AUTHORSchweber, Silvan S.
TITLENuclear Forces: The Making of the Physicist Hans Bethe
PUBLISHERHarvard University Press
CITYCambridge, MA

Written by a well-regarded historian of physics, this work traces the life of eminent physicist Hans Bethe from his birth in 1906 to the 1930s, a decade of great discoveries in nuclear science. In the 1920s Bethe went to Munich to become a student of Arnold Sommerfield in theoretical physics along with Werner Heisenberg and Wolfgang Pauli. The author presents Bethe’s scientific achievements in the environment of interwar Nazi Germany, his migration to Britain in 1935 and later to the United States, where he took a position at Cornell University and helped to establish a major center of physics. Bethe’s insights into the generation of energy by the sun in 1938 earned him the Nobel Prize in physics in 1967. During World War II, he was appointed by J. Robert Oppenheimer to lead the theoretical division at Los Alamos. A chapter is devoted to the life of Rose Bethe and her influence on her husband. Appendices include the Bethe family tree and Bethe's doctoral thesis. The author also wrote on Bethe in a previous book In the Shadow of the Bomb, which contrasts the lives of Oppenheimer and Bethe.

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