AUTHORGraetzer, Hans G. / Anderson, David L.
TITLEThe Discovery of Nuclear Fission
PUBLISHERVan Nostrand Reinhold
CITYNew York, NY
DATE PUBLISHED1971
ISBNno number - use WorldCat search box


This is a brief but fascinating book on the discovery of nuclear fission. The editors tell the story of fission alongside the original letters and reports of the scientists who discovered it. They present translations of the scientific articles of physicists and chemists such as Hahn, Meitner, Strassmann, Curie, and Bohr written between 1935 and 1939. The editors introduce and explain these documents as the evolving story of fission. A final chapter provides documents on Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan, including Stimson’s 1946 article in Harper’s magazine. Though short, this book contains virtually all of the important articles on fission before 1940 (though the articles are in some cases shortened and edited). These original documents form a basic college text on fission and its discovery. For the student of physics, the book recreates in a surreal fashion the circuitous path to the discovery of fission. Reading these documents, one realizes that the great physicists of the 20th century suffered no problems of confidence and were also very competitive.


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