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Niels Bohr: A Very Short Introduction

J. L. Heilbron

January 2020

ISBN: 9780198819264

160 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99

This book introduces the life and work of one of the most creative physicists of the 20th century. Niels Bohr, the pioneer of quantum theory, ranking with Einstein in importance for the development of modern physics, also had deep interests in philosophy, literature, and humanism. John Heilbron explores how these influenced his groundbreaking work.

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Description

This book introduces the life and work of one of the most creative physicists of the 20th century. Niels Bohr, the pioneer of quantum theory, ranking with Einstein in importance for the development of modern physics, also had deep interests in philosophy, literature, and humanism. John Heilbron explores how these influenced his groundbreaking work.

  • Covers the life and work of one of the most creative physicists of the 20th century, Niels Bohr, who pioneered the quantum theory of the atom
  • Considers how Bohr's work was influenced by his philosophy and humanist concerns
  • Alongside Bohr as a scientist, discusses his role as a statesman, institution builder, and Danish cultural icon
  • Offers the first overview in English that draws on all the available sources, which the author has had a hand in uncovering
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over ten million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

J. L. Heilbron, Professor of History, Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

J.L. Heilbron is Professor of History and Vice Chancellor, Emeritus, at the University of California, Berkeley. After retiring in 1994, Heilbron taught sporadically at Caltech and Yale, and lived mostly around Oxford, where he has been Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College and the Oxford Museum for the History of Science. His many books, which deal with the history of science from the late Renaissance to the 20th century, include Galileo (OUP, 2012), Love, Literature, and the Quantum Atom: Niels Bohr's 1913 trilogy revisited (OUP, 2013), with Finn Aaserud, and The History of Physics VSI (OUP, 2018). He also served as general editor of the Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science (OUP 2003).

Table of Contents

    Prologue
    1:A richly furnished mind: Viking Jew; Christian philosopher; physicist
    2:Productive ambiguity: Revelations of hydrogen; unfinished business
    3:Magic wand: instant progress; the Institute, the Bohrfest, and the Nobel Prize; exclusion and energy
    4:Enthusiastic resignation: quantum talk; the challenger; complementarity
    5:The Institute: mopping up; new directions; outreach
    6:Elder statesman: Uncle Nick; historia magistra vitae
    Appendices
    General reading
    Index

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