Editorial Reviews. Review. [An] uncommonly good book. (John Leonard New York Times) THE PHYSICISTS – Kindle edition by Daniel J. Kevles. Download it. Brian said: As a physicist, I found this to be a very informative book. Unsurpassed in its breadth and literary style, Kevles’s account portrays the brilliant. Daniel J. Kevles. The Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in Modern America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Pp. xi, $
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Preview — The Physicists by Daniel J. This magnificent account of the coming of age of physics in America has been heralded as the best introduction ohysicists the history of science in the United States. Unsurpassed in kvles breadth and literary style, Kevles’s account portrays the brilliant scientists who became a powerful force in bringing the world into a revolutionary new era.
The book ranges widely as it links thes This magnificent account of the coming of age of physics in America has been heralded as the best introduction to the history of science in the United States. The book ranges widely as it links these exciting developments to the social, physixists, and political changes that occurred from the post-Civil War years to the present.
Throughout, Kevles keeps his eye on the central question of how an avowedly elitist enterprise grew and prospered in a democratic culture. In this new physicistd, the author has brought the story up to date by providing an extensive, authoritative, and colorful account of the Puysicists Super Collider, from its origins in the international competition and intellectual needs of high-energy particle physics, through its establishment as a multibillion-dollar project, to its termination, inas a result of angry opposition within the American pgysicists community and the Congress.
Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Physicistsplease sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Feb 07, Lhysicists rated it really liked it. As a physicist, I found this to be a very informative book.
I had only a spotty knowledge of the history of physics and this helped me to understand its place in American society. See Mark Bowles review above for a very good description of what this book is about. I highly recommend this book to any practicing physicists or to those who have a deeper interest in the field. Perhaps most interesting to me was the role of money and patronage in the advent of big physics.
Physics research relied on r As a physicist, I found this to be a very informative book. Physics research relied on rich benefactors such as the Rockefellers and Carnegie in its earliest stages of development after the civil war. After this period the government began to fund more research, particularly for its war efforts and to support industry. Kevles thoroughly addresses the conflict between applied and “pure” research. As the book was written mostly in the 70s, it is interesting juxtaposition to what has happened since.
I had a vague understanding that physocists world wars had fueled accelerated developments in physics, but this book made that clear in very great detail.
I also enjoyed his take on the role of physicists in the larger society and how we have been viewed over the decades.
Sometimes seen as brilliant and special people, sometimes elitist and dangerous. I think all of these views are true to some extent.
Much has changed in the world of physics since this was written, and it is true that it is the pnysicists primarily of the “big physics” of particle accelerators. Much has happened since, particularly in my field of biophysics, but that is the subject of another history.
This is a great place to start for a background to set the stage for what has happened since the s. Aug 30, Mark Bowles rated it really liked it. Who is this book about? Kdvles book is about the Los Alamos generation physicists. The book is about the roots of their achievements with the efforts of the physicists in the 50 years after the Civil War. One of the central themes is how an avowedly elitist enterprise grew and prospered in a Democratic culture.
What brought them to power was 1. What brought them to power was the identification of physics with the material solid state physics: But, conflicts arise because of the elitism of physics and the democracy of America.
Today, physics is not broadening its social base by bringing in women or blacks into the field. Other conflicts include those between the celebration of physics as high culture and its subordination to industrial profit and military prowess.
Also, there are conflicts between the desire to built monumental experimental facilities such as the supercollider and the necessity to meet ordinary social needs. Kevles is perhaps a bit too uncritical of the physicists in this book. This is a long book 25 chapters which are not structured in such a way as to provide quick access to the main ideas of the book. An excellent essay on sources provides an extended discussion on the numerous manuscript and personal interviews conducted by Kevles.
Feb 19, Edward Fenner rated it really liked it Shelves: A good and pretty thorough account of the history of this community. Thr is skewed a bit too heavily on CERN and other Big Science projects and does not delve into the little or progenitor physics. Rutherford is only lightly covered. Van de Graaff is mentioned briefly.
Daniel Kevles – Wikipedia
Electrostatic accelerators are largely overlooked which is unfortunate. From the first chapter I’m not sure i’m going to make it through it. But who knows it might pick up. John Lisle rated it really liked it Dec 02, Vanessa Hamer rated it it was amazing Dec 06, Brian Lee rated it liked it Aug 07, Stephen Orr rated it did not like it Jan 15, Jennifer rated it liked it Aug 21, Desiree Nelson rated it it was ok Jul 13, Lauren Michelle rated it liked it Jun 03, Kris rated it it was ok Sep 28, Anna rated it liked it Nov 06, Will Lind rated it liked it Apr 16, Cassio L Vieira rated it it was amazing Sep 12, Todd Marek rated it really liked it Apr 17, Sherman rated it it was amazing Jun 06, David Baron rated it it was amazing Mar 20, Roger Freedman rated it really liked it Jan 28, Sherbon rated it liked it Jun 14, Kat rated it really liked it Mar 24, Mike White rated it liked it Nov 18, Heather rated it really liked it Jul 09, Davis rated it it was amazing Dec 31, Karl Galle rated it really liked it Mar 07, Tom Jones rated it it was amazing Oct 29, Kel rated it liked it Feb 19, Trevor Owens rated it really liked it Dec 23, David rated it really liked it Sep 08, Jay G rated it really liked it Dec 31, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Kevles born 2 March in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is an American historian of science. He was previously a professor of the humanities at the California Institute of Technology, where he also served as faculty c Daniel J. He was previously a professor of the humanities at the California Institute of Technology, where he also served as faculty chair, from to His research interests have been primarily on the history of science in America, the interactions between science and society, and environmentalism.
He is best known for his survey works, which generalize large amounts of historical information into readable and coherent narratives. His books include The Physicistsa history of the American physics community, In the Name of Eugenicscurrently the standard text on the history of eugenics in the United States, and The Baltimore Case , a study of accusations of scientific fraud.
The mathematician Serge Lang subsequently waged an unsuccessful campaign to prevent Kevles from being granted tenure at Yale, claiming that Kevles’ book was too sympathetic to David Baltimore. Recently he has been working on a history of the uses of intellectual property in relation to the life sciences from the eighteenth century to the present.
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