Inside The Centre

The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer

Author: Ray Monk

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1448162254

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 832

View: 5321

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J. Robert Oppenheimer is among the most contentious and important figures of the twentieth century. As head of the Los Alamos Laboratory, he oversaw the successful effort to beat the Nazis to develop the first atomic bomb – a breakthrough which was to have eternal ramifications for mankind, and made Oppenheimer the 'father of the Bomb'. But his was not a simple story of assimilation, scientific success and world fame. A complicated and fragile personality, the implications of the discoveries at Los Alamos were to weigh heavily upon him. Having formed suspicious connections in the 1930s, in the wake of the Allied victory in World War Two, Oppenheimer’s attempts to resist the escalation of the Cold War arms race would lead many to question his loyalties – and set him on a collision course with Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunters.
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Robert Oppenheimer

A Life Inside the Center

Author: Ray Monk

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 0385504136

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 848

View: 6607

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Robert Oppenheimer was among the most brilliant and divisive of men. As head of the Los Alamos Laboratory, he oversaw the successful effort to beat the Nazis in the race to develop the first atomic bomb—a breakthrough that was to have eternal ramifications for mankind and that made Oppenheimer the “Father of the Atomic Bomb.” But with his actions leading up to that great achievement, he also set himself on a dangerous collision course with Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch-hunters. In Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center, Ray Monk, author of peerless biographies of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, goes deeper than any previous biographer in the quest to solve the enigma of Oppenheimer’s motivations and his complex personality. The son of German-Jewish immigrants, Oppenheimer was a man of phenomenal intellectual attributes, driven by an ambition to overcome his status as an outsider and penetrate the heart of political and social life. As a young scientist, his talent and drive allowed him to enter a community peopled by the great names of twentieth-century physics—men such as Niels Bohr, Max Born, Paul Dirac, and Albert Einstein—and to play a role in the laboratories and classrooms where the world was being changed forever, where the secrets of the universe, whether within atomic nuclei or collapsing stars, revealed themselves. But Oppenheimer’s path went beyond one of assimilation, scientific success, and world fame. The implications of the discoveries at Los Alamos weighed heavily upon this fragile and complicated man. In the 1930s, in a climate already thick with paranoia and espionage, he made suspicious connections, and in the wake of the Allied victory, his attempts to resist the escalation of the Cold War arms race led many to question his loyalties. Through compassionate investigation and with towering scholarship, Ray Monk’s Robert Oppenheimer tells an unforgettable story of discovery, secrecy, impossible choices, and unimaginable destruction.
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The Perfect Theory

A Century of Geniuses and the Battle Over General Relativity

Author: Pedro G. Ferreira

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547554893

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 8517

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A narrative chronicle of Einstein's theory of general relativity discusses the ideological battles that have surrounded it, exploring how the theory has been denounced, overlooked and embraced by forefront names in 20th-century physics throughout their collective effort to define the history of the universe. 25,000 first printing.
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The Poetics of Scientific Investigation in Seventeenth-Century England

Author: Claire Preston

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198704801

Category: Didactic literature

Page: 304

View: 2408

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Since the Enlightenment we have sharply divided the scientific from the imaginative -- the lab report and the novel are two quite different species. But this is a modern, imposed division. Early-modern scientists had no conventional way of talking about their work, and no one told the poets, dramatists, satirists, and novelists that science was off limits in their work. This book examines the way that scientists in the 16th and 17th centuries, who had not studied'science' formally at school or university, used the verbal tools of their highly literary education to formulate ideas about physics, astronomy, biology, medicine, and chemistry. Their science issurprisingly literary. At the same time, the remarkable developments in seventeenth-century science inspired non-scientific writers, who energetically adapted the experiments, behaviour, ambitions, and characters of scientists like Boyle and Newton to make new and exciting fictions of discovery, to make fun of those same activities, and to shape the way we understand scientific process.
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Critical Narrative as Pedagogy

Author: Ivor Goodson,Scherto Gill

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1623565405

Category: Education

Page: 288

View: 1392

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Ivor Goodson and Scherto Gill analyse and discuss a series of trans-disciplinary case studies from diverse cultures and argue that narrative is not only a rich and profound way for humans to make sense of their lives, but also in itself a process of pedagogical encounter, learning and transformation. As pedagogic sites, life narratives allow the individual to critically examine their 'scripts' for learning which are encapsulated in their thought processes, discourses, beliefs and values. Goodson and Gill show how narratives can help educators and students shift from a disenfranchised tradition to one of empowerment. This unique book brings together case studies of life narratives as an approach to learning and meaning-making in different disciplines and cultural settings, including teacher education, adult learning, (auto)biographical writing, psychotherapy, intercultural learning and community development. Educators, researchers and practitioners from diverse disciplines will find the case studies collected in this book helpful in expanding their understanding of the potential of narrative as a phenomenon, as methodology, and as pedagogy.
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J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century

Author: David C. Cassidy

Publisher: Plunkett Lake Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: N.A

View: 5870

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Born into a wealthy, secular New York Jewish family, a student of the Ethical Culture School in New York, later educated in theoretical physics at Harvard, Cambridge (UK) and Göttingen (Germany), appointed professor at UC-Berkeley and Caltech, J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) was on the forefront of the rise of theoretical physics in the United States to world-class status, contributing to the century-altering success of the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. As the scientific leader of that project, Oppenheimer played a key advisory role in government, helping to forge the post-war military-industrial-scientific alliance that poured huge resources into post-war “big science.” Because of his position, Oppenheimer became for the public the heroic cultural icon of American science, but he also became a target and a tragic victim of the cold-war fear and nuclear war preparations underlying the McCarthy era. This biographical study focuses on Oppenheimer’s cultural and intellectual rise as a theoretical physicist as well as his role within the trajectory of the nation’s rise to scientific leadership and the post-war forces that confronted American science. This biography is nearly unique in that it includes discussions for general audiences of Oppenheimer’s work and contributions to theoretical physics, including his famous prediction of black holes sixty years before their confirmed discovery. “Now David Cassidy brings us the best account of Oppenheimer’s life in science with J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century.” — T. Powers, New York Review of Books “Cassidy covers this ground admirably in his thoughtful biography of Oppenheimer.” —Scientific American “Cassidy’s book...is probably the best single study of Oppenheimer to date.” — B. Bernstein, Physics World “Cassidy’s biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer is a concise, well-written book about the life of the famous 20th century scientist... A worthwhile read for anyone with an interest in the coming of age of American physics and how the weaknesses and strengths of one of its leaders shaped the relationship between science and the government for decades to come.” — Physics and Society “This biography is a detailed and beautifully written work. Cassidy expands beyond the traditional scope of a biography and expertly explores the surrounding environment that shaped Oppenheimer’s life.” — Atomic Archive “This excellent biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer places the eminent physicist in the context of twentieth century America... Cassidy... provides excellent insights into the life and times of this complex man. Unlike many other biographers of Oppenheimer, Cassidy assesses his role as a twentieth century theoretical physicist.” — Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues “A superbly researched biography... There is no doubt that Cassidy gives us a valuable perspective on Oppenheimer’s life. The author is shy neither of editorializing nor of making judgments about the personalities who appear in the story... These comments are almost unfailingly fair and justified by the evidence.” — Times Higher Education “Cassidy... has written a book that neither praises Oppenheimer nor buries his reputation but, rather, puts some tarnish upon the icon.” — G. Herken, Science
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Nicolas Nabokov

A Life in Freedom and Music

Author: Vincent Giroud

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199399913

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 504

View: 686

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Composer, cultural diplomat, and man about town, Nicolas Nabokov (1903-78) counted among his intimate friends everyone from Igor Stravinsky to George Kennan. While today he is overshadowed by his more famous cousin Vladimir, Nicolas Nabokov was during his lifetime an outstanding and far-sighted player in international cultural exchanges during the Cold War and admired by some of the most distinguished minds of his century for his political acumen and his talents as a composer. This first-ever biography of Nabokov follows the fascinating stages of his life: a privileged childhood before the Revolution; the beginnings of a promising musical career launched under the aegis of Diaghilev; his involvement in anti-Stalinist causes in the first years of the Cold War; his participation in the Congress for Cultural Freedom; his role as cultural advisor to the Mayor of Berlin and director of the Berlin Festival in the early 1960s; his American academic and musical career in the late 1960s and 1970s. Nabokov is unique not only in that he was involved on a high level in international cultural politics, but also in that his life intersected at all times with a vast array of people within - and also well beyond - the confines of classical music. Drawing on a vast array of primary sources, Vincent Giroud's biography opens a window into history for readers interested in twentieth-century music, Russian emigration, and the Cold War, particularly in its cultural aspects. Musicians and musicologists interested in Nabokov as a composer, or in twentieth century Russian composers in general, will find in this book information not available anywhere else.
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109 East Palace

Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos

Author: Jennet Conant

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1416585427

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 6722

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From the bestselling author of Tuxedo Park, the fascinating story of the 3,000 people who lived together in near confinement for more than two intense and conflicted years under J. Robert Oppenheimer and the world's best scientists to produce the Atomic Bomb and win World War II. They were told as little as possible. Their orders were to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and report for work at a classified Manhattan Project site, a location so covert it was known to them only by the mysterious address: 109 East Palace. There, behind a wrought-iron gate and narrow passageway just off the touristy old plaza, they were greeted by Dorothy McKibbin, an attractive widow who was the least likely person imaginable to run a front for a clandestine defense laboratory. They stepped across her threshold into a parallel universe--the desert hideaway where Robert Oppenheimer and a team of world-famous scientists raced to build the first atomic bomb before Germany and bring World War II to an end. Brilliant, handsome, extraordinarily charismatic, Oppenheimer based his unprecedented scientific enterprise in the high reaches of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, hoping that the land of enchantment would conceal and inspire their bold mission. Oppenheimer was as arrogant as he was inexperienced, and few believed the thirty-eight-year-old theoretical physicist would succeed. Jennet Conant captures all the exhilaration and drama of those perilous twenty-seven months at Los Alamos, a secret city cut off from the rest of society, ringed by barbed wire, where Oppenheimer and his young recruits lived as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government. With her dry humor and eye for detail, Conant chronicles the chaotic beginnings of Oppenheimer's by-the-seat-of-his-pants operation, where freshly minted secretaries and worldly scientists had to contend with living conditions straight out of pioneer days. Despite all the obstacles, Oppie managed to forge a vibrant community at Los Alamos through the sheer force of his personality. Dorothy, who fell for him at first sight, devoted herself to taking care of him and his crew and supported him through the terrifying preparations for the test explosion at Trinity and the harrowing aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Less than a decade later, Oppenheimer became the focus of suspicion during the McCarthy witch hunts. When he and James B. Conant, one of the top administrators of the Manhattan Project (and the author's grandfather), led the campaign against the hydrogen bomb, Oppenheimer's past left-wing sympathies were used against him, and he was found to be a security risk and stripped of his clearance. Though Dorothy tried to help clear his name, she saw the man she loved disgraced. In this riveting and deeply moving account, drawing on a wealth of research and interviews with close family and colleagues, Jennet Conant reveals an exceptionally gifted and enigmatic man who served his country at tremendous personal cost and whose singular achievement, and subsequent undoing, is at the root of our present nuclear predicament.
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