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Ernest Rutherford: And the Explosion of Atoms (Oxford Portraits in Science) 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195123784
ISBN-10: 0195123786
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-An introduction to the life and times of the great physicist from his birth in New Zealand in 1871 to his death in 1937. Rutherford's contributions include inventing a detector for electromagnetic waves, creating the disintegration theory of radioactivity, and, first and foremost, discovering the basic structure of the atom. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908 and worked on methods of locating submarines during World War I. The book includes numerous captioned, black-and-white photographs of Rutherford, his colleagues, and their laboratories and equipment. Sidebars and diagrams help to explain the many complex principles and equations. The book covers Rutherford's research in fine detail as well as that of many of his colleagues including Hans Geiger, Marie Curie, Niels Bohr, and J. J. Thomson. The author has finely interwoven the political and social context of the time into the significance of his subject's contributions in this authoritative work. A challenging read, it is best suited for serious students with some background in science.
Maren Ostergard, Bellevue Regional Library, WA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review


"The author has finely interwoven the political and social context of the time into the significance of the subjects contribution in this authoritative work." -- School Library Journal


"This series, Oxford Portraits in Science, seeks to provide middle and secondary students with biographies of major figures in the sciences. Told in easy-to-understand language, topics, such as nuclear physics, are deftly handled....A valuable addition to the biography section of a middle through high school library." --Catholic Library World


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Series: Oxford Portraits in Science
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 12, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195123786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195123784
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.6 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,883,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Charles S. Fisher on February 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a superbly done history of science. As a book in a series of brief "science portraits" published by Oxford, Heilbron presents a clear picture of Rutherford's contribution to unfolding of the mystery of the atom. He is able to do this in part because Rutherford's emphasis of experiment over mathematically derived theory and because Rutherford worked from visual models. Because it is a brief history all the complexities of continental discussions about the appropriateness of atom models are left out. Nonetheless Heilbron's explication of Rutherford's use of cathode ray tubes, radioactive sources, and detectors is much easier to follow than some other descriptions of the atomic science of the times. The tubes, electric and material deflectors, detectors, tease out elemental facts about atoms and their constituents. Filling in the periodic table is a real scientific puzzle whose solution is understandable and fascinating. When Bohr comes up with his model of the atom based on quantum leaps, we know that science is in a new ball game where Rutherford's outlook and methods need serious revision.

It is nice to know that Rutherford plays a less jingoist role in WWI than some of his colleagues both in England and on the continent. By the war's end we see him like Planck playing more a role in the organization of science than innovative research. Although not wanting his linear accelerator to be bettered by the Berkeley scientists cyclotron, Rutherford accedes to the fact that the cyclotron is a superior research tool.

I enjoyed Heilbron's style of writing with hints of wry humor. We can see how Rutherford and his associates have fulfilled the dream of alchemists: transforming gold into lead. This a very readable book which means, in the field of the history of science, that it excels.

Charlie Fisher emeritus professor and author of Dismantling Discontent: Buddha's Way Through Darwin's World
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Enjoyed this book.
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By Lisa Vokoun on January 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
bought this for my son who is completing a school report project about this inventor and the atomic bomb. this will be a good resource for the projject.
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