AUTHORKim, Dong-Won
TITLEYoshio Nishina: Father of Modern Physics in Japan
PUBLISHERTaylor & Francis Group
CITYBoca Raton, FL

This interesting biography describes the influence of Yoshio Nishina on nuclear physics in twentieth century Japan. After his early education in Japan, he spent seven years in Europe at the Cavendish Laboratory, the University of Göttingen, and the Niels Bohr Institute. His contributions to Japanese physics were both theoretical and applied. They included the introduction of quantum mechanics to Japan, cosmic ray research, and the construction of two cyclotrons. The cyclotrons were components of Japan’s nuclear weapons research efforts during World War II and were destroyed by the occupying U.S. forces. After the war, he became president of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, known as RIKEN, where he led the development of Japanese science until his death in 1951. Nishina is most famous in physics circles for being involved in the development of the “Klein-Nishina” formula, which quantifies cross-sections for photon-electron scattering such as students encounter in the Compton effect. The book includes photographs, illustrations, and equations. An appendix contains selected correspondence bewteen Nishina and U.S. physicist Ernest O. Lawrence from 1931 to 1951.

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