Enrico Fermi: And the Revolutions in Modern Physics

Overview


In 1938, at the age of 37, Enrico Fermi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. That same year he emigrated from Italy to the United States and, in the course of his experiments, discovered nuclear fission--a process which forms the basis of nuclear power and atomic bombs. Soon the brilliant physicist was involved in the top secret race to produce the deadliest weapon on Earth. He created the first self-sustaining chain reaction, devised new methods for purifying plutonium, and eventually participated in the ...
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Overview


In 1938, at the age of 37, Enrico Fermi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. That same year he emigrated from Italy to the United States and, in the course of his experiments, discovered nuclear fission--a process which forms the basis of nuclear power and atomic bombs. Soon the brilliant physicist was involved in the top secret race to produce the deadliest weapon on Earth. He created the first self-sustaining chain reaction, devised new methods for purifying plutonium, and eventually participated in the first atomic test. This compelling biography traces Fermi's education in Italy, his meteoric career in the scientific world, his escape from fascism to America, and the ingenious experiments he devised and conducted at the University of Rome, Columbia University, and the Los Alamos laboratory. The book also presents a mini-course in quantum and nuclear physics in an accessible, fast-paced narrative that invokes all the dizzying passion of Fermis brilliant discoveries.

Oxford Portraits in Science is an on-going series of scientific biographies for young adults. Written by top scholars and writers, each biography examines the personality of its subject as well as the thought process leading to his or her discoveries. These illustrated biographies combine accessible technical information with compelling personal stories to portray the scientists whose work has shaped our understanding of the natural world.

A biography of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist whose work led to the discovery of nuclear fission, the basis of nuclear power and the atom bomb.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A balanced discussion of the scientist's life and work... particularly informative. Full-page sidebars explain principles related to the physicist's research... Captioned black and white photographs of Fermi, his family, and his colleagues add interest. This book will be useful for reports... challenging reading... extensive list for further reading."--School Library Journal

"Personal anecdotes mix well with science to provide a well-rounded picture of Fermi and his friends and associates. Fermi comes across as a brilliant, warm, and approachable person. That was his strength and is the book's strength as well. The black-and-white illustrations are crisp, appropriate, and enhance the text. An excellent short bibliography and a useful index make the book more valuable for its intended audience."--Science Books & Films

School Library Journal
Gr 8 UpA balanced discussion of the scientists life and work. Coopers coverage of Fermis childhood and education, the political situation in Italy that led him to immigrate to the United States in 1939, and his work on the atomic bomb are particularly informative. Full-page sidebars explain principles related to the physicists research: Fermi-Dirac statistics, Heisenbergs matrix mechanics, and the production of new radioactive elements by neutron bombardment. Captioned black-and-white photographs of Fermi, his family, and his colleagues add interest. This book will be useful for reports, but the complexity of the principles of quantum and nuclear physics makes for challenging reading. The extensive list for further reading includes biographies of Fermi, books on both scientific and political aspects of the atomic-bomb project, and information on tours of laboratories involved in nuclear research today. Ted Gottfrieds Enrico Fermi (Facts On File, 1992; o.p.) covers much of the same ground.Carolyn Angus, The Claremont Graduate School, CA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195117622
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Series: Oxford Portraits in Science Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 120
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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