The Martians of Science: Five Physicists Who Changed the Twentieth Century

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About the Author:
Istvan Hargittai is Professor of Chemistry and head of the George A. Olah Ph.D. School at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He is a member of the Hungarian and Norwegian Academies of Sciences and the Academia Europaea. He holds a Ph.D., D.Sc., and honorary doctorates from Moscow University, the University of North Carolina, and the Russian Academy of Sciences

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What a story! Five brilliant Jewish-Hungarian kids burst out of the great secondary schools of Hungary, learn their physics in Germany, and give their all to America in WWII István Hargittai, a Jewish Hungarian like his heroes, tells the remarkable story of five immigrants of vastly different politics, without whom American science (and the world) would not be the same."—Roald Hoffman, Nobel Laureate, Ithaca, New York

"István Hargittai traces the turbulent lives of five uniquely creative scientists who survived, succeeded, and changed the world."—Arno Penzias, Nobel laureate, San Francisco

"This is an important story that needs to be told, and Hargittai tells it well."—Nature

"Hargittai's book is subtle and thoughtful."—Physics Today

Charlie Munger of WESCO Financial Corporation recommended this book at the 2007 WESCO Annual Meeting: "It is a hell of a book about five Hungarian physicists driven to the U.S. by Hitler, who contributed much to science here. I can't recommend it enough."—Charlie Munger

"fascinating and informative"—Chemical Heritage

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195178456
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/27/2006
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

István Hargittai is Professor of Chemistry and head of the George A. Olah PhD School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and has lectured in some 30 countries and taught at several universities in the United States. His books include the Candid Science series of his collected interviews with famous scientists, The Road to Stockholm, and Our Lives.

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Table of Contents

List of Plates
1. Arrival and Departure
1.1. Family Origin and Early Childhood
1.2. Gem and Less: Gimnázium Experience
1.3. Background in Hungary and First Transition
2. Turning Points in Germany
3. Second Transition: to the United States
4. "To Protect and Defend": World War II
5. To Deter: Cold War
6. Being Martian
6.1. Comparisons
6.1.1. Szilard and Fermi
6.1.2. Teller and Oppenheimer
6.2. Traits
6.3. Religion and Jewishness
6.4. Being Hungarian
Greatness in Science
Had They Lived
Appendix: Quotable Martians
Select Bibliography
Annotated Name Index
Subject Index

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