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Fermi Remembered Hardcover – August 16, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The book will be of interest to those who knew Fermi and to younger physicists who still live with his scientific legacy, as well as to historians interested in the life and work of one of the most famous members of the Los Alamos generation."
(David Kaiser American Scientist 2004-11-01)

"A lively collection of reminiscences about the greatest Italian scientist of the 20th century by students and collaborators such as Leo Szilard, T. D. Lee and Murray Gell-Mann. They knew him as 'the Pope', editor James Cronin informs us, because he was 'the supreme authority on all matters.'"
(Marcus Chown New Scientist 2004-10-23)

"This book will interest both specialists and general readers, as it provides valuable archive material and sketches of Fermi's life, as well as personal reminiscences from his former students and collaborators."
(Guilio Maltese Nature 2005-02-01)

"This book, which describes Fermi's contributions to physics and the US period of his life, originated from a symposium that was held in Chicago in 2001 to commemorate the centenary of his birth. But it is not merely a volume of reminiscences. It combines essays, specially commissioned articles, as well as private material from Fermi's research notebooks, correspondence and speeches. Together the material highlights the breadth of his impact on physics. . . . What emerges from this book is the gratitude of so many extraordinary physicists to their master, who instilled in them a passion that has lasted a lifetime: the passion for physics."
(Eugenio Cocci Physics World 2005-04-01)

"Fermi Remembered provides fascinating insights into Fermi's style and the beginning of the Manhattan Project."


(Chris Llewellyn Smith Times Higher Education Supplement 2005-04-11)

About the Author

James W. Cronin is University Professor Emeritus in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (August 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226121119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226121116
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,604,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By L. G. Pondrom on August 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is based on a symposium held at the University of Chicago to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Enrico Fermi's birth on September 29, 2001. The editor, James Cronin, was principal organizer of the symposium. A distinguished list of speakers was assembled, and written versions of their reports are included in the book. Extensive research in the U of C archives produced many interesting documents, including letters to Fermi and by Fermi, and notes written in Fermi's hand on a wide range of topics. The results of this archival search are also included in the book.

The decade immediately after World War II was a magical time for physics. The success of the Manhattan Project, Radar, and many other defence applications of physical science attracted much talent to the field. It seemed that almost everyone wanted a PhD in physics, and graduate schools like Chicago were mobbed. Fermi was the center of attention, and the students that he trained, both individually and in classes, went on to illustrious careers.

This book covers many aspects of this exciting time. Space limitations in this review restrict my comments to only a few specifics. Fermi's computer program to calculate charged particle orbits in the cyclotron, written for the Los Alamos Maniac computer, is wonderful. It should be read by every programmer. The review talks by Fermi's colleagues, Richard Garwin, Murray Gell-Mann, and Marvin Goldberger, are not to be missed. The reading public interested in the history of 20th century science, in particular the period 1945-1954 when government support of peacetime research came into being, will find this book full of information not easily obtained elsewhere.
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