed to the discovery of slow neutrons, and later was appointed director of the physics laboratory at the University of Palermo. While visiting the Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley in 1938, he learned that he had been dismissed from his Palermo post by Mussolini's Fascist regime. Lawrence then hired him to work on the cyclotron at Berkeley with Luis Alvarez, Edwin McMillan, and Glenn Seaborg. Segr� was one of the first to join Oppenheimer at Los Alamos, where he became a group leader on the Manhattan Project. His account of that mysterious enclave of scientists, all working feverishly to develop the atomic bomb before the Nazis did, includes his description of the first explosion at Alamogordo. Segr� writes movingly of the personal devastation wrought by the Nazis, his struggles with fellow scientists, and his love of nature. His book offers an intimate glimpse into a bygone era as well as a unique perspective on some of the most important scientific developments of this century.

Plutonium

Author: Jeremy Bernstein
Publisher: Joseph Henry Press
ISBN: 9780309107730
Format: PDF, Kindle
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When plutonium was first manufactured at Berkeley in the spring of 1941, there was so little of it that it was not visible to the naked eye. It took a year to accumulate enough so that one could actually see it. Now there is so much that we don’t know what to do to get rid of it. We have created a monster. The history of plutonium is as strange as the element itself. When scientists began looking for it, they did so simply in the spirit of inquiry, not certain whether there were still spots to fill on the periodic table. But the discovery of fission made it clear that this still-hypothetical element would be more than just a scientific curiosity—it could be a powerful nuclear weapon. As it turned out, it is good for almost nothing else. Plutonium’s nuclear potential put it at the heart of the World War II arms race—the Russians found out about it through espionage, the Germans through independent research, and everybody wanted some. Now, nearly everyone has some—the United States alone has about 47 metric tons—but it has almost no uses besides warmongering. How did the product of scientific curiosity become such a dangerous burden? In his new history of this complex and dangerous element, noted physicist Jeremy Bernstein describes the steps that were taken to transform plutonium from a laboratory novelty into the nuclear weapon that destroyed Nagasaki. This is the first book to weave together the many strands of plutonium’s story, explaining not only the science but the people involved.

Faster Than The Speed Of Light

Author: Joao Magueijo
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 144813403X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The idea that the speed of light is a constant - at 186,000 miles per second - is one of the few scientific facts that almost everyone knows. That constant - c- also appears in the most famous of all scientific equations: e=mc2- Yet over the last few years, a small group of highly reputable young physicists have suggested that the central dogma of modern physics may not be an absolute truth - light may have moved faster in the earlier life of the universe, it may still be moving at different speeds elsewhere today. In telling the story of this heresy, and its gradual journey towards acceptance, Joao Magueijo writes as one of the three central figures in the story, introducing the reader to modern cosmology, to the implications of VSL (variable speed of light) and to the world of physicists. The initial rejection of Magueijo's ideas is beginning to give way to a reluctant acceptance that the young men may have a point - only the next few years will tell the final fate of this 'dangerous' idea.

Mesa of Sorrows A History of the Awatovi Massacre

Author: James F. Brooks
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393292533
Format: PDF, Docs
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A scrupulously researched investigation of the mysterious massacre of Hopi Indians at Awat'ovi, and the event's echo through American history. The Hopi community of Awat’ovi existed peacefully on Arizona’s Antelope Mesa for generations until one bleak morning in the fall of 1700—raiders from nearby Hopi villages descended on Awat’ovi, slaughtering their neighboring men, women, and children. While little of the pueblo itself remains, five centuries of history lie beneath the low rises of sandstone masonry, and theories about the events of that night are as persistent as the desert winds. The easternmost town on Antelope Mesa, Awat’ovi was renowned for its martial strength, and had been the gateway to the entire Hopi landscape for centuries. Why did kinsmen target it for destruction? Drawing on oral traditions, archival accounts, and extensive archaeological research, James Brooks unravels the story and its significance. Mesa of Sorrows follows the pattern of an archaeological expedition, uncovering layer after layer of evidence and theories. Brooks questions their reliability and shows how interpretations were shaped by academic, religious and tribal politics. Piecing together three centuries of investigation, he offers insight into why some were spared—women, mostly, and taken captive—and others sacrificed. He weighs theories that the attack was in retribution for Awat’ovi having welcomed Franciscan missionaries or for the residents’ practice of sorcery, and argues that a perfect storm of internal and external crises revitalized an ancient cycle of ritual bloodshed and purification. A haunting account of a shocking massacre, Mesa of Sorrows is a probing exploration of how societies confront painful histories, and why communal violence still plagues us today.

The Educated Brain

Author: Antonio M. Battro
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139470337
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The emerging field of neuroeducation, concerned with the interaction between mind, brain and education, has proved revolutionary in educational research, introducing concepts, methods, and technologies into many advanced institutions around the world. The Educated Brain presents a broad overview of the major topics in this new discipline: Part I examines the historical and epistemological issues related to the mind/brain problem and the scope of neuroeducation; Part II provides a view of basic brain research in education and use of imaging techniques, and the study of brain and cognitive development; and Part III is dedicated to the neural foundations of language and reading in different cultures, and the acquisition of basic mathematical concepts. With contributions from leading researchers in the field, this book features the most recent and advanced research in cognitive neurosciences.