This is a richly absorbing autobiography by the physicist whose hydrogen bubble-chamber experiments won him the 1968 Nobel Prize in his field. Alvarez launches his "adventures" with a gripping description of his participation in (via an observation plane) the Enola Gay's historic mission over Hiroshima in 1945. Personally as well as scientifically forthright and plainspoken, he holds the reader with the story of his life as a scientist, much of the time at Berkeley, Calif., working with such men as Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence and Enrico Fermi. Central to this account is the picture of life at Los Alamos climaxed by the first A-bomb test in 1945. But subsequent episodes describing work in small-particle physics, capped by a recent switch to "impact" theory that explains the dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago, are equal highlights. Photos.
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Although both of these books are about Nobel laureates in physics, the lives of the two protagonists offer interesting contrasts. I.I. Rabi, immigrant son of poor, devout Orthodox Jews, is very much a self-made scientist who established a molecular beam research group at Columbia. Thanks to his innovations in the field, the group made high-precision measurements of physical constants. A research administrator during World War II, Rabi found it difficult to return afterwards to front-line research, and he has thus become a senior statesman nationally and internationally. Further, he was a staunch defender of J. Robert Oppenheimer during the latter's 1954 ordeal by hearing. Alvarez, son of a distinguished medical scientist, trained at Chicago under one Nobel laureate and then joined the research team of anotherE.O. Lawrence. Unlike Rabi, he returned to full-time research after the war and made then his greatest contribution by developing the hydrogen bubble chamber. Alvarez was one of the few scientists to testify against Oppenheimer. Even though he is a world-class physicist, his remarks on nuclear weapons and other science-and-society issues appear superficial when set next to Rabi's thoughtful remarks. Both books are strongly recommended for all academic and public libraries. Jack W. Weigel, Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor
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Book Description Basic Books, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110465001157
Book Description Basic Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0465001157 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0172991
Book Description Basic Books, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0465001157
Book Description Basic Books, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0465001157
Book Description Basic Books, Inc., New York, NY, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition stated 1987, first printing, number line starts with1. Hardcover with DJ. Condition new, square tight and crisp book, no edgewear, no markings of any kind, no names no underlinings no highlights no bent pages, Not a reminder. DJ new, bright and shiny, no tears no chips no edgewear, Price Not clipped. 8vo, XII + 292 pages, , index, illustrated with photographs. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Series. Alvarez received the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his decisive contributions to elementary particle physics, in particular the discovery of a large number of resonance states. Bookseller Inventory # 012147