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Название: Bird of passage: Recollections of a physicist
Автор: Peierls R.
Here is the intensely personal and often humorous autobiography of one of the most distinguished theoretical physicists of his generation, Sir Rudolf Peierls. Born in Germany in 1907, Peierls was indeed a "bird of passage," whose career of fifty-five years took him to leading centers of physics—including Munich, Leipzig, Zurich, Copenhagen, Cambridge, Manchester, Oxford, and J. Robert Oppenheimer's Los Alamos. Peierls was a major participant in the revolutionary development of quantum mechanics in the 1920s and 1930s, working with some of the pioneers and, as he puts it, "some of the great characters" in this field. During World War II, he and O. R. Frisch initiated atomic-bomb research in England, and later joined the Manhattan Project in the United States. A particularly absorbing part of this book is his candid description of Oppenheimer's desert laboratory, where an extraordinary collection of American and European scientists developed and built the first fission bombs. After the war, Peierls developed at Birmingham University a research school in which he proved to be an outstanding teacher and organizer.
Throughout his story, Peierls displays a remarkable gift for recognizing the telling details in his contacts with such men as Bethe, Bohr, Dirac, Fermi, Klaus Fuchs, Landau, Oppenheimer, Sommerfeld, and others. His book provides unique insights into the profession of physics during this century and into the often idiosyncratic personalities of its practitioners.
Sir Rudolf Peierls is Professor of Physics Emeritus at Oxford University and at the University of Washington. He is the author of works including The Laws of Nature (George Allen & Unwin), The Quantum Theory of Solids (Oxford), and Surprises in Theoretical Physics (Princeton).