Max Planck and the Fortunes of German Science

Author: J. L. Heilbron

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674004399

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 254

View: 8707

IN THIS MOVING and eloquent portrait, John Heilbron describes how the founder of quantum theory rose to the pinnacle of German Science. With great understanding, he shows how Max Planck suffered morally and intellectually as his lifelong habit of service to his country and to physics was confronted by the realities of World War I and the brutalities of the Third Reich. In an afterword written for this edition, he weighs the recurring questions among historians and scientists about the costs to others, and to Planck himself, of the painful choices he faced in attempting to build an "ark" to carry science and scientists through the storms of Naziism.
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Author: John L. Heilbron

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199883769

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 2011

With over 150 alphabetically arranged entries about key scientists, concepts, discoveries, technological innovations, and learned institutions, the Oxford Guide to Physics and Astronomy traces the history of physics and astronomy from the Renaissance to the present. For students, teachers, historians, scientists, and readers of popular science books such as Galileo's Daughter, this guide deciphers the methods and philosophies of physics and astronomy as well as the historical periods from which they emerged. Meant to serve the lay reader and the professional alike, this book can be turned to for the answer to how scientists learned to measure the speed of light, or consulted for neat, careful summaries of topics as complicated as quantum field theory and as vast as the universe. The entries, each written by a noted scholar and edited by J. L. Heilbron, Professor of History and Vice Chancellor, Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, reflect the most up-to-date research and discuss the applications of the scientific disciplines to the wider world of religion, law, war, art and literature. No other source on these two branches of science is as informative or as inviting. Thoroughly cross-referenced and accented by dozens of black and white illustrations, the Oxford Guide to Physics and Astronomy is the source to turn to for anyone looking for a quick explanation of alchemy, x-rays and any type of matter or energy in between.
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And the Explosion of Atoms

Author: J. L. Heilbron

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190284196

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 144

View: 1798

An engaging biography that captures the excitement of the early days of nuclear physics, Ernest Rutherford tells the story of the down-to-earth New Zealander who became one of the foremost pioneers of subatomic physics. Rutherford's achievements were numerous and included: * Inventing a detector for electromagnetic waves * Discovering the existence of alpha and beta rays in uranium radiation * Creating (with Frederick Soddy) the "disintegration theory" of radioactivity, which regards radioactive phenomena as atomic -- not molecular -- processes * Demonstrating that the inner structures of elements correspond with a group of lines that characterize them, which could then be assigned an atomic number and, more important, the properties of each element could be defined by this number * And his greatest contribution of all - he discovered that the atom had a nucleus and that it contained the positively charged proton From his early days as a scholarship student to the end of his life as he continued to work in his lab, Ernest Rutherford reveals the life and times of one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century. 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.
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Author: Jim Baggott

Publisher: Pegasus Books

ISBN: 1605987697

Category: History

Page: 584

View: 5234

An epic story of science and technology at the very limits of human understanding: the monumental race to build the first atomic weapons. Rich in personality, action, confrontation, and deception, The First War of Physics is the first fully realized popular account of the race to build humankind's most destructive weapon. The book draws on declassified material, such as MI6's Farm Hall transcripts, coded soviet messages cracked by American cryptographers in the Venona project, and interpretations by Russian scholars of documents from the soviet archives. Jim Baggott weaves these threads into a dramatic narrative that spans ten historic years, from the discovery of nuclear fission in 1939 to the aftermath of 'Joe-1,’ August 1949's first Soviet atomic bomb test. Why did physicists persist in developing the atomic bomb, despite the devastation that it could bring? Why, despite having a clear head start, did Hitler's physicists fail? Could the soviets have developed the bomb without spies like Klaus Fuchs or Donald Maclean? Did the allies really plot to assassinate a key member of the German bomb program? Did the physicists knowingly inspire the arms race? The First War of Physics is a grand and frightening story of scientific ambition, intrigue, and genius: a tale barely believable as fiction, which just happens to be historical fact.
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Empires of Time

Author: Peter Galison

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393243869

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 3033

"More than a history of science; it is a tour de force in the genre."—New York Times Book Review A dramatic new account of the parallel quests to harness time that culminated in the revolutionary science of relativity, Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps is "part history, part science, part adventure, part biography, part meditation on the meaning of modernity....In Galison's telling of science, the meters and wires and epoxy and solder come alive as characters, along with physicists, engineers, technicians and others....Galison has unearthed fascinating material" (New York Times). Clocks and trains, telegraphs and colonial conquest: the challenges of the late nineteenth century were an indispensable real-world background to the enormous theoretical breakthrough of relativity. And two giants at the foundations of modern science were converging, step-by-step, on the answer: Albert Einstein, an young, obscure German physicist experimenting with measuring time using telegraph networks and with the coordination of clocks at train stations; and the renowned mathematician Henri Poincaré, president of the French Bureau of Longitude, mapping time coordinates across continents. Each found that to understand the newly global world, he had to determine whether there existed a pure time in which simultaneity was absolute or whether time was relative. Esteemed historian of science Peter Galison has culled new information from rarely seen photographs, forgotten patents, and unexplored archives to tell the fascinating story of two scientists whose concrete, professional preoccupations engaged them in a silent race toward a theory that would conquer the empire of time.
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His Life and Universe

Author: Walter Isaacson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1416539328

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 624

View: 1434

By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein. How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. Based on newly released personal letters of Einstein, this book explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk—a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate—became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom, and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marveling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits, and free individuals. These traits are just as vital for this new century of globalization, in which our success will depend on our creativity, as they were for the beginning of the last century, when Einstein helped usher in the modern age.
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A History in 40 Moments

Author: J. E. Baggott

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199566844

Category: Science

Page: 469

View: 495

Utterly beautiful. Profoundly disconcerting. Quantum theory is quite simply the most successful account of the physical universe ever devised. Its concepts underpin much of the twenty-first century technology that we now take for granted. But at the same time it has completely undermined our ability to make sense of the world at its most fundamental level. Niels Bohr claimed that anybody who is not shocked by the theory has not understood it. The American physicist Richard Feynman went further: he claimed that nobody understands it. The Quantum Story begins in 1900, tracing a century of game-changing science. Popular science writer Jim Baggott first shows how, over the space of three decades, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, and others formulated and refined the theory--and opened the floodgates. Indeed, since then, a torrent of ideas has flowed from the world's leading physicists, as they explore and apply the theory's bizarre implications. To take us from the story's beginning to the present day, Baggott organizes his narrative around forty turning-point moments of discovery. Many of these are inextricably bound up with the characters involved--their rivalries and their collaborations, their arguments and, not least, their excitement as they sense that they are redefining what reality means. Through the mix of story and science, we experience their breathtaking leaps of theory and experiment, as they uncover such undreamed of and mind-boggling phenomenon as black holes, multiple universes, quantum entanglement, the Higgs boson, and much more. Brisk, clear, and compelling, The Quantum Story is science writing at its best. A compelling look at the one-hundred-year history of quantum theory, it illuminates the idea as it reveals how generations of physicists have grappled with this monster ever since.
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Intersections of Science, Culture, and Politics after the First World War

Author: Rebecka Lettevall,Geert Somsen,Sven Widmalm

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136300554

Category: History

Page: 366

View: 3313

Whether in science or in international politics, neutrality has sometimes been promoted, not only as a viable political alternative but as a lofty ideal – in politics by nations proclaiming their peacefulness, in science as an underpinning of epistemology, in journalism and other intellectual pursuits as a foundation of a professional ethos. Time and again scientists and other intellectuals have claimed their endeavors to be neutral, elevated above the world of partisan conflict and power politics. This volume studies the resonances between neutrality in science and culture and neutrality in politics. By analyzing the activities of scientists, intellectuals, and politicians (sometimes overlapping categories) of mostly neutral nations in the First World War and after, it traces how an ideology of neutralism was developed that soon was embraced by international organizations. This book explores how the notion of neutrality has been used and how a neutralist discourse developed in history. None of the contributions take claims of neutrality at face value – some even show how they were made to advance partisan interests. The concept was typically clustered with notions, such as peace, internationalism, objectivity, rationality, and civilization. But its meaning was changeable – varying with professional, ideological, or national context. As such, Neutrality in Twentieth-Century Europe presents a different perspective on the century than the story of the great belligerent powers, and one in which science, culture, and politics are inextricably mixed.
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Author: Dimitris N. Chorafas

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319091891

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 207

View: 8942

The aim of this book is to explore science and technology from the viewpoint of creating new knowledge, as opposed to the reinterpretation of existing knowledge in ever greater but uncertain detail. Scientists and technologists make progress by distinguishing between what they regard as meaningful and what they consider as secondary or unimportant. The meaningful is dynamic; typically, the less important is static. Science and technology have made a major contribution to the culture and to the standard of living of our society. From antiquity to the present day, the most distinguished scientists and technologists have been thinkers, experimenters and persons willing and able to challenge “the obvious”. Technology develops products and processes based on the breakthroughs of science. If technologists fail to steadily upgrade their skills, tools and methods, they will only be as good as their last design, risking obsolescence. Using practical examples and case studies, this book documents the correlations existing between science and technology, and elucidates these correlations with practical applications ranging from real-life situations, from R&D to energy production. As it is a salient problem, and a most challenging one to our society, power production has been chosen as a major case study. The holistic approach to science and technology followed by this text enhances the ability to deliver practical results. This book is intended for students and researchers of science, technology and mathematical analysis, while also providing a valuable reference book for professionals. Its subject is one of the most debated problems of mankind.
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Cathedrals as Solar Observatories

Author: J. L. Heilbron

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674038486

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 3633

Between 1650 and 1750, four Catholic churches were the best solar observatories in the world. Built to fix an unquestionable date for Easter, they also housed instruments that threw light on the disputed geometry of the solar system, and so, within sight of the altar, subverted Church doctrine about the order of the universe. A tale of politically canny astronomers and cardinals with a taste for mathematics, "The Sun in the Church" tells how these observatories came to be, how they worked, and what they accomplished. It describes Galileo's political overreaching, his subsequent trial for heresy, and his slow and steady rehabilitation in the eyes of the Catholic Church. And it offers an enlightening perspective on astronomy, Church history, and religious architecture, as well as an analysis of measurements testing the limits of attainable accuracy, undertaken with rudimentary means and extraordinary zeal. Above all, the book illuminates the niches protected and financed by the Catholic Church in which science and mathematics thrived. Superbly written, "The Sun in the Church" provides a magnificent corrective to long-standing oversimplified accounts of the hostility between science and religion.
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Author: J. L. Heilbron

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199655987

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 528

View: 2320

Heilbron takes in the landscape of culture, learning, religion, science, theology, and politics of late Renaissance Italy to produce a richer and more rounded view of Galileo, his scientific thinking, and the company he kept.
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A Biography of Sir James Chadwick

Author: Andrew Brown

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 8029

This is the first biography of Sir James Chadwick (1891-1974), best known as the discoverer of the neutron, for which he won the Nobel Prize. Chadwick's central role in the unfolding drama of nuclear physics is reflected in his publications and voluminous correspondence (many selections of which are included here) with other leading figures like Niels Bohr and Lord Rutherford. In the 1920s, Chadwick rose to become the operations director of the Cavendish Laboratory under Rutherford, and the discovery of the neutron came from an intense burst of work in 1930s, after a decade of disappointment. Chadwick's life was molded by great events, including both world wars (which carried him though internment camps and narrow escapes) and the development of the atom bomb. Indeed, during the Second World War, he was to become Britain's foremost authority on nuclear weaponry and chief British scientist on the Manhattan Project. His story thus offers unique insights into the behind-the-scenes activities of the U.S. and U.K. secret services and their quest for knowledge of German advances in the nuclear field. As an eye-witness account of some of the most dramatic discoveries and developments of the 20th century, Chadwick's biography is both gripping and insightful.
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Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought

Author: Thomas S. Kuhn

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674171039

Category: Science

Page: 297

View: 9959

The significance of the plurality of the Copernican Revolution is the main thrust of this undergraduate text
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P.J.W. Debye and his career in Nazi Germany

Author: Martijn Eickhoff

Publisher: Aksant Academic Pub

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 184

View: 8680

This volume describes and analyses the highly successful careerof the Dutch physicist and Nobel prize winner P.J.W. Debye (1884-1966) in the Third Reich. The book sketches the life of a man wholived for science, but at the same time maintained close contactswith influential officials, industrialists and sometimes even politicians.In this context Debye declined to respond in public to thetreatment of Jews in society in general and in science in particular,even after his migration to the United States in 1940. By combininga biographical perspective with network analysis and researchon contemporary moral assessments, this book sheds new anddisturbing light on Debyes socio-political worldview and hisinvolvement in the Aryanization of German science.
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History, Culture, and Technique

Author: J. L. Heilbron

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198506904

Category: Mathematics

Page: 309

View: 8119

Geometry Civilized is a unique combination of history and mathematics. It contains a full introduction to plane geometry and trigonometry within a fascinating historical framework that sets off the technical material. This approach to geometrical ideas gives the book its unique, readable style. The author has included a wide range of unusual and engaging geometric problems, many of which are taken from practical applications, drawn from sources ranging from ancient to modern. The study of geometry has been an important element of education in Europe since the time of the Greeks. This book helps us to understand why such emphasis has been placed on obtaining a good understanding of geometry. But the history presented here is not confined to the Western tradition. Examples drawn from other cultures, particularly Chinese and Indian, underscore the peculiarities of the geometry we have inherited from the Greeks, and thereby make Euclid's approach more accessible. Book reviews from the hardback: 'He has written a marvellous tale of how, throughout much of recorded history, geometrical thinking and civilisation have been closely intertwined. ...Definitely a book to dip into and reflect on a superior form of brainfood for the beach this summer perhaps? Heilbron's enthusiasm is contagious.' Ian Stewart, New Scientist 'The book is wonderfully illustrated. There are diagrams on almost every page, apt illustrations from older books, and well chosen photographs,together with eight colour plates. The appearance of the book is quite seductive, for which Oxford University Press should be congratulated.' Jeremy Gray, Nature 'This is a handsome book, well researched and entertainingly written. It shows how powerfully a historically informed account can communicate. If you thought Euclidean geometry was something only your great-grandparents did - try it, you will be surprised.' BJune Barrow-Green, The TIMES Higher Education Supplement
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Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Theology

Page: N.A

View: 9862

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Driven by Vision, Broken by War

Author: Brandon R. Brown

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190219491

Category: Science

Page: 280

View: 8292

Max Planck is credited with being the father of quantum theory, and his work was described by his close friend Albert Einstein as "the basis of all twentieth-century physics." But Planck's story is not well known, especially in the United States. A German physicist working during the first half of the twentieth century, his library, personal journals, notebooks, and letters were all destroyed with his home in World War II. What remains, other than his contributions to science, are handwritten letters in German shorthand, and tributes from other scientists of the time. In Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War, Brandon R. Brown interweaves the voices and writings of Planck, his family, and his contemporaries--with many passages appearing in English for the first time--to create a portrait of a groundbreaking physicist working in the midst of war. Planck spent much of his adult life grappling with the identity crisis of being an influential German with ideas that ran counter to his government. During the later part of his life, he survived bombings and battlefields, surgeries and blood transfusions, all the while performing his influential work amidst a violent and crumbling Nazi bureaucracy. When his son was accused of treason, Planck tried to use his standing as a German "national treasure," and wrote directly to Hitler to spare his son's life. Brown tells the story of Planck's friendship with the far more outspoken Albert Einstein, and shows how his work fits within the explosion of technology and science that occurred during his life. This story of a brilliant man living in a dangerous time gives Max Planck his rightful place in the history of science, and it shows how war-torn Germany deeply impacted his life and work.
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The Origins of the Relativity Revolution

Author: Richard Staley

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 494

View: 5992

'Einstein's Generation' offers a new approach to the origins of modern physics by exploring both the material culture that stimulated relativity and the reaction of Einstein's colleagues to his pioneering work.
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