Enrico Fermi: Father of the Atomic Age
Enrico Fermi (1901–1954) received the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his demonstrations of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation, and for his related discovery of nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons." Just a year before winning the Nobel Prize, Fermi published Thermodynamics, based on a course of lectures at Columbia University, an enduring work which Dover first reprinted in 1956 and which has been in print continuously since then, one of the foundations of Dover's physics program.
Both a theorist and an experimentalist, Fermi packed an immense amount of science into his relatively short life, which ended prematurely as a consequence of the radiation he received working on the development of the atomic bomb. His work, of course, was not just in the realm of nuclear physics: Fermi will always be the most remembered for the events of December 2, 1942, when he and other scientists at the University of Chicago's Stagg Field produced the world's "first self-sustaining chain reaction . . . instituting the controlled release of atomic energy."
In the Author's Own Words:
"There are two possible outcomes: If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery." — Enrico Fermi
Critical Acclaim for Enrico Fermi:
"He was simply unable to let things be foggy. Since they always are, this kept him pretty active." — J. Robert Oppenheimer
This is a great book; a classic by one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century. It's very small as well, only about 200 pages. Read morePublished 12 days ago by anon
The quality of the printing is a little cheap--pages are thin and text is closely spaced, making it difficult to annotate the book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by wil3
If you want a good understanding if thermodynamics for fun and don't mind some heavy lifting in terms of math exposition, this book by one of the greatest physicists of all time is... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Robert Richardson
Everything you need to know about thermodynamics up to and including a graduate level in physics. Used it for my Ph.D. Qualifying examsPublished 7 months ago by physicsprof
Explanation is not only clear but also easy to follow. Excellent textbook! All physics textbook should follow the pattern of this one!Published 8 months ago by Taster
Written in mid 30's, this book might not be much different if written today.
The book is not too easy to read, and one can immediately feel that the text is not Fermi's... Read more
An average of probably 4-5 spelling or grammatical errors per page, inconsistently-numbered equations, and references to non-existent figures. Read morePublished 12 months ago by M D
Among the short treatments of thermodynamics (Pippard, Pauli, etc.) Fermi's little book stands out as the most readable. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Gustav Derkits