Redirecting Science: Niels Bohr, Philanthropy, and the Rise of Nuclear Physics

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Overview

This volume is an important study for understanding the complex interconnections between basic science and its sources of economic support in the period between the two world wars. The focus of the study is on the Institute for Theoretical Physics (later renamed the Niels Bohr Institute) at Copenhagen University, and the role of its director, the eminent Danish physicist, Niels Bohr, in the funding and administration of the Institute. Under Bohr's direction, the Copenhagen Institute was a central workplace in the development and the formulation of quantum mechanics in the 1920s and later became an important center for nuclear research in the 1930s. Dr. Aaserud brings together the scholarhip on the internal origins and development of nuclear physics in the 1930s with descriptions of the concurrent changes in private support for international basic science, particularly as represented by Rockefeller Foundation philanthropy. In the process, the book places the emergence of nuclear physics in a larger historical context. This book will appeal to historians of science, physicists, and advanced students in these areas.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...an invaluable source of information and of documents that prove that Bohr was not only an inspiring physicist and philosopher but also a cunning negotiator who knew how to make use of his reputation for the benefits of science." Science

"Aaserud is therefore to be congratulated for his original, clear—indeed, didactic—work of scholarship and enlightenment, vivified by some 40 photographs, of which the great majority are refreshingly new to the history of physics literature." Paul Forman, Physics Today

"Although Redirecting Science may be of more direct interest to scholars of contemporary physics history, it is so agreeably written that it may find a wider audience." Jeremy Bernstein, Nature

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521530675
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/30/2003
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Prologue: the Copenhagen spirit; 1. Science policy and fund raising until 1934; 2. The Copenhagen spirit at work, late 1920s to mid 1930s; 3. The refugee problem, 1933 to 1935; 4. Experimental biology, late 1920s to 1935; 5. Consolidation of the transition, 1935 to 1940; Conclusion; Notes; Index.

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