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Inward Bound: Of Matter and Forces in the Physical World

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  49 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Abraham Pais' 'Subtle is the Lord...'--the award-winning biography of Albert Einstein--received high acclaim from The New York Times Book Review which hailed it as "a monument to sound scholarship and graceful style," and from The Christian Science Monitor which called it "an extraordinary biography of an extraordinary man."
In his groundbreaking new book, Pais chronicles
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Paperback, 328 pages
Published September 1st 1988 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1986)
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Nick Black
Mar 23, 2014 Nick Black rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nick by: Peter Wolt (ht','videoplayer','width=970,height=678,scrollbars=n
Amazon used 2009-03-0x. A lavish, wonderful, fanatically detailed and researched history of the last century's "golden era" of physics; Pais begins his story with Roentgen's discovery of x-rays and Becquerel's subsequent coinage of radioactivity, and ends with the tour de force discovery of the weak nuclear force's W and Z exchange particles (for a hilarious look into this, check out RESONAANCES's post "Pauli's Other Principle" or Luboš Motl's rather politically incorrect lark on The Reference F ...more
F Avery
Mar 29, 2013 F Avery rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
As with Pais' earlier book "Subtle is the Lord", a biography of Albert Einstein, this is a tough read because he doesn't shy away from deep technical discussions including some high level mathematics to describe how the physical theories developed over time. Although I do have a background in mathematics and science, I just didn't have the time to stop and comprehend every equation. But I did enjoy it over all. I'm giving it 4 stars out of 5.
The most surprising thing I learned from the book is
...more
Dale
Apr 08, 2014 Dale rated it it was amazing
In depth, detailed history of the development of nuclear physics. Read about how toothpaste containing Radium was sold to German civilians during WW1 for example. If you teach Physics or are a practitioner of that black art, this book is a must read.
Michael Pointer
Feb 10, 2015 Michael Pointer rated it it was amazing
A tour de force that inspired me to wish I was alive back in the glory days of 20th century physics, working with Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Fermi, Pauli, Dirac, and on and on
Jiahao
Jul 21, 2007 Jiahao rated it really liked it
Shelves: math-science, popular
Pais writes a gripping tale of scientific discovery beginning from the last decades of the 19th century with the discovery of the X-rays and radioactivity and continues the tale of the study of the forces of nature culminating in modern high-energy, big-budget physics. The book of course neglects the other large branch of physics, i.e. condensed matter physics, and I quibble with some of the omissions, most notably that of the effects of indistinguishability in many-body quantum mechanics, and t ...more
Brendan  McAuliffe
Apr 25, 2011 Brendan McAuliffe rated it liked it
Couldn't read all of this, too much advanced mathematics. Skipped those parts and just read inbetween.
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Physicist and science historian.
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“I introduce the subject of fine structure with a mini-calendar of events. ...

Winter 1914-15. Sommerfeld computes relativistic orbits for hydrogen-like atoms. Pashcen, aware of these studies, carefully investigates fine structures, ....

January 6, 1916. Sommerfeld announces his fine structure formula, citing results to be published by Paschen in support of his answer.

February 1916. Einstein to Sommerfeld: "A revelation!"

March 1916. Bohr to Sommerfeld: "I do not believe ever to have read anything with more joy than your beautiful work."

September 1916. Paschen publishes his work, acknowledging Sommerfeld's "indefatigable efforts.”
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