AUTHORDahl, Per F.
TITLEFrom Nuclear Transmutation to Nuclear Fission, 1932-1939
PUBLISHERInstitute of Physics
CITYLondon, England

This detailed monograph focuses on the competition between physicists in four laboratories to achieve nuclear transmutation with artificially accelerated particles. The laboratories and their leaders were John Cockcroft at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England; Merle Tuve at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C.; Ernest Lawrence at the University of California, Berkeley; and Charles Lauritsen at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. The author describes the details of the competing accelerators and specific experiments, the personalities of the scientists, and the factors that led to the British victory in 1932. The final chapters are devoted to developments that occurred in the 1930s after the success of the Cambridge team. They include artificially induced transmutations in the other laboratories, the discovery of deuterium, and finally the discovery of fission in 1938. The book includes extensive end notes and a comprehensive bibliography that contains many references to the primary literature.

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