Hydrogen: The Essential Element
Hydrogen: The Essential Element
Author: Rigden, John S.
Brand: Harvard University Press
- Used Book in Good Condition
Number Of Pages: 288
Release Date: 30-11-2003
Details: Review “A prominent physicist once said, "to understand hydrogen is to understand all of physics." That is perhaps a bit of an overstatement; but it is no exaggeration to say that John Rigden's eminently readable book is a unique guide to the overwhelming role in science and technology of that simplest of all elements--from the origin of the universe itself to the most recently created lab sensation, the Bose-Einstein condensate. A book to be treasured by laypersons and experts alike.”―Gerald Holton, author of Einstein, History, and Other Passions“Using the leitmotif of the hydrogen atom, John Rigden gives us an elegant review of the development of modern physics. This simplest of all atoms provided the challenge to Bohr, Heisenberg, Dirac, Rabi, Ramsey, and the other founders of 20th century physics. As the leading character, it carries the plot gracefully even to the subtlest of corrections provided by the quantum field theory of the 1940's and the most recent breakthrough by Dan Kleppner and his students in the late 1990's which earned some of those students the 2001 Nobel Prize for the observation of Bose-Einstein condensates. The writing is lucid and accessible, and should be easy going for the lay reader who enjoys his science with a minimum of mathematics. It is quite astonishing that the story loses almost none of its drama and coverage when filtered through the efforts to really, really understand hydrogen.”―Leon Lederman, Nobel Laureate of Physics, 1988“John Rigden has chosen a great subject. Hydrogen truly has been the essential element in the evolution of our universe, in the development of the early quantum theory of atomic structure, quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics, nuclear magnetic resonance, and the creation of the atomic clock, and in many other discoveries and theoretical advances. In telling the story of this simplest of all atoms, Rigden gives us, in effect, a history of physics in the twentieth century. This fascinating book will captivate scientists and general readers alike.”―Norman Ramsey, Nobel Laureate of Physics, 1989“Justly acclaimed for his lucid biography of physicist I. I. Rabi, Rigden here shifts his focus from person to problem, chronicling how one enduring conundrum--that of explaining the element hydrogen--has challenged two centuries of brilliant scientists...Readers will marvel that in its very first square, the periodic table holds so much science, so much history, so much humanity.”―Bryce Christensen, Booklist“There can be no understanding of either the microscopic world or the cosmos at large without an understanding of hydrogen. Rigden's book is, on one level, a history of this most basic element, from its discovery in the 18th century to today's cutting-edge experiments...But Rigden is also telling us the story of modern physics...If you love physics, you'll enjoy this book. It is thoughtful, clever and rich in detail.”―Dan Falk, National Post“There is almost magic eloquence in the practice and insights of science at its highest orders--which when transformed into the written word can produce splendid literature. A recent effort to do just that is Hydrogen...For many reasons, this book grabbed me from the start and held my attention to its finish...For its literary quality, its memorable parade of scientific superheroes and the richness of its material, this is a book I heartily recommend.”―Michael Pakenham, Baltimore Sun“Rigden's easy narrative style provides one of the most accessible descriptions of the importance of laboratory experimentation in developing our current understanding of fundamental physics that I know of. Also, he demonstrates how theorists have at times led the way, sometimes with jumps of intuition, sometimes with reliance on fundamental notions like symmetry and sometimes with sheer stubborn persistence. Finally, readers will particularly benefit from seeing extremely important practical technologies that the original experimenters may never hav
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