Magic Furnace, The : The Search for the Origins of Atoms

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9780224042062: Magic Furnace, The : The Search for the Origins of Atoms
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The story of the beginnings of the universe. The furnace of the universe and the founding of atoms.

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About the Author:


Marcus Chown is New Scientist's cosmology consultant. He is the author of Afterglow of Creation, which was the runner-up for the Rhône-Poulenc Science Book Prize, and was the winner of the 1994 Glaxo Wellcome ABSW Science Writers' Award.

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At the intersection of nuclear and astrophysics lie the clues to the origin of atoms, and the observed abundance of the elements was triumphantly explained in a landmark 1957 paper colloquially called "B2 FH," after the initials of its four authors. Nucleosynthesis also was John Gribbin's subject in Stardust: Supernovae and Life--The Cosmic Connection [BKL O 1 00], but Chown differs by dwelling more closely on the physical experiments, particularly the logic behind them, that intimated atomic structure. That atoms were likely to be agglomerations of hydrogen was boldly asserted in 1815 by a chemist named William Prouts, whose hunch took a century for experimental vindication in the apparatuses of Henri Becquerel and the Curies (radioactivity), J. J. Thomson (electron), Ernest Rutherford (proton and nucleus), and James Chadwick (neutron). Meanwhile, Chown relates the elements astronomers had been discovering through the spectra of star- and sunlight, then introduces the theorists, such as Robert Oppenheimer and Hans Bethe, who calculated the sorts of nuclear reactions stars and supernovae can sustain. A lucid history. Gilbert Taylor
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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780195143058: The Magic Furnace: The Search for the Origins of Atoms

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ISBN 10:  0195143051 ISBN 13:  9780195143058
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2001
Hardcover

9780099578017: Magic Furnace

VINTAG..., 2000
Softcover

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