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Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics By Gino Segrè,

  • Title: Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics
  • Author: Gino Segrè
  • ISBN: 9780670038589
  • Page: 310
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A fascinating look at the landmark 1932 gathering of the biggest names in physics Known by physicists as the miracle year, 1932 saw the discovery of the neutron and the first artificially induced nuclear transmutation However, while physicists celebrated these momentous discoveries which presaged the era of big science and nuclear bombs Europe was moving inexorably towA fascinating look at the landmark 1932 gathering of the biggest names in physics Known by physicists as the miracle year, 1932 saw the discovery of the neutron and the first artificially induced nuclear transmutation However, while physicists celebrated these momentous discoveries which presaged the era of big science and nuclear bombs Europe was moving inexorably toward totalitarianism and war In April of that year, about forty of the world s leading physicists including Werner Heisenberg, Lise Meitner, and Paul Dirac came to Niels Bohr s Copenhagen Institute for their annual informal meeting about the frontiers of physics Physicist Gino Segr brings to life this historic gathering, which ended with a humorous skit based on Goethe s Faust a skit that eerily foreshadowed events that would soon unfold Little did the scientists know the Faustian bargains they would face in the near future Capturing the interplay between the great scientists as well as the discoveries they discussed and debated, Segr evokes the moment when physics and the world was about to lose its innocence.
    Faust in Copenhagen A Struggle for the Soul of Physics A fascinating look at the landmark gathering of the biggest names in physics Known by physicists as the miracle year saw the discovery of the neutron and the first artificially induced nucl

    One thought on “Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics”

    1. greek librarians biblionet book 142973 S Carlsberg , , 30 , , , 2 , , , , , , , , , Manhatan , Gino Segre, Emilio Segre, , .

    2. The Matrix Werner Heisenberg, whose development of matrix mechanics yielded the uncertainty principle, said that one challenge of quantum theory is that it does not have an adequate language beyond mathematics to describe it Heisenberg comes close to proposing that poetry is that language in Physics and Philosophy when, after making this statement, he immediately references Goethe s Faust to describe his understanding of the structure of language Mephistopheles says that while formal education i [...]

    3. I enjoyed getting to know the characters involved in this very revolutionary period in physics it seems that in theoretical physics, the general rule is that you ve got to make your revolutionary discovery by age 25 or not at all though it is comforting to know that there are exceptions, such as Schr dinger, who made his big discovery at the grand old age of 39 ,I have a renewed appreciation for Bohr Of course his orbital model of the atom is about the first thing you learn about in quantum, alo [...]

    4. A well crafted tour through the beginnings of quantum mechanics and nuclear physics, quite accessible and comprehensible, even for those without a scientific bent The narrative has a deft touch, the over arching parallel between Goethe s Faust and the lives of the various physics wunderkinds is well chosen and well emphasized until a strange moment at the finale see below.I do have a negative critique or two the first and minor would be that the narrative jumps around among time periods rather [...]

    5. One of the most intimate seeming physics histories I ve ever read Segr s uncle was Emilio Segr Also helped me understand Einstein s relationships with the major figures The meandering and serpentine structure would have made it very difficult to index I imagine , but did make rewarding reading.

    6. Faust in Copenhagen vertelt min of meer het standaardverhaal over het begin van de kwantummechanica Een aantal zaken zijn iets anders Ten eerste is de schrijver een natuurkundige dit is niet anders en komt een beetje uit een familie met natuurkundigen Een oom van de schrijver is ook natuurkundige en heeft de roemruchte bijeenkomsten in Kopenhagen meegemaakt, iets later dan de bijeenkomst die het onderwerp van dit boek is, de bijeenkomst in het jaar 1932, het normale jaar, voordat de politieke si [...]

    7. Acostumbramos a pensar en los f sicos como parte de una maquina productora de datos y formulas En la educaci n institucionalizada memorizamos formulas con sus nombres, como si solo fueran eso Y mas aun, para las personas si educaci n cient fica, los f sicos, cient ficos en general, son entes fr os y calculadores Gino Segr nos muestra una faceta mas real de los grandes fisicos que forjaron la f sica nuclear y cu ntica, mostrandonos un poco de su trabajo y mucho de sus vidas, sus motivaciones, dud [...]

    8. Written by a physicist for an educated but popular audience, Gino Segre accomplishes a great feet by discussing the conferences, personalities, intellects, arguments, and development in Copenhagen of modern quantum mechanical theory Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, emerged in 1925 26 only after a long buildup Its details evolved over time, and its meaning continued to be debated for years Unlike relativity, it was the work of many who struggled together, often arguing with one another as th [...]

    9. Gino Segre s book, Faust in Copenhagen A Struggle for the Soul of Physics 2007 , is a delightful narrative on the early development of quantum mechanics Niels Bohr is the central character in Segre s refreshing story set in and around the Danish capital in those fruitful interwar years the 1920s and 1930s His supporting characters include Wolfgang Pauli and the five others who joined Bohr in that seminal Copenhagen meeting in April 1932 Paul Dirac, Werner Heisenberg, Lise Meitner, Max Delbruck, [...]

    10. This book does a very good job of relating a fairly important topic the interpretation of quantum mechanics and setting it within the contexts of historical events and the characters of the physics community of the 1920 s and early 1930 s Gino Segre is a theoretical physicist by profession, and the nephew of another great theorist, and his ability to understand and communicate the nature of complementarity and the Bohr Heisenberg interpretation reflect this pedigree.However, the unique narrative [...]

    11. It was the Age of Innocence It was 1932, before Hitlers rise to power and the exodus of scientists to places like Princeton s Institute for Advanced Study The top physicists from around the world met yearly, first in Solvay then later in Coppenhagen From these meetings what was to emerge was nothing short of the reordering of modern scientific thought on how the world was put together Bohr, Pauli and Heisenberg essentially created Quantum Mechanics out of nothing and in its place came the exclus [...]

    12. I think this would be a four star book for someone not previously exposed to relativity and quantum mechanics because this history focuses on the relationships between scientists and their personal relationship to physics Explanations of the various discoveries are light, without equations, and easy to follow, almost too simplified if you ve read the details in other books The story of Faust and the Copenhagen version presented in 1932 is woven throughout the text with the original illustrations [...]

    13. This is an impressively readable account of the lives of and relations between the pantheon of quantum era physicists especially Bohr, Heisenberg, Dirac, Pauli but also to lesser extents others including Einstein and Rutherford It requires zero knowledge of physics and reads like a bit of a page turner.You do have to get over the misleading title and organization of the book the Faust thing is the thinnest of threads providing an excuse to tie the various stories together And the idea of a Faust [...]

    14. 2008 05 01I didn t really understand the point of this one I d like to get Gamow s illustrated translation for that matter, I d like to know where I can get the German original of the Blegdamsvej Faust included for the price of this book instead, we get some half of it or so it feels and some less than insightful commentary thereupon I ll have to pick upThirty Years that Shook Physics The Story of Quantum Theory to read it, apparently Gino Segre s work here isn t nearly as moving as Emilio Segre [...]

    15. My first impression is that this is one of my favorite books ever The physicist author s writing is very lucid and easy to follow, despite the heavy subject matter of quantum mechanics and nuclear physics It is, after all, mostly just the story of the people responsible for the groundbreaking discoveries, experiments, and theories leading to the so called big physics era of today Segr , I think, achieves the right amount of scientific and mathematical rigor in his explanations there are no equat [...]

    16. Another chapter in the fascinating relationship between Bohr, Heisenberg et al Segr centers his account on the legendary gathering of physicists at Bohr s Institute in 1932, the year before Hitler s rise to power would scatter their company across the globe.The social history is mildly entertaining, and the development of quantum theory and its associated controversies is presented so that even a dilettante like me can follow it, but the Faustian drama at its core is minimal The implicit moralit [...]

    17. Beginning in 1929, Niels Bohr hosted an annual gathering in Copenhagen for his fellow physicists, where they shared their latest work in the new theory of quantum mechanics The younger physicists entertain with a skit, and in 1932, the the entertainment was a parody of Faust, with Bohr as the Lord and Wolfgang Pauli as Mephistopheles The author uses the skit as a point of departure for telling the story of the development of physics in the first third of the 20th century, vividly bringing to lif [...]

    18. This book was definitely enjoyable for someone with an interest in quantum mechanics Although I m not a physics major, I ve taken some college classes and one in graduate school in the field I really enjoyed learning the history of the development of quantum mechanics as I was going through the derivation of equations and learning the material However, I m not sure how interested I would have been if I didn t have the mathematical and physical background of the material It s not as cool learning [...]

    19. This book gives a historical overview of the development of quantum physics in the first half of the twentieth century Interestingly enough, until I read the book I both liked it and didn t like it Haha Anyway it is written for a non expert there are no equations or anything like that However, for the non scientist, I would recommend having either or a physicist handy to answer questions I actually had two physicists handy The historical context for these discoveries was the most interesting par [...]

    20. i liked it for all the wrong reasons as a book, and even as an account of a key time in theoretical physics, it is problematic BUT, as a window into the personal quirks of some of the 20th century s physics all stars it works Niels Bohr awesome Wolfgang Pauli, bestill my beating heart There is a picture of pauli and bohr looking at spinning top that melts my heart basically the cast of characters is unbeatable the author s impulse is unimpeachable but the realization is lacking i, for one, give [...]

    21. A fun read for any non fiction buffs that want to learn the history behind quantum mechanics The book really delves into the cult of personality surrounding figureheads like Neils Bohr and Wolfgang Pauli Although the Faustian elements are sometimes gimmick y epitaphs of chapters, doodles from a printing of the script, etc , they don t detract from the storytelling by Gino Segre I recommend it for people that are curious about the timeline of this new phase of physics, but it s not necessarily fo [...]

    22. I read this book for a class in college, and our professor ivited the authot of the book to come and talk about it Gino Segre is a physicist himself, like his uncle Emilio Segre, who won the Nobel prize for discovering anti protons He talked about how his own experience of growing up affected him becoming a writer His father and uncle were not on good terms, and his father, a historian, didn t want him to become a physicist like his uncle Now he is a little bit of both, writing books about physi [...]

    23. Really the best, most clarifying and engaging history of the quantum physics that I ve ever seen It not only puts all the mysteries therein into some sort of realistic sequences what was known, how did we discover that we had it wrong, how was it resolved , but also paints remarkably clear and sympathetic portraits of the tight community of scientists in the 1920 30s who pulled it all together Makes me glad to be a scientist albeit not a physicist and envious of the pleasures of being in that ki [...]

    24. I loved that this book wasn t just a biography or just a history book The interweaving of many lives of scientists, and the combination of private lives and scientific contributions kept the narrative interesting I would have to read it again a few times to really remember all the details that are packed in, but everything made sense the first time around, which is well done for a book largely about quantum mechanics It s fascinating to realize how much changed in so short a period of time Defin [...]

    25. I m really interested in the Copenhagen interpretation and surrounding controversy so I was initially quite excited about this book However, once I got started, the enthusiasm left I got a bit annoyed by the extraneous detail about the author s family, etc Maybe I ll give this another try someday but at the moment I can t summon up the motivation.

    26. Interesting book into the beginning of quantum mechanics and the physics we learn about in school now These men and 1 woman were truly not human, they came up with some of the most abstract theories that in the end were able to be proven by mathematics It blows my mind that there are people this smart out there that can conceptualize things that are happening at the atomic level.

    27. I must be totally mad since I read, and over immensely enjoyed, this excellent book in 4 days and its about history of Quantum Physics Finally, twenty years after studying it on Faculty of Electrical Engineering and passing it without really understanding anything,I can say that I know something though very very little

    28. Probably 3.5 stars, instead of 4 The part that deals with the relationships between some of the greatest scientists of the 20th century are great The scientific part of the book is light, but that is to ge expected in a book like this The Faust play is only playing a side roleBook is well written however and an enjoyable read.

    29. I never knew, no not the song.I never knew Faust was integrated with physics And at first it was like a gossip columnist about these important historical figures, and now I am understanding complex mathmatical concepts in English I m going to keep going How bout you No not the song.

    30. Outstanding My favorite physics history book so far This story captures the humanity, the personalities, and the spirit behind the development of quantum theory in pre WWII Europe Segre is equal parts theoretical physics professor and passionate storyteller.

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