Beamtimes And Lifetimes / Edition 1

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Overview

The unique breed of particle physicists constitutes a community of sophisticated mythmakers--explicators of the nature of matter who forever alter our views of space and time. But who are these people? What is their world really like? Sharon Traweek, a bold and original observer of culture, opens the door to this unusual domain and offers us a glimpse into the inner sanctum.
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Editorial Reviews

Science - Susan E. Cozzens
Every sensitive observer of contemporary science and technology will want to read this short, compelling description.
Technology Review - Michael Riordan
A groundbreaking work about how modern science functions. As the only anthropologist studying high-energy physics, Traweek brings a unique and valuable perspective to the study of this curious and important modern community.
Los Angeles Times - Lee Dembart
Traweek gets inside the heads of physicists…She shows their similarities and difference, how their careers are shaped, how they interact with their colleagues, how they do physics and how their ideas about time and space shape their social structure. Traweek has produced a revealing and intimate look at this exclusive world and its mores.
Times Higher Education Supplement - John Mulvey
Traweek's account successfully captures much of the flavour of the high-energy physicist's way of life…They aspire to reveal the immutable, everlasting laws governing the evolution of the universe "outside human space and time" yet the physicist themselves, only brief visitors to this world, are all too human, children of their cultures in their pride and frailties.
Los Angeles Times

Traweek gets inside the heads of physicists…She shows their similarities and difference, how their careers are shaped, how they interact with their colleagues, how they do physics and how their ideas about time and space shape their social structure. Traweek has produced a revealing and intimate look at this exclusive world and its mores.
— Lee Dembart

Science

Every sensitive observer of contemporary science and technology will want to read this short, compelling description.
— Susan E. Cozzens

Technology Review

A groundbreaking work about how modern science functions. As the only anthropologist studying high-energy physics, Traweek brings a unique and valuable perspective to the study of this curious and important modern community.
— Michael Riordan

Times Higher Education Supplement

Traweek's account successfully captures much of the flavour of the high-energy physicist's way of life…They aspire to reveal the immutable, everlasting laws governing the evolution of the universe "outside human space and time" yet the physicist themselves, only brief visitors to this world, are all too human, children of their cultures in their pride and frailties.
— John Mulvey

Los Angeles Times
Traweek gets inside the heads of physicists…She shows their similarities and difference, how their careers are shaped, how they interact with their colleagues, how they do physics and how their ideas about time and space shape their social structure. Traweek has produced a revealing and intimate look at this exclusive world and its mores.
— Lee Dembart
Science
Every sensitive observer of contemporary science and technology will want to read this short, compelling description.
— Susan E. Cozzens
Technology Review
A groundbreaking work about how modern science functions. As the only anthropologist studying high-energy physics, Traweek brings a unique and valuable perspective to the study of this curious and important modern community.
— Michael Riordan
Times Higher Education Supplement
Traweek's account successfully captures much of the flavour of the high-energy physicist's way of life…They aspire to reveal the immutable, everlasting laws governing the evolution of the universe "outside human space and time" yet the physicist themselves, only brief visitors to this world, are all too human, children of their cultures in their pride and frailties.
— John Mulvey
Booknews
The author, who at one point was employed to conduct public tours of the facilities at the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC), is presently Associate Professor of Anthropology at Rice University. She reports here, in language easily accessible to general readers (but with the detailed notes and references required of scholars), the results of protracted "field work" which she did first (to gain objectivity) at KEK (a Japanese counterpart to SLAC) and then at SLAC. Her intent, presuming those two laboratories to be in important respects "typical," is to describe the life-styles and "tribal rites" characteristic of the "world of high-energy physicists" (by which she mainly means experimental high-energy physicists). Of interest at least to anthropologists and to such physicists as like to read about themselves. A better book might have resulted had the author felt less constrained to honor the canonical methodological and conceptual conventions of anthropology, less content to be merely descriptive of the natives; there are identifiable and interesting reasons physicists tend to act in the ways here described. (NW) Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674063488
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 923,951
  • Product dimensions: 0.44 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Traweek is Professor of Anthropology at Rice University.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Prologue: An Anthropologist Studies Physicists

Touring the Site: Powerful Places in the Laboratory

Inventing Machines That Discover Nature: Detectors at SLAC and KEK

Pilgrim's Progress: Male Tales Told During a Life in Physics

Ground States: Distinctions and the Ties That Bind

Buying Time and Taking Space: Negotiations, Collaboration, and Change

Epilogue: Knowledge and Passion

Notes

Index

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