Thirty years that shook physics: the story of quantum theory

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Doubleday, 1966 - Science - 224 pages
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Lucid, accessible introduction to the influential theory of energy and matter features careful explanations of Dirac's anti-particles, Bohr's model of the atom, and much more. Numerous drawings. 1966 edition.

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Review: Thirty Years that Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory

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Loved it! Fascinating history showing the personalities of many of my scientific heroes! Read full review

Review: Thirty Years that Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory

User Review  - Goodreads

I first read this book several decades ago and enjoyed it hugely this second time as well. It is a history of early 20th-century physics organized around some of the major contributing scientists ... Read full review



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About the author (1966)

Born in Odessa, Russia, George Gamow, the son of a teacher, studied at the University of Leningrad, becoming professor of physics in 1931. He emigrated to the United States in 1933 and taught at George Washington University (1934-56) and at the University of Colorado (1956-68). His scientific work covered many fields, mostly related to nuclear physics. In the field of molecular biology, Gamow suggested the triplet mechanism for coding DNA. He and his associate Ralph Alpher developed a detailed model of the early stages of cosmic evolution in the "big bang" theory. Although Gamow's basic assumption that the primordial universe contained only neutrons was incorrect, this assumption stimulated a great deal of subsequent work in cosmology. Gamow wrote 30 popular books on astronomy, physics, and related sciences. In his "Mr. Tompkins" series (one of the most famous), Gamow used the figure of a curious, interested bank clerk as a protagonist for various journeys into quantum physics and gravity. His sense of humor is evident in his books and in his scientific career. For example, one of the key papers on the "big bang" theory is called the alpha-beta-gamma paper. In 1956, UNESCO awarded Gamow the Kalinga Prize for science writing.

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