Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age Hardcover – October 18, 2016
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Selected by Philip Tetlock as one of Bloomberg's Best Books of 2016
Shortlisted for Physics World's Book of the Year
One of Booklist's Top 10 Science Books
-[A] superb biography. . .[the authors] have produced a definitive study of Fermi's life and work.---Andrew Crumey, The Wall Street Journal
-[The Pope of Physics is] the first popular cradle-to-grave biography in English of the most famous Italian scientific investigator since Galileo Galilei...[The authors] quickly hit their stride with a lucid account of how Fermi was born in 1901 to a middle-class family in Rome and became one of the very few physicists to be in the front rank in both theory and experiment.- --Nature
-[An] impressive new biography...[Segre and Hoerlin] have combined sophisticated understanding of Fermi's scientific achievements with intimate, often charming stories of the famed physicist's personal life, to create a book that's both intelligent and extremely engaging...a story filled with drama, creativity, adventure.---The Washington Post
-There are many reasons to love The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age, a new biography of the celebrated Italian physicist. It is humane, scientifically astute, and beautifully written. And what a life it chronicles!....Authors Gino Segre, the nephew of Fermi's colleague Emilio Segre, and Bettina Hoerlin, whose father Hermann Hoerlin was an industrial physicist and group leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory, are wonderful writers with a deep sense of the personalities, science, historical backdrop, and locales of Fermi's story. Although the book told a familiar tale, I literally could not put it down once I started it....lively and charming first-person narrative....I strongly recommend The Pope of Physics for anyone who wants to know more about Fermi or to use his example in teaching.---Physics Today
-Had Fermi turned his intuition to the problem it is likely that fission would have been discovered in Italy in early 1935, and not nearly four years later in Germany. Were that the case, Segre and Hoerlin point out, it is possible that Hitler would have had an atomic bomb to use during the Second World War.---Gregg Herken, New York Times Book Review
Editor's Choice, New York Times Book Review, November 27, 2016: THE POPE OF PHYSICS: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age. An assured and informative biography of the pioneering nuclear scientist.
-[A]n informative biography of Fermi that also manages to deepen the sense of quiet mystery surrounding the legendary physicist...The authors...are to be thanked for deftly fleshing out a young Fermi through the pages of history.- --The Wire
-A valuable new biography---Albuquerque Journal
-Few writers are better positioned than that duo to bring Fermi's story to light....Combining family lore with intensive research, Segre and Hoerlin offer unique insights into Fermi's life and work, set against the background of politics and the early years of the Atomic Age.---Dallas Morning News
-Fermi, who excelled in so many areas . . . resists simple iconization . . .a quick-paced and highly readable account that manages to distill Fermi's rich and productive life into a little over 300 pages....[a] welcome and admirable biography.---Natural History magazine
-By placing stunning scientific advances into historical context, this engaging biography of Nobel Prize-winning Italian physicist Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) captures the life and times of one of the 20th century's most creative and hard-working scientists...fans of pop science and history will thoroughly enjoy this entertaining and accessible biography of a scientist who deserves to be better understood.- --Publishers Weekly, starred and boxed review
-[An] illuminating biography of the immigrant genius who earned a prime place among the elite scientists who watched the planet's first mushroom cloud rise above New Mexico sands...By exploring Fermi's friendships, his marriage and family life, and his postwar concerns about morality in an atomic age, the authors also give readers glimpses into something of Fermi's personal, nonscientific attributes. A balanced portrait, rich in revealing anecdotes.- --Booklist, starred review
-Given his role in ushering in the Atomic Age, it is surprising that, until now, there has been no major biography of Fermi in English; The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age... does an excellent job of filling that gap... Happily, the authors' clear explanations ensure that the reader is not only able to follow Fermi's contributions to science, but also understand their impact on his life story... this comprehensive and enjoyable biography is a valuable introduction to the life of Fermi.- --BookPage
-The authors use this biography of Fermi's life--beginning with his university days, when he immersed himself in the new field of quantum physics, and culminating in his own groundbreaking accomplishments--to engagingly chronicle the major developments in nuclear physics that were the focus of his life's work. . . . A vivid retelling of events that still shape our lives today.- --Kirkus Reviews
-Readers of history and physics will enjoy learning about this theoretical and experimental physicist, whose name lives on in the fermion particles, the element fermium, and the national accelerator lab near Chicago.- --Library Journal
-Superbly written. This will set the gold standard for books on Enrico Fermi.---MICHIO KAKU, theoretical physicist and author of Physics of the Future and The Future of the Mind
-A delightful and compelling history of Enrico Fermi--a hero to anyone who knows about physics...With its detailed scholarship combined with insightful analysis, this book was clearly a labor of love for Segre and Hoerlin, whose personal and scientific connections to Fermi make them the ideal biographers of this great man.---LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS, author of The Physics of Star Trek and A Universe from Nothing
-In The Pope of Physics, the first in-depth biography of Enrico Fermi, Segre and Hoerlin bring the man and his work to life with exhaustive research and authoritative prose.---SYLVIA NASAR, author of A Beautiful Mind
-This beautifully written biography of Enrico Fermi brings us the whole man--the circumstances that molded him, his genius, his central contributions to the coming of the atomic age, and his very human qualities.---JEROME FRIEDMAN, Nobel Prize-winner and former graduate student of Enrico Fermi
-Segre and Hoerlin have artfully incorporated a personal backdrop shedding light on the behaviors that drove the decisions and motivations of Enrico Fermi, a 20th century one-of-a-kind genius--a compelling story.---NIGEL LOCKYER, experimental particle physicist and director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
-In the hands of Segre and Hoerlin, enriched with fresh material from his inner circle, Fermi's life becomes a brilliant--and true--historical novel.---FRANK WILCZEK, Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and author of A Beautiful Question
About the Author
Gino Segrè is a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a visiting professor at M.I.T. and Oxford University, chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, and director of theoretical physics at the National Science Foundation. He is the author of several books of scientific history, Ordinary Geniuses, Faust in Copenhagen, and A Matter of Degrees.
Bettina Hoerlin taught healthcare disparities at the University of Pennsylvania for sixteen years. She also has been a visiting lecturer at Haverford College and Oxford University. Her career in health policy and administration included serving as Health Commissioner of Philadelphia. The author of Steps of Courage: My Parents’ Journey from Nazi Germany to America, she grew up in the Atomic City of Los Alamos.
Top customer reviews
When Fermi first came to America, he became a physics professor at Columbia. A few years later in 1942, Fermi led a team of scientists that developed the first successful nuclear reactor. The reactor went critical on December 2, 1942. It was the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction ever. Fermi’s contributions to the Manhattan Project were invaluable. He was one of the few physicists that excelled both theoretically and experimentally. He did not shrink from hard work or literally getting his hands dirty. Fermi led by example both at the chalkboard and in the lab.
As a young man back in the 1960s, I served aboard the U.S, Navy’s FBM (Fleet Ballistic Missile) submarines. Each sub carried sixteen Polaris missiles. Each of the missiles was armed with a thermonuclear weapon, much more powerful than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The subs were also armed with the latest and most effective torpedoes. Some were nuclear tipped. At the time, these submarines were the most deadly weapons systems on earth. With only a few minutes notice, we could launch our missiles from the oceans depths, without fear of detection. That is an example of the destructive side of nuclear power. These weapon systems served the country well for many years as a deterrent against potential surprise attacks. Thankfully, we never had to launch our missiles or fire our torpedoes.
But there is another side to nuclear power, a peaceful side. The subs were powered by nuclear reactors. Basically, the reactors are a source of heat. Without going into too much detail, the heat from the reactor (and there was a lot of it) is used to generate steam. The subs are actually propelled by steam turbines, which is why a nuclear sub can remain submerged almost indefinitely or at least until the food runs out. There was no need to surface to take on fuel. We could make our own oxygen and drinking water while submerged, but not food.
In the U.S. today, about twenty percent of our electrical power comes from nuclear power. In France, that number is almost 75 percent. Nuclear power, when properly designed, sited and operated is safe, efficient and clean. There are no greenhouse gases. Enrico Fermi not only helped design “the bomb.” He is also one of the fathers nuclear energy for peace.
After the war, Fermi accepted a teaching position at the University of Chicago. Six of his students went on to win the Nobel Prize. Also, one of his Italian students went on to become a Nobel laureate. That is quite a record.
R.I.P. Enrico Fermi.
Very enjoyable for anyone interested in science and technology and also in what was happening in Europe and USA in the mid 30's and through post-war times. Fascinating read and I finished the book with great admiration for Fermi and others who with great intuition, solid theoretical knowledge and ingenuity on the experimental side made great discoveries.