Heisenberg Probably Slept Here: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Physicists of the 20th Century (Wiley Popular Science)

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9780471157090: Heisenberg Probably Slept Here: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Physicists of the 20th Century (Wiley Popular Science)

"Here is a book I wish I had when taking physics my senior year in high school!" -Book Report

A lively illumination of modern physics' marquee players, featuring:
* Albert Einstein
* Max Planck
* Ernest Rutherford
* Niels Bohr
* Werner Heisenberg
* Richard Feynman
* Murray Gell-Mann

"Brennan has a knack for explaining difficult technicalities simply. His essays give a useful summary of twentieth-century science." -Financial Times

"Highly recommended to expert and layperson alike." -Choice

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Review:

Physics turned weird recently--really weird. That doesn't necessarily mean that modern physicists are weird, though, does it? Well, yes and no, says science writer Richard P. Brennan, whose book Heisenberg Probably Slept Here chronicles the lives of seven great scientists of the 20th century--Einstein, Planck, Rutherford, Bohr, Heisenberg, Feynman, and Gell-Mann--as well as their spiritual father, Isaac Newton. Fascinating and funny, each biographical sketch illuminates the man, his surroundings, and his achievements with unusual clarity.

Writing about the enormous driving force engendered in physics by World War II, with scientists on both sides striving to advance their knowledge far enough to win a terrible war, Brennan shows us the delicate contingencies that led to our current level of understanding. What if the Nazis hadn't rejected "Jewish science"? What if the Allies had assassinated Heisenberg? More generally, he tells us stories of men working like maniacs to answer some of the hardest, most basic questions about our universe ever devised, only to find more questions for the next century to ponder. We may hope that a new generation will be inspired by these stories to take weird 20th-century science much further; perhaps some day quantum mechanics will seem more quaint than abstruse. --Rob Lightner

From the Publisher:

A lively and extremely accessible introduction to seven strikingly original thinkers who provided the world with new views of reality. Presents the history of physics through abbreviated biographies which concentrate on the personalities of the physicists and their scientific accomplishments. Offers remarkably clear explanations of such topics as Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, curved space and the famous puzzle known as "Schrodinger's Cat." Includes a handy timeline of modern discoveries in physics, a glossary of important terms, illustrations and portraits of each of the physicists.

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Brennan, Richard P.
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