Maker of Patterns: An Autobiography Through Letters

Maker of Patterns: An Autobiography Through Letters

by Freeman Dyson


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Both recalling his life story and recounting many of the major advances in twentieth-century science, a renowned physicist shares his autobiography through letters.
While recognizing that quantum mechanics “demands serious attention,” Albert Einstein in 1926 admonished fellow physicist Max Born that the theory “does not bring us closer to the secrets of the Old One.” Aware that “there are deep mysteries that Nature intends to keep for herself,” Freeman Dyson, the 94-year-old theoretical physicist, has nonetheless chronicled the stories of those who were engaged in solving some of the most challenging quandaries of twentieth-century physics. Written between 1940 and the early 1980s, these letters to relatives form an historic account of modern science and its greatest players, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, and Hans Bethe. Whether reflecting on the horrors of World War II, the moral dilemmas of nuclear development, the challenges of the space program, or the considerable demands of raising six children, Dyson offers a firsthand account of one of the greatest periods of scientific discovery of our modern age.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780871403865
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 04/10/2018
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 477,534
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study, Freeman Dyson is an English-born American theoretical physicist and mathematician.
The author of Disturbing the Universe, he lives in Princeton,
New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 Great Minds Around the Billiard Table 1

2 War and Peace 23

3 Truth and Reconciliation 42

4 Cornell Student 56

5 Go West, Young Man 82

6 Demigods on Stilts 102

7 Nolo Contendere 124

8 Well, Doc, You're In 134

9 The Physicist in Love 151

10 Cornell Professor 171

11 Mycenean Tablets and Spin Waves 185

12 Moscow and La Jolla 204

13 The Forsaken Merman 221

14 A Spaceship and a Wedding 241

15 Homecoming 261

16 Working for Peace 274

17 Marching for Justice 289

18 Sitting in Judgment 306

19 Two Deaths and Two Departures 318

20 Adventures of a Psychiatric Nurse 343

21 Whale Worshippers and Moonchildren 360

Bibliography 385

Index 389

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