The Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in Modern America

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Overview

This magnificent account of the coming of age of physics in America has been heralded as the best introduction to the history of science in the United States. Unsurpassed in its breadth and literary style, Kevles's account portrays the brilliant scientists who became a powerful force in bringing the world into a revolutionary new era.

The book ranges widely as it links these exciting developments to the social, cultural, and political changes that occurred from the post-Civil War years to the present. Throughout, Kevles keeps his eye on the central question of how an avowedly elitist enterprise grew and prospered in a democratic culture.

In this new edition, the author has brought the story up to date by providing an extensive, authoritative, and colorful account of the Superconducting Super Collider, from its origins in the international competition and intellectual needs of high-energy particle physics, through its establishment as a multibillion-dollar project, to its termination, in 1993, as a result of angry opposition within the American physics community and the Congress.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674666559
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1987
  • Edition description: First edition
  • Pages: 512

Meet the Author

Daniel Kevles is the Stanley Woodward Professor of History and Law at Yale University.

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Table of Contents

Preface, 1995
Preface to the First Edition
I The Many Wants of Science 3
II Ennobling and Purifying the Mind 14
III The Flaws of American Physics 25
IV Pure Science and Practical Politics 45
V Research and Reform 60
VI Joining the Revolution 75
VII A Need for New Patrons 91
VIII "War Should Mean Research" 102
IX The War Work of the Physicists 117
X Cold War in Science 139
XI The Impact of Quantum Mechanics 155
XII Popularization and Conservatism 170
XIII Making the Peaks Higher 185
XIV A New Center of Physics 200
XV Miraculous Year 222
XVI Revolt Against Science 236
XVII The New Deal and Research 252
XVIII Recovery in Physics 267
XIX Organizing for Defense 287
XX A Physicists' War 302
XXI The Bomb and Postwar Research Policy 324
XXII Victory for Elitism 349
XXIII The Physicists Established 367
XXIV New Revolt Against Science 393
XXV A Degree of Disestablishment 410
Glossary of Manuscript Citations 427
Acknowledgments 431
Essay on Sources 435
Index 465
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