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Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics

Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics
Author: Gino Segre
ISBN 13: 9780143113737
ISBN 10: 143113739
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2008-05-27
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
List Price: $17.00

A physicist himself, Gino Segrè writes about what scientists do—and why they do it—with intimacy, clarity, and passion. In Faust in Copenhagen, he evokes the fleeting, magical moment when physics—and the world—was about to lose its innocence forever. Known by physicists as the miracle year, 1932 saw the discovery of the neutron and antimatter, as well as the first artificially induced nuclear transmutations. However, while scientists celebrated these momentous discoveries—which presaged the nuclear era and the emergence of big science—during a meeting at Niels Bohr's Copenhagen Institute, Europe was moving inexorably toward totalitarianism and war.

The New York Times - George Johnson

Any reluctance I had to revisit these shrines was quickly overcome by Segrč s inviting touch. A theoretical physicist at the University of Pennsylvania and a nephew of Emilio Segrč, who collaborated with Fermi on radioactivity research, the author begins with the Faust parody and circles back to it again and again. It acts like a magnet, reshaping the familiar into an interesting new design.