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|The Los Alamos Primer: The First Lectures on How To Build an Atomic Bomb
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Author: Robert Serber
The classified lectures that galvanized the Manhattan Project scientists―with annotations for the nonspecialist reader and an introduction by a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian.
In March 1943 a group of young scientists, sequestered on a mesa near Santa Fe, attended a crash course in the new atomic physics. The lecturer was Robert Serber, J. Robert Oppenheimer's protégé, and they learned that their job was to invent the world's first atomic bomb.
Serber's lecture notes, nicknamed the "Los Alamos Primer," were mimeographed and passed from hand to hand, remaining classified for many years. They are published here for the first time, and now contemporary readers can see just how much was known and how terrifyingly much was unknown when the Manhattan Project began. Could this "gadget," based on the newly discovered principles of nuclear fission, really be designed and built? Could it be small enough and light enough for an airplane to carry? If it could be built, could it be controlled?
Working with Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of the development of the atomic bomb, Professor Serber has annotated original lecture notes with explanations of the physics terms for the nonspecialist. His preface, an informal memoir, vividly conveys the mingled excitement, uncertainty, and intensity felt by the Manhattan Project scientists. Rhodes's introduction provides a brief history of the development of atomic physics up to the day that Serber stood before his blackboard at Los Alamos. In this edition, The Los Alamos Primer finally emerges from the archives to give a new understanding of the very beginning of nuclear weapons. No seminar anywhere has had greater historical consequences.
In April 1943, a young physicist named Robert Serber stood up before a small group of fellow scientists in a laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and, as one attendee later recalled, began to speak in "a hazy, uncertain voice" about the project on which they would all be working. "The object," he said, "is to produce a practical military weapon in the form of a bomb in which the energy is released by a fast neutron chain reaction in one or more of the materials known to show nuclear fission." That mechanism, of course, was the atomic bomb, which a little more than two years later would be used against Japan.
In the following weeks, Serber touched on many themes, racing to an array of chalkboards to scribble complex formulas and equations. Among other things, he addressed how big a bomb would need to be in order to achieve critical mass--between 13.5 centimeters and 9 centimeters, he calculated--and what the probability of premature detonation might be. (It was, he concluded, always a danger.) At the end of the series, his lecture notes, classified as top secret, were gathered and printed for distribution to later cadres of scientists who came to work at Los Alamos. Years after the war they were declassified, and Serber, who died in May of 1997, took the opportunity to reflect on his work and the strange culture of the laboratory, adding postscripts and other commentary reproduced in the present edition.
Serber's book is an important document in the history of science, and remains one of the most accessible introductions to nuclear physics ever written. (On that note, those who worry that it is all too easy to find bomb-building instructions in the library or on the Web should rest assured: these lectures were tough for the greatest theoretical physicists of the time to follow.) It all makes for provocative reading. --Gregory McNamee
- University of California Press
|Atom: Journey Across the Subatomic Cosmos
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Author: Isaac Asimov
“Amazing… If you’ve been searching for a basic text on how the atom works, this is it.” —Booklist
The legendary Isaac Asimov starts what is perhaps the most fascinating of all his books with a simple query: how finely can a piece of matter be divided? But like many simple questions, this one leads us on a far-flung quest for a final answer, a search that becomes a series of beautifully structured building blocks of knowledge.
It begins with the earliest speculations and investigations by the Greeks and Romans, and then, step by step and century by century, it traces the path of discovery that revealed more and more of the nature of the atom, of light, of gravity, of the electromagnetic force—and even the nature and structure of the universe.
Atom also encompasses such phenomena as light and electricity; the protons, neutrons and quarks that are the fundamental units of the universe; hard-to-observe “anti-particles”; and other strange bits of matter that challenge our assumptions about the very nature of space and time.
Atom is the only book of its kind, by the renowned author whose genius for bringing clarity and excitement to complex subjects has made him the most celebrated science author of our time.
|Briefest History Of Time, The: The History Of Histories Of Time And The Misconstrued Association Between Entropy And Time
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Author: Arieh Ben-Naim
The aim of this book is to explain in simple language what we know about time and about the history of time. It is shown that the briefest (as well as the lengthiest) history of time can be described in one or two pages.The second purpose of the book is to show that neither entropy, nor the Second Law of Thermodynamics has anything to do with time. The third purpose is to educate the lay reader how to read popular science books, critically. Towards this goal, detailed reviews of four books on time are presented.There are many popular science books on Time, on the beginning of Time and the end of Time. This book is unique in the following two senses: It explains in simple terms what Time is, and why it is not related to entropy It critically reviews a few popular science books which perpetuate all kinds of unfounded ideas about the relationship between Time and the Second Law
- Briefest History of Time The The History of Histories of Time and the Misconstrued Association Between Entropy and Time
|Critical Assembly: A Technical History of Los Alamos during the Oppenheimer Years, 1943-1945
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Author: Lillian Hoddeson
Brand: Cambridge University Press
This volume is a lucid and accurate history of the technical research that led to the first atomic bombs. The authors explore how the "critical assembly" of scientists, engineers, and military personnel at Los Alamos, responding to wartime deadlines, collaborated to create a new approach to large-scale research. The book opens with an introduction laying out major themes. After a synopsis of the prehistory of the bomb project, from the discovery of nuclear fission to the start of the Manhattan Engineer District, and an overview of the early materials program, the book examines the establishment of the Los Alamos Laboratory, the implosion and gun assembly programs, nuclear physics research, chemistry and metallurgy, explosives, uranium and plutonium development, confirmation of spontaneous fission in pile-produced plutonium, the thermonuclear bomb, critical assemblies, the Trinity test, and delivery of the combat weapons.
- Used Book in Good Condition
|TRAPPED CHARGED PARTICLES: A GRADUATE TEXTBOOK WITH PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS (Advanced Textbooks in Physics)
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"Being the result of lectures given to young physicists, the book is targeted towards advanced undergraduate and graduate students who are new to the topic. All of the chapters are accompanied by worked problems to help students to check their understanding of the subjects."
At Les Houches in January 2015, experts in the field of charged particle trapping came together for the Second Winter School on Physics with Trapped Charged Particles. This textbook collates the lectures delivered there, covering the fundamental physics of particle traps and the different types of applications of these devices.
Taken as a whole, the book gives an overview of why traps for charged particles are important, how they work, their special features and limitations, and their application in areas such as precision measurements, mass spectrometry, optical clocks, plasma physics, antihydrogen creation, quantum simulation and quantum information processing. Chapters from various world experts include those on the basic properties of Penning traps and RF traps, as well as those covering important practical aspects such as vacuum systems, detection techniques, and different types of particle cooling, including laser cooling.
Each individual chapter provides information and guidance on the application of the above methods. Additionally, each chapter is complemented by fully worked problems and solutions, making Trapped Charged Particles perfect for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students new to this topic.
|Why the Universe Exists: How particle physics unlocks the secrets of everything (Instant Expert)
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Author: New Scientist
WHY IS THERE ALWAYS SOMETHING RATHER THAN NOTHING?
As you read this, billions of neutrinos from the sun are passing through your body, antimatter is sprouting from your dinner and the core of your being is a chaotic mess of particles known only as quarks and gluons.
Following the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson, Why The Universe Exists takes you deeper into the world of particle physics, exploring how the universe functions at the smallest scales.
Find out about the hunt for dark matter, discover how accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider are rewinding time to the first moments after the big bang, and learn how ghostly neutrino particles may hold the answers to the greatest mysteries of the universe.
|Ludwig Boltzmann: The Man Who Trusted Atoms
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Author: Carlo Cercignani
Ludwig Boltzmann arguably played the key role in establishing that submicroscopic structures underlie the ordinary world. He had a tremendous impact on late 19th-century and early 20th-century physics, and he anticipated many contemporary ideas, including Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions and recent theories of knowledge based on Darwinian principles. This book is the first accessible biography of this important figure. Without relying on equations, it provides a deep look at the full range of his scientific and philosophical ideas, discussing both their original context and their relevance today. The book also gives a concise portrait of Boltzmann's life, which, despite his successes, ended tragically in suicide. Drawing on recent research related to some of Boltzmann's more controversial ideas, this book offers fascinating insights into the birth of modern physics.
|Laser Cooling and Trapping (Graduate Texts in Contemporary Physics)
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Author: Harold J. Metcalf
Intended for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduates with some basic knowledge of optics and quantum mechanics, this text begins with a review of the relevant results of quantum mechanics, before turning to the electromagnetic interactions involved in slowing and trapping atoms and ions, in both magnetic and optical traps. The concluding chapters discuss a broad range of applications, from atomic clocks and studies of collision processes, to diffraction and interference of atomic beams at optical lattices and Bose-Einstein condensation.
|Atomic Physics (Oxford Master Series in Physics)
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Author: Christopher J. Foot
This text will thoroughly update the existing literature on atomic physics. Intended to accompany an advanced undergraduate course in atomic physics, the book will lead the students up to the latest advances and the applications to Bose-Einstein Condensation of atoms, matter-wave inter-ferometry and quantum computing with trapped ions. The elementary atomic physics covered in the early chapters should be accessible to undergraduates when they are first introduced to the subject. To complement the usual quantum mechanical treatment of atomic structure the book strongly emphasizes the experimental basis of the subject, especially in the later chapters. It includes ample tutorial material (examples, illustrations, chapter summaries, graded problem sets).
|The Theory of Atomic Structure and Spectra (Los Alamos Series in Basic and Applied Sciences)
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Author: Robert D. Cowan
Brand: Robert D Cowan
Both the interpretation of atomic spectra and the application of atomic spectroscopy to current problems in astrophysics, laser physics, and thermonuclear plasmas require a thorough knowledge of the Slater-Condon theory of atomic structure and spectra. This book gathers together aspects of the theory that are widely scattered in the literature and augments them to produce a coherent set of closed-form equations suitable both for computer calculations on cases of arbitrary complexity and for hand calculations for very simple cases.
- The Theory of Atomic Structure and Spectra
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