In the following weeks, Serber touched on many themes, racing to an array of chalkboards to scribble complex formulas and equations. Among other things, he addressed how big a bomb would need to be in order to achieve critical mass--between 13.5 centimeters and 9 centimeters, he calculated--and what the probability of premature detonation might be. (It was, he concluded, always a danger.) At the end of the series, his lecture notes, classified as top secret, were gathered and printed for distribution to later cadres of scientists who came to work at Los Alamos. Years after the war they were declassified, and Serber, who died in May of 1997, took the opportunity to reflect on his work and the strange culture of the laboratory, adding postscripts and other commentary reproduced in the present edition.
Serber's book is an important document in the history of science, and remains one of the most accessible introductions to nuclear physics ever written. (On that note, those who worry that it is all too easy to find bomb-building instructions in the library or on the Web should rest assured: these lectures were tough for the greatest theoretical physicists of the time to follow.) It all makes for provocative reading. --Gregory McNamee
Great book. Very detailed, equations are clear and concise a must have for any nuclear engineering student, or enthusiast of nuclearhistory.Published 18 hours ago by Jose Mata Jr
Great book, Bwahahahahah, soon...very soon...this trailer park will be a super power.
Seriously though, a good read both from the anecdotes written about the project, and a... Read more
In case you are interested in the MP underlying physics and history of making of the first atomic bomb, I strongly recommend this book along with Cameron Reed, The Physics of the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by PR
The annotations cover some of what was learned later, corrections to the math, and the human context. This makes more interesting reading than the original handouts. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
Serber's annotations are invaluable. A must read for students of the history of science. Essential to understanding the atomic age.Published 19 months ago by James Qualls
An interesting look at the technical development that went into TRINITY. Serber does a good job of going back to the past and annotating the lectures given during the start-up of... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Out$$$
ok i followed the directions to the letter but this thing just doesn't work plus my hair is falling out for some reasonPublished 22 months ago by divine crushing hand
It was a total surprise to realize each and everyone of the Los Alamos team was handed the mimeographed primer prior to commencing their work in the lab. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Tom Oneill