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Reminiscences Of Los Alamos 1943 1945

Author: Lawrence Badash
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400990227
Size: 75.75 MB
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Although the World War II efforts to develop nuclear weapons have inspired a very large literature, it struck us as noteworthy that virtually nothing existed in the form of firsthand accounts. Now It Can Be Told, by General Leslie Groves, the Manhattan Project's military commander, is probably the most prominent exception, but the scientists themselves seem to have shown little interest in publishing their reminiscences. Believing that it would be not only worthwhile for posterity, but ex tremely interesting for the present generation to hear about the aspirations, fears, and activities of those who participated in this watershed of science and government collaboration, we arranged the public lecture series repre sented by this book.! We chose to focus upon Los Alamos since the project's efforts culminated there. The isolated laboratory in New Mexico was created to design and construct the first atomic bombs. More scientific brainpower was accumulated there than at any time since Isaac Newton dined alone, and the interactions with this community are of sociological interest, as the results of their work are of political import.

Enrico Fermi

Author: Dan Cooper
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190283548
Size: 70.12 MB
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In 1938, at the age of 37, Enrico Fermi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. That same year he emigrated from Italy to the United States and, in the course of his experiments, discovered nuclear fission--a process which forms the basis of nuclear power and atomic bombs. Soon the brilliant physicist was involved in the top secret race to produce the deadliest weapon on Earth. He created the first self-sustaining chain reaction, devised new methods for purifying plutonium, and eventually participated in the first atomic test. This compelling biography traces Fermi's education in Italy, his meteoric career in the scientific world, his escape from fascism to America, and the ingenious experiments he devised and conducted at the University of Rome, Columbia University, and the Los Alamos laboratory. The book also presents a mini-course in quantum and nuclear physics in an accessible, fast-paced narrative that invokes all the dizzying passion of Fermis brilliant discoveries. Oxford Portraits in Science is an on-going series of scientific biographies for young adults. Written by top scholars and writers, each biography examines the personality of its subject as well as the thought process leading to his or her discoveries. These illustrated biographies combine accessible technical information with compelling personal stories to portray the scientists whose work has shaped our understanding of the natural world.

The Neutron And The Bomb A Biography Of Sir James Chadwick

Author: Andrew Brown
Publisher: Plunkett Lake Press
Size: 78.44 MB
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James Chadwick (1891-1974) came from a humble background: his father was a cotton spinner. He was accepted in the physics department of Sir Ernest Rutherford at Manchester University in 1908 on a scholarship, and soon started publishing new findings about radioactivity. This led to a traveling scholarship to Berlin, where he made the important discovery of the continuous spectrum of β-particles. When the World War I broke out, Chadwick was interned by the Germans as an enemy alien for the next four years, but continued experiments in the prison camp. On his return to England in broken health, Rutherford invited Chadwick to join the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge where he became Rutherford’s deputy and oversaw much groundbreaking physics research over the next 15 years. Chadwick concentrated on finding evidence for the neutron, an uncharged nuclear particle whose existence was first proposed by Rutherford in 1920. Having noticed anomalous results from the Curie laboratory in Paris in 1932, Chadwick used simple bench-top apparatus to convince himself, after weeks of intense observations, that he had definite evidence for the existence of the neutron. The Nobel Prize for physics followed in 1935; that year he moved to Liverpool University to head his own department. At the outbreak of World War II, the feasibility of atomic bombs of unprecedented explosive power was already being discussed. Chadwick drafted the British MAUD committee's historic reports in the summer of 1941 which concluded that atomic bombs were indeed feasible with sufficient industrial capacity. In wartime Britain this was impossible, but in 1943 Chadwick moved to the US as head of the British scientists working on the Manhattan Project. He formed an unlikely alliance with its leader, General Leslie Groves, and became an adroit scientist-diplomat. Witnessing the first explosion of a plutonium-fueled device at the Trinity Test shattered him. Chadwick believed that dropping atomic bombs on Japanese cities was justified but the development of nuclear weapons as an unintended consequence of his discovery of the neutron caused him deep personal anguish. “Until this excellent book by Andrew Brown, [Chadwick] has remained the most shadowy of the atomic scientists who, for better or worse, gave the human species mastery over nuclear energy.” — Nigel Calder, New Scientist “Andrew Brown’s biography beautifully reveals [Chadwick’s] scientific, diplomatic and personal achievements.” — Roger H Stuewer, Physics Today “I can warmly recommend this book to all interested in the life of a remarkable scientist who played a crucial role in a formative period of the modern world.” — Hermann Bondi, Times Higher Education Supplement “This is the biography of a physicist who made one of the most important discoveries in nuclear physics, but retained to his old age the shyness of a young lad... Andrew Brown takes us through Chadwick’s life as an adventure... I found it a very good read.” — Hans Bethe, American Journal of Physics “The tale of so sterling a character, even when told as well as in this book, may be a little short on light moments, but any reader interested in the evolution of physics from an academic passion to a leading role on the world stage will find it a fascinating story and a worthy tribute to a great scientist.” — Brian Pippard, Nature “... makes absorbing reading... more than the life story of a remarkable man... unfolds the tremendous transformation that science underwent in the 20th century.” —Joseph Rotblat “… avidly researched and artfully written... This biography... blends elegantly direct scientific descriptions with often witty episodes and character summaries.” — William Lanouette, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Theater Of The Stars

Author: N. M. Kelby
Publisher: Hyperion
Size: 54.72 MB
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ucienne Kundera, an astrophysicist, has uncovered a black hole as mysterious as the secrets in her life. Lucienne's mother, Hlne, is a scientist as well, who was captured during World War II. She eventually escaped and disappeared, reappearing years later in New Mexico with Lucienne. Hlne claims to have no recollection of these past events, but when she and Lucienne visit Paris, the city of Hlne's youth, Hlne is overcome by memories and secrets, and attempts suicide. Lucienne becomes dangerously obsessed with uncovering her mother's past, while at the same time attempting to solve a celestial mystery so dark and dense that its nature cannot be revealed. Theater of the Stars is a finely crafted novel sure to establish Kelby as a storyteller of unique sensitivity and wisdom.