By Abraham Pais
Abraham Pais's lifetime of Albert Einstein used to be one of many best medical biographies ever written. while it first seemed in 1982, Christian technological know-how Monitor known as it "an outstanding biography of a unprecedented man," and Timothy Ferris, in The manhattan instances ebook Review, acknowledged it was once "the biography of Einstein he himself might have beloved best," including that "it is a piece opposed to which destiny clinical biographies might be measured." As a revered physicist himself, Pais used to be the 1st biographer to offer Einstein's pondering its complete due, but regardless of the occasional excessive point of technology had to talk about Einstein's rules, the booklet used to be a countrywide bestseller. certainly, it was once one among The manhattan Times's top Books of the yr, and the winner of the 1983 American e-book Award for Science.
Now Pais turns to Niels Bohr, to light up the lifestyles and considered one other large of 20th-century physics. Bohr used to be the 1st to appreciate how atoms have been prepare, he performed an incredible position in shaping the speculation of the atomic nucleus, he decoded the atomic spectrum of hydrogen, an fulfillment which marks him because the founding father of the quantum dynamics of atoms, and his suggestion of complementarity (which offers the philosophical underpinning for quantum idea) qualifies him as one of many 20th century's maximum philosophers. Pais covers all of those achievements with sophistication and readability, yet he additionally finds the various different points of the fellow. possibly most vital, he exhibits that Bohr was once not just an excellent scientist, but additionally a superb nurturer of younger clinical expertise, performing as father determine extraordinaire for a number of generations of physicists. Bohr's Institute of Theoretical Physics, which he based in Copenhagen and for which he tirelessly raised money, was once the world's best middle for physics throughout the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties, the birthplace of Heisenberg's papers at the uncertainty kin, Dirac's first paper on quantum electrodynamics, and different pivotal works. And Pais finds to boot the non-public aspect of Bohr, the avid reader and crossword puzzle solver (Bohr enjoyed Icelandic sagas, Goethe and Schiller, Dickens and Mark Twain--while learning in England early in his profession, he more advantageous his English by means of examining The Pickwick Papers with a dictionary to at least one side); his relief to Jews and different refugees within the Thirties and through the struggle; the tragic lack of his son Christian (who died in a crusing coincidence correct earlier than Bohr's eyes); and his makes an attempt in the course of and after the battle to advertise openness among East and West, assembly with either Roosevelt and Churchill (the former used to be relatively courteous, the latter lectured Bohr like a schoolboy).
Bohr's examine, his instructing, his friendships with the most important scientists of our time, his reduction to refugees, his position as thinker, administrator, and fund raiser, his devotion to technology and to his family--all those characteristics are illuminated by means of Pais in a wonderful biography that captures the essence of 1 of the best-loved figures of this century.
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24. N. Bohr, letter to E. Rutherford, 6 July 1912, CW, Vol. 2, p. 577. 25. CW, Vol. 2, p. 136. 26. N. Bohr, Phil. magazine. 25, 10, 1913, esp. p. 12; CW Vol. 2, p. 20. 27. See such a lot specially J. L. Heilbron and T. S. Kuhn, Hist. Stud. Phys. Sci. 1, 211, 1969, repr. in J. Heilbron, old stories within the conception of atomic constitution, Arno Press, long island 1981. 28. The position of balance in Bohr's concept is mentioned intimately by means of U. Hoyer, Arch. Hist. certain Sci. 10, 177, 1973. 29. H. Nagaoka, Nature sixty nine, 392, 1904 ; Phil. magazine. 7, 445, 1904. 30. G. A. Schott, Phil. magazine. eight, 384, 1904. 31. Cf. Ref. 27, p. 246, footnote 88. 32. CW, Vol. 1, p. one hundred seventy five. For incomprehensible purposes this crucial passage isn't integrated within the English translation, CW, Vol. 1, p. three hundred. 33. A. Einstein, Ann. der Phys. 22, a hundred and eighty, 1907; for extra info see SL, Chap. 20. 34. Interview of N. Bohr by way of T. S. Kuhn, L. Rosenfeld, E. Riidinger, and A. Peter sen, 7 November 1962. REFERENCES 157 35. A. Sommerfeld, Atombau und Spektrallinien, preface to the first edn, Vieweg, Braunschweig 1919. 36. for plenty of extra information see W. McGucken, 19th century spectroscopy, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore 1969. 37. G. Kirchhoff and R. Bunsen, Ann. der Phys. und Chem. a hundred and ten, one hundred sixty, 1860; additionally ibid. 1 thirteen, 337, 1861; transl. in Phil. magazine. 20, 89, 1860; 22, 329, 448, 1861 respectively. 38. See extra IB, pp. 168--70. 39. H. G. J. Kayser, Handbuch der Spectroscopie, 6 vols. , Hirzel, Leipzig 1900--1912 (more volumes seemed later). forty. A. Angstrom, Ann. der Phys. und Chem. a hundred and forty four, three hundred, 1872. forty-one. J. Plucker, ibid. 107, 497, 638, 1859. forty two. A. Angstrom, Recherches sur le spectre solaire, Uppsala collage Press 1868. forty three. G. G. Stokes, Mathematical and actual papers, Vol. three, p. 267, Cambridge college Press 1901. forty four. J. C. Maxwell, Encyclopaedia Britannica, ninth edn, 1875; repr. in accrued works, Vol. 2, p. 445, Dover, big apple. forty five. J. J. Thomson, Phil. magazine. eleven, 769, 1906. forty six. J. Stark, Prinzipien der Atomdynamik, Vol. 2, sections 19, 25, Hirzel, Leipzig 1911 ; see additionally F. Horton, Phil. magazine. 22, 214, 1911. forty seven. For information see Ref. 35, Chap. three ; Ref. 39, Vol. 1, pp. 123-7; IB, pp. 171-4. forty eight. H. Konen, Das Leuchten der Gase und Dampfe, p. seventy one ff. , Vieweg, Braunschweig 1913. forty nine. A. Hagenbach, Naturw. nine, 451, 1921. 50. J. Balmer, Verh. Naturf. Ges. Basel, 7, 548, 1885. fifty one. P. Zhao, W. Lichten, H. Layer, and J. Bergquist, Phys. Rev. Lett. fifty eight, 1293, 1987. the worth quoted truly refers to endless nuclear mass. fifty two. J. Balmer, Verh. Naturf. Ges. Basel. 7, 750, 1885. fifty three. See IB, p. 164. fifty four. Article 'Spectroscopy', through A. Schuster, in Encyclopaedia Britannica. fifty five. Ref. 34, interviews on 1 and seven November 1962. fifty six. Ref. 26, p. 27; CW, Vol. 2, p. 35. fifty seven. N. Bohr, letter to E. Rutherford, four November 1912, CW, Vol. 2, p. 577. fifty eight. E. Rutherford, letter to N. Bohr, 11 November 1912, CW, Vol. 2, p. 578. fifty nine. N. Bohr, letter to E. Rutherford, 31 January 1913, CW, Vol. 2, p. 579. 60. N. Bohr, letter to G. von Hevesy, 7 February 1913, CW, Vol. 2, p. 529. sixty one. IB, p. 164. sixty two. Ref. forty six, Vol. 2, p. forty four. sixty three. Ref. 34, interviews on 31 October and seven November 1962. sixty four. C. Christiansen, Lcerebog i Fysik, Chap. 23, Nordisk Forlag, Copenhagen 1903. sixty five. A. Haas, Wiener Ber.