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The Harvest of a Century: Discoveries of Modern Physics in 100 Episodes

Popular Science

By: Siegmund Brandt (Author)

520 pages, 350 colour & b/w photos, 250 b/w illustrations

Oxford University Press

Paperback | May 2013 | #206150 | ISBN-13: 9780199673780
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $38/€36 approx
Hardback | Nov 2008 | #206257 | ISBN-13: 9780199544691
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £42.50 $53/€51 approx

About this book

Physics was the leading science of the twentieth century and The Harvest of a Century retraces important discoveries, made between 1895 and 2001, in 100 self-contained episodes. Each is a short story of the scientists involved, their time, and their work. Together they form a mosaic of modern physics: formulating relativity and quantum mechanics, finding the constituents of matter and unravelling the forces between them, understanding the working of conductors and semiconductors, discovering and explaining macroscopic quantum effects (superconductivity, superfluidity, quantum Hall effect), developing novel experimental techniques like the Geiger counter and particle accelerators, building revolutionary applications like the transistor and the laser, and observing astonishing features of our cosmos (expanding universe, cosmic background radiation). The text is intended for easy reading. Occasionally, a more thorough discussion of experimental set-ups and theoretical concepts is presented in special boxes for readers interested in more detail. Episodes contain extensive references to biographies and original scientific literature. The Harvest of a Century is richly illustrated by about 600 portraits, photographs, and figures.


Contents

1. Rontgen's X Rays (1895)
2. Becquerel Discovers Radioactivity (1896)
3. Zeeman and Lorentz - A First Glimpse at the Electron (1896)
4. The Discovery of the Electron (1897)
5. Marie and Pierre Curie - Polonium and Radium (1898)
6. Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Rays (1899)
7. Max Planck and the Quantum of Action (1900)
8. Rutherford Finds the Law of Radioactive Decay (1900)
9. The Transmutation of Elements (1902)
10. Einstein's Light-Quantum Hypothesis (1905)
11. Einstein Creates the Special Theory of Relativity (1905)
12. Nernst and the Third Theorem of Thermodynamics (1905)
13. Observing a Single Particle - The Rutherford-Geiger Counter and Later Electronic Detectors (1908)
14. Jean Perrin and Molecular Reality (1909)
15. Millikan's Oil-Drop Experiment (1910)
16. The Atomic Nucleus (1911)
17. Tracks of Single Particles inWilson's Cloud Chamber (1911)
18. Kamerlingh Onnes, Liquid Helium and Superconductivity (1911)
19. Hess Finds Cosmic Radiation (1912)
20. Max von Laue - X Rays and Crystals (1912)
21. Bragg Scattering (1912)
22. J. J. Thomson Identifies Isotopes (1912)
23. Bohr's Model of the Atom (1913)
24. Moseley and the Periodic Table of Elements (1913)
25. The Franck-Hertz Experiment (1914)
26. Einstein Completes the General Theory of Relativity (1915)
27. Sommerfeld - Spatial Quantisation and Fine Structure (1916)
28. Nitrogen is Turned into Oxygen (1919)
29. Astronomers Verify General Relativity (1919)
30. Stern and Gerlach Observe Spatial Quantisation (1922)
31. The Compton Effect - The Light Quantum Gains Momentum (1923)
32. MatterWaves Proposed by de Broglie (1923)
33. Bose and Einstein- A New Way of Counting (1924)
34. Bothe and Geiger - Coincidence Experiments (1925)
35. Pauli's Exclusion Principle (1925)
36. Spin (1925)
37. Heisenberg and the Creation of Quantum Mechanics (1925)
38. Dirac's Mechanics of q Numbers (1925)
39. Schrodinger Creates Wave Mechanics (1926)
40. Born's Probability Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (1926)
41. Fermi-Dirac Statistics-Yet Another Way of Counting (1926)
42. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and Bohr's Complementarity (1927)
43. Quantum Mechanics and Relativity - The Dirac Equation (1928)
44. Band Model of Conductors and Semiconductors (1928-31)
45. Hubble Finds that the Universe is Expanding (1929)
46. Pauli Presents His Neutrino Hypothesis (1930)
47. Lawrence and the Cyclotron (1931)
48. Chadwick Discovers the Neutron (1932)
49. Anderson Discovers the Positron (1932)
50. Nuclear Reaction Brought About by Machine (1932)
51. Heisenberg on Nuclear Forces: Isospin (1932)
52. The Proton Displays an "Anomalous" Magnetic Moment (1933)
53. Fermi's Theory of Beta Rays (1933)
54. Irene and Frederic Joliot-Curie - Artificial Radioactivity (1934)
55. Fermi Produces Radioactivity with Neutrons (1934)
56. Cherenkov Radiation Discovered (1934) and Explained (1937)
57. Prediction of the Meson (1934) - Discovery of the Muon (1937)
58. A New Kind of Liquid: Superfluid Helium (1937)
59. Why the Stars Shine (1938)
60. Nuclear Fission (1938)
61. Two Transuranium Elements Finally Found - Neptunium and Plutonium (1940/1941)
62. Landau Explains Superfluidity (1941)
63. Fermi Builds a Nuclear Reactor (1942)
64. The Synchrotron: Phase Stability (1945) and Strong Focussing (1952)
65. Magnetic Resonance (1945)
66. The Pi Meson Discovered by the Photographic Method (1947)
67. The Lamb Shift (1947)
68. Strange Particles (1947)
69. The Transistor (1947)
70. The Shell Model - A Periodic Table for Nuclei (1949)
71. Quantum Electrodynamics and Feynman Diagrams (1949)
72. Glaser's Bubble Chamber (1953)
73. The Maser (1954)
74. Strangeness - A New Quantum Number (1955)
75. Antimatter (1955)
76. The Neutrino Finally Observed (1956)
77. Parity - A Symmetry Broken (1957)
78. Superconductivity Explained by Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffer (1957)
79. Weak Interaction Better Understood - The V ? A Theory (1957)
80. Keeping Ions in a Trap (1958)
81. The Mossbauer Effect (1958)
82. The Laser (1960)
83. Particle-Antiparticle Colliders (1961)
84. Nonlinear Optics (1961)
85. There Is More than One Kind of Neutrino (1962)
86. Semiconductor Heterostructures - Efficient Laser Diode Proposed (1963) and Built (1970)
87. Three Quarks - Order in the Wealth of New Particles (1964)
88. CP - Another Symmetry Broken. The Peculiar System of the Neutral K Meson and Its Antiparticle (1964)
89. Blackbody Radiation from the Early Universe (1965)
90. Two Forces of Nature are Only One - Electroweak Interaction (1967)
91. Weak Neutral Currents - A Glimmer of Heavy Light (1973)
92. Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) - The New Theory of Strong Interaction (1973)
93. A Fourth Quark -Charm (1974)
94. The Discovery of the Gluon (1979)
95. The Quantum Hall Effect (1980)
96. W and Z Boson Discovered (1983)
97. Cooling and Trapping Neutral Atoms (1985)
98. There Are Just Three Generations (1989)
99. Bose-Einstein Condensation of Atoms (1995)
100. Neutrinos Have Mass (1998, 2001)


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Biography

Siegmund Brandt is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Siegen. Born in Berlin in 1936, he studied in Bonn under Wolfgang Paul. For his diploma (1959) he built a small bubble chamber, detecting particles produced by the Bonn synchrotron. The subject of his Ph.D thesis (1963) was the production of strange particles in a hydrogen bubble chamber at CERN in Geneva, where he worked from 1961 to 1965. In 1966 he became Privatdozent at the University of Heidelberg, continuing particle-physics research with bubble chambers at CERN and at DESY in Hamburg. In 1972 Brandt moved to the new university in Siegen as a member of the Foundation Senate. With his group he participated in experiments using large electronic detectors at electron-positron colliders at DESY, in which the gluon was found, and later in an experiment at the LEP collider at CERN, which concentrated on production and properties of the heavy bosons W and Z.

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