The Second Creation; Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-Century Physics

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A perfect model of ``free enterprise'' at work is the competitive-cooperative pursuit of knowledge about nature's fundamental particles by our century's physicists. Columbia University science historian Crease and Technology Illustrated editor Mann here trace virtually the entire story of what is today known as particle physics from Einstein's 1905 theory suggesting matter was both particles and waves, while at the same time Rutherford made his first proposals about the nature of the atom, through Bohr, Dirac, Schrodingersp?/have no way to check, so leave and others who developed quantum theory and quantum mechanics. These authors describe the heated arguments, debates, conferences and world-wide exchanges that took physicists, especially in the 1970s, to the discoveries of quarks, mesons, gluons and other such breakthroughs. Today, decades after Einstein's failure, Unification theories tying together the four fundamental forcesthe fourth, gravity, remains elusive, howeverare formulated almost daily. This is a demanding book, and gripping in an epochal sense. (May 2)
Library Journal
This is the latest effort at a popular treatment of the ``Grand Unified Theory'' contemporary theoretical physicists are aiming to achieve. It presents a human-interest-style history of quantum electrodynamics and the ensuing elementary particle theory, enlivened by brief sketches of many of the key participants. As a whole, it is an entertaining volume, but some of the judgments and interpretations are questionable. Also, the complex mathematics of modern physics is entirely omitted, and a novice is likely to end his reading with some notion of the historical background but without a coherent understanding of the current ``standard model'' in elementary particle theory. Recommended, with reservations, for academic and public libraries. Jack W. Weigel, Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780025214408
  • Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/1986
  • Pages: 480

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2001

    A Great Read!

    Both scientists and humanists will enjoy this compelling history of the modern physics. Based largely on the authors' own interviews with many of the giants and lesser lights of the twentieth century, the book weaves a fascinating story of the search for truth amid the personalities,passions and competitions of the men and women who devoted their lives to understanding the way the universe works. Although it is occasionally difficult (despite the authors' best efforts) to follow the physics (even for readers of a scientific bent), the flow of the story will keep the reader coming back for more.

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