Atoms in the Family

Author: Laura Fermi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022614965X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In this absorbing account of life with the great atomic scientist Enrico Fermi, Laura Fermi tells the story of their emigration to the United States in the 1930s—part of the widespread movement of scientists from Europe to the New World that was so important to the development of the first atomic bomb. Combining intellectual biography and social history, Laura Fermi traces her husband's career from his childhood, when he taught himself physics, through his rise in the Italian university system concurrent with the rise of fascism, to his receipt of the Nobel Prize, which offered a perfect opportunity to flee the country without arousing official suspicion, and his odyssey to the United States.

Uranium Wars

Author: Amir D. Aczel
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9780230100992
Format: PDF, ePub
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Called "one of our best science popularizers" by Publishers Weekly, Amir Aczel now tackles the cause of one of last century's most destructive events -- the scientific discovery of nuclear power. Drawing on his rich storytelling skills, Aczel presents the fascinating and suspenseful story of the scientists who first uncovered the potential of uranium. Uranium Wars takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of 1920s Europe where the scientific elite of the day were embroiled in a fierce rivalry to achieve nuclear fission. Leading us to an understanding of both the processes that take place inside a uranium nucleus and its destructive power are the brilliant men and women at the heart of the race -- mammoth figures such as Marie Curie, Enrico Fermi, and Lise Meitner. Enmeshed in the story of scientific intrigue is the complex and ongoing story of uranium itself, which Aczel presents as a dynamic, dual natured force, capable of providing both abundant usable energy and generating unfathomable destructive power. From the nuclear programs in the Middle East to plans for nuclear reactors at home, the element uranium is never far from today's headlines.

The Lost Notebook of ENRICO FERMI

Author: Francesco Guerra
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319692542
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book tells the curious story of an unexpected finding that sheds light on a crucial moment in the development of physics: the discovery of artificial radioactivity induced by neutrons. The finding in question is a notebook, clearly written in Fermi's handwriting, which records the frenzied days and nights that Fermi spent experimenting alone, driven by his theoretical ideas on beta decay. The notebook was found by the authors while browsing through documents left by Oscar D'Agostino, the chemist among Fermi's group. From Fermi's notes, they reconstruct with skill and expertise the detailed timeline of the critical days leading up to his vital discovery. While much is already known about the road that led Fermi to his important result, this is the first time that it has been possible to reconstruct precisely when and how the initial evidence of neutron-induced decay was obtained. In relating this fascinating story, the book will be of great interest not only to those with a passion for the history of science but also to a wider audience.

Neutrino Hunters

Author: Ray Jayawardhana
Publisher: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374709424
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Winner of the Canadian Science Writers Association 2014 Science in Society Book Award A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Science Book of the Season A Book to Watch Out For, The New Yorker's Page-Turner Blog A Los Angeles Times Gift Guide Selection One of the Best Physics Books of 2013, Cocktail Party Physics Blog, Scientific American Detective thriller meets astrophysics in this adventure into neutrinos and the scientists who pursue them The incredibly small bits of matter we call neutrinos may hold the secret to why antimatter is so rare, how mighty stars explode as supernovae, what the universe was like just seconds after the big bang, and even the inner workings of our own planet. For more than eighty years, adventurous minds from around the world have been chasing these ghostly particles, trillions of which pass through our bodies every second. Extremely elusive and difficult to pin down, neutrinos are not unlike the brilliant and eccentric scientists who doggedly pursue them. In Neutrino Hunters, the renowned astrophysicist and award-winning writer Ray Jayawardhana takes us on a thrilling journey into the shadowy world of neutrinos and the colorful lives of those who seek them. Demystifying particle science along the way, Jayawardhana tells a detective story with cosmic implications—interweaving tales of the sharp-witted theorist Wolfgang Pauli; the troubled genius Ettore Majorana; the harbinger of the atomic age Enrico Fermi; the notorious Cold War defector Bruno Pontecorvo; and the dynamic dream team of Marie and Pierre Curie. Then there are the scientists of today who have caught the neutrino bug, and whose experimental investigations stretch from a working nickel mine in Ontario to a long tunnel through a mountain in central Italy, from a nuclear waste site in New Mexico to a bay on the South China Sea, and from Olympic-size pools deep underground to a gigantic cube of Antarctic ice—called, naturally, IceCube. As Jayawardhana recounts a captivating saga of scientific discovery and celebrates a glorious human quest, he reveals why the next decade of neutrino hunting will redefine how we think about physics, cosmology, and our lives on Earth.

Great Physicists

Author: William H. Cropper
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199832088
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Here is a lively history of modern physics, as seen through the lives of thirty men and women from the pantheon of physics. William H. Cropper vividly portrays the life and accomplishments of such giants as Galileo and Isaac Newton, Marie Curie and Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, right up to contemporary figures such as Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann, and Stephen Hawking. We meet scientists--all geniuses--who could be gregarious, aloof, unpretentious, friendly, dogged, imperious, generous to colleagues or contentious rivals. As Cropper captures their personalities, he also offers vivid portraits of their great moments of discovery, their bitter feuds, their relations with family and friends, their religious beliefs and education. In addition, Cropper has grouped these biographies by discipline--mechanics, thermodynamics, particle physics, and others--each section beginning with a historical overview. Thus in the section on quantum mechanics, readers can see how the work of Max Planck influenced Niels Bohr, and how Bohr in turn influenced Werner Heisenberg. Our understanding of the physical world has increased dramatically in the last four centuries. With Great Physicists, readers can retrace the footsteps of the men and women who led the way.

The First War of Physics The Secret History of the Atom Bomb 1939 1949

Author: Jim Baggott
Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 1605987697
Format: PDF
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An epic story of science and technology at the very limits of human understanding: the monumental race to build the first atomic weapons. Rich in personality, action, confrontation, and deception, The First War of Physics is the first fully realized popular account of the race to build humankind's most destructive weapon. The book draws on declassified material, such as MI6's Farm Hall transcripts, coded soviet messages cracked by American cryptographers in the Venona project, and interpretations by Russian scholars of documents from the soviet archives. Jim Baggott weaves these threads into a dramatic narrative that spans ten historic years, from the discovery of nuclear fission in 1939 to the aftermath of 'Joe-1,’ August 1949's first Soviet atomic bomb test. Why did physicists persist in developing the atomic bomb, despite the devastation that it could bring? Why, despite having a clear head start, did Hitler's physicists fail? Could the soviets have developed the bomb without spies like Klaus Fuchs or Donald Maclean? Did the allies really plot to assassinate a key member of the German bomb program? Did the physicists knowingly inspire the arms race? The First War of Physics is a grand and frightening story of scientific ambition, intrigue, and genius: a tale barely believable as fiction, which just happens to be historical fact.

Scientific Research In World War II

Author: Ad Maas
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135784574
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book seeks to explore how scientists across a number of countries managed to cope with the challenging circumstances created by World War II. No scientist remained unaffected by the outbreak of WWII. As the book shows, there were basically two opposite ways in which the war encroached on the life of a scientific researcher. In some cases, the outbreak of the war led to engagement in research in support of a war-waging country; in the other extreme, it resulted in their marginalisation. The book, starting with the most marginalised scientist and ending with those fully engaged in the war-effort, covers the whole spectrum of enormously varying scientific fates. Distinctive features of the volume include: a focus on the experiences of ‘ordinary’ scientists, rather than on figureheads like Oppenheimer or Otto Hahn contributions from a range of renowned academics including Mark Walker, an authority in the field of science in World War II a detailed study of the Netherlands during the German Occupation This richly illustrated volume will be of major interest to researchers of the history of science, World War II, and Modern History.

Prematurity in Scientific Discovery

Author: Ernest B. Hook
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520231061
Format: PDF, ePub
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"In preparing this remarkable book, Ernest Hook persuaded an eminent group of scientists, historians, sociologists and philosophers to focus on the problem: why are some discoveries rejected at a particular time but later seen to be valid? The interaction of these experts did not produce agreement on 'prematurity' in science but something more valuable: a collection of fascinating papers, many of them based on new research and analysis, which sometimes forced the author to revise a previously-held opinion. The book should be enthusiastically welcomed by all readers who are interested in how science works."—Stephen G. Brush, co-author of Physics, The Human Adventure: From copernicus to Einstein and Beyond "Prematurity and Scientific Discovery contains interesting and insightful papers by numerous well-known scientists and scholars. It will be of wide interest, not only to science studies scholars but also to working scientists and to science-literate general readers."—Thomas Nickles, editor of Scientific Discovery, Logic, and Rationality

Women Scientists

Author: Magdolna Hargittai
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199360006
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Magdolna Hargittai uses over fifteen years of in-depth conversation with female physicists, chemists, biomedical researchers, and other scientists to form cohesive ideas on the state of the modern female scientist. The compilation, based on sixty conversations, examines unique challenges that women with serious scientific aspirations face. In addition to addressing challenges and the unjustifiable underrepresentation of women at the higher levels of academia, Hargittai takes a balanced approach by discussing how some of the most successful of these women have managed to obtain professional success and personal happiness. Women Scientists portrays scientists from different backgrounds, different geographical regions-eighteen countries from four continents-and leaders from a variety of professional backgrounds, including eight Nobel laureate women. The book is divided into three sections: "Husband and Wife Teams," "Women at the Top," and "In High Positions." Hargittai uses her own experience to introduce her first section on the lives of prominent scientific couples and addresses the joys and disadvantages of husband and wife teams. The second section is a comprehensive exploration of the struggles and triumphs of "women at the top." Hargittai introduces women from countries where relatively little has been written about female scientists. The final section focuses on women scientists involved with science administration and leadership. Hargittai's biographical sketches role models for budding scientists. The book is a much needed account of female presence and influence in the sciences.

Longing for the Bomb

Author: Lindsey A. Freeman
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469622386
Format: PDF
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Longing for the Bomb traces the unusual story of the first atomic city and the emergence of American nuclear culture. Tucked into the folds of Appalachia and kept off all commercial maps, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was created for the Manhattan Project by the U.S. government in the 1940s. Its workers labored at a breakneck pace, most aware only that their jobs were helping "the war effort." The city has experienced the entire lifespan of the Atomic Age, from the fevered wartime enrichment of the uranium that fueled Little Boy, through a brief period of atomic utopianism after World War II when it began to brand itself as "The Atomic City," to the anxieties of the Cold War, to the contradictory contemporary period of nuclear unease and atomic nostalgia. Oak Ridge's story deepens our understanding of the complex relationship between America and its bombs. Blending historiography and ethnography, Lindsey Freeman shows how a once-secret city is visibly caught in an uncertain present, no longer what it was historically yet still clinging to the hope of a nuclear future. It is a place where history, memory, and myth compete and conspire to tell the story of America's atomic past and to explain the nuclear present.