9780306444609 / 0306444607

Legends in Their Own Time: A Century of American Physical Scientists


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Publisher:Springer, 1993



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About the book:

America's scientific giants of the 20th century have transformed the world in terms of scientific understanding, military preparedness, and the quality and comfort of our daily lives. In this exquisitely written book, Anthony Serafini - a respected historian and philosopher of science - regales the reader with vivid descriptions of the lives and contributions of the men and women who explored the depth of molecular structure, relativity, astronomy, quantum mechanics, nuclear research, and much, much more. These evocative and stunning portrayals of some of the greatest scientists who ever lived delve into the personalities and opinions of these pioneers. Furthermore, Serafini makes their significant discoveries accessible and meaningful to everyone. You will meet the indefatigable Lee De Forest, whose passion for wireless telegraphy resulted in the Audion Radio Tube, which broadcasted radio to thousands of America's living rooms. The roster of distinguished scientists continues with Ernest Lawrence, who began his academic career with the hope of becoming a physician. He later succumbed to the enticement of physics, becoming the first to discover how to unleash the unimaginable power within the nucleus. This discovery ultimately led to the creation of the atomic bomb. In addition, Robert Millikan astounded the scientific community by measuring the charge of an electron and convincing even the most hardened skeptics of the validity of the atomic theory of matter. Legends in Their Own Time recounts the most exciting events that took place during the Manhattan Project. It also explores the ongoing search for a Unified Field Theory of the cosmos - a goal that eluded even Albert Einstein.Serafini traces the evolution of scientists in America from a group of lackluster journeymen to world-renowned professionals, rivaling the scientific titans of Europe. This perceptive author portrays how the combination of politics and war has ironically contributed to the advancemen

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