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This is the first biography ever written on the distinguished physicist Julian Schwinger. Schwinger was one of the most important and influential scientists of the twentieth century. The list of his contributions is staggering, from his early work leading to the Schwinger action principle, Euclidean quantum field theory, and the genesis of the standard model, to later valuable work on magnetic charge and the Casimir effect. He also shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics with Richard Feynman. However, even among physicists, understanding and recognition of his work remains limited. This book by Mehra and Milton, both of whom were personally acquainted with Schwinger, presents a unique portrait that sheds light on both his personality and his work through discussion of his lasting influence on science. Anyone who wishes to gain a deeper understanding of one of the great physicists of this century needs to read this book.
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Jagdish Mehra has been University Distinguished Professor of Sciences and Humanities at the University of Houston, Texas for many years and also served as U.N.E.S.C.O.-Sir Julian Huxley Distinguished Professor of Physics and The History of Science at Trieste and Paris. He has published extensively on the historical and conceptual development of modern physics and is the acclaimed biographer of 'The Beat of a Different Drum: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman'. From Spring 1959 until Schwinger's death, Mehra remained his close friend. Kimball A. Milton is Professor of Physics at the University of Oklahoma, where he leads the theoretical high-energy physics group. He has numerous publications in the field of quantum field theory. He was a student of Julian Schwinger at Harvard and was his postdoctorate associate at U.C.L.A. for nearly a decade.Review:
"Julian Schwinger deserves to be remembered as a great scientist for his many brilliant scientific achievements. We are very lucky to have this authentic portrait of Schwinger by Jagdish Mehra (with Kimball A. Milton), to balance Mehra's biography of Feynman [The Beat of a Different Drum, Oxford, 1994]; in it we see Schwinger as he was, a many-sided genius a human being with very great gifts."--Freeman J. Dyson, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey
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