Atomic Histories: A Walk Through the Beginnings of the Atomic Age with One of its True Pioneers

Overview

Rudolf Peierls offers an enlightening collection of essays, book reviews, and candid profiles of some of the most famous scientists of the 20th century, including his mentor Wolfgang Pauli, the controversial Werner Heisenberg, the young J. Robert Oppenheimer, and personal friends Niels Bohr and Max Planck. Many of the essays and reviews are concerned with the nuclear arms race, which Dr. Peierls consistently opposed.
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Overview

Rudolf Peierls offers an enlightening collection of essays, book reviews, and candid profiles of some of the most famous scientists of the 20th century, including his mentor Wolfgang Pauli, the controversial Werner Heisenberg, the young J. Robert Oppenheimer, and personal friends Niels Bohr and Max Planck. Many of the essays and reviews are concerned with the nuclear arms race, which Dr. Peierls consistently opposed.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A collection completed just before British physicist Peierls (1907-95) died, presenting his non-technical writings, most of it previously published. He reminisces about many of his famous friends and colleagues, including Pauli, Bohr, Dirac, Heisenberg, Oppenheimer, and Frisch. He also voices his concerns about nuclear power and the arms races and recalls his contribution to the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos. A final section contains book reviews and essays on a variety of subjects. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563962431
  • Publisher: American Institute of Physics
  • Publication date: 12/1/1996
  • Series: Masters of Modern Physics Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 378
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Series
Editor's Note
Preface
Rudi Peierls - An Appreciation
1 A Physicist's Portrait Gallery
Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, 1900-1958 3
Professor H. W. B. Skinner, F.R.S., 1900-1960 18
An Appreciation of Niels Bohr 21
Truth and Clarity 30
Rutherford and Bohr 33
J. Robert Oppenheimer, 1904-1967 46
The Growing Pains of Robert Oppenheimer 56
Heisenberg's Recollections 61
Werner Heisenberg, 1901-1976 67
A Heisenberg Biography 99
The Bomb That Never Was 108
A Physicist Who Enjoys It 117
Otto Robert Frisch, 1904-1979 122
Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, 1902-1984 141
Dirac 144
Dirac's Way 146
Physics and Homi Bhabha 149
Two Mathematicians 151
Physicist Extraordinary 159
Landau in the 1930s 162
William George Penney, 1909-1991 166
Conservative Revolutionary 168
Recollections of James Chadwick 174
Bell's Early Work 182
II Atomic Energy and Arms Control
The Frisch-Peierls Memorandum 187
Defence Against the Atom Bomb 195
Atomic Energy: Threat and Promise 198
Britain in the Atomic Age 210
Limited Nuclear War? 221
Agonising Misappraisal 223
Reflections of a British Participant 228
Energy from Heaven and Earth 233
Memories of the Secret City 237
Counting Weapons 240
Fourty Years into the Atomic Age 246
The Case for the Defence 254
The Making of the Atomic Bomb 257
Nuclear Weapons: How Did We Get There, and Where Are We Going? 264
Atomic History 269
"In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer" 272
"Security" Troubles 282
III Physics, Politics, and Pleasures
The Concept of the Positron 289
The Scientist in Public Affairs: Between the Ivory Tower and the Arena 295
Born-Einstein Correspondence 300
Is There a Crisis in Science? 304
The Jew in Twentieth-Century Physics 312
From Winchester to Orion 322
The Physicists 327
Fact and Fancy in Physics 332
What Einstein Did 338
Reminiscences of Cambridge in the Thirties 345
Struggling with Quantum Mechanics 351
Kapitza Detained 353
Does Physics Ever Come to an End? 355
Microwave Cooking for "Foxes" 360
First Encounter with English Food 362
Acknowledgments 365
Subject Index 373
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