Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics

Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics

A attention-grabbing examine the landmark 1932 amassing of the most important names in physics

identified by means of physicists because the "miracle year," 1932 observed the invention of the neutron and the 1st artificially brought on nuclear transmutation. although, whereas physicists celebrated those momentous discoveries—which presaged the period of huge technology and nuclear bombs—Europe was once relocating inexorably towards totalitarianism and struggle. In April of that yr, approximately 40 of the world’s best physicists—including Werner Heisenberg, Lise Meitner, and Paul Dirac—came to Niels Bohr’s Copenhagen Institute for his or her annual casual assembly in regards to the frontiers of physics.

Physicist Gino Segrè brings to existence this old accumulating, which ended with a funny skit in line with Goethe’s Faust—a skit that eerily foreshadowed occasions that will quickly spread. Little did the scientists comprehend the Faustian deals they'd face within the close to destiny. shooting the interaction among the nice scientists in addition to the discoveries they mentioned and debated, Segrè conjures up the instant whilst physics—and the world—was approximately to lose its innocence.

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