The Privilege of Being a Physicist

Victor Weisskopf, Author W.H. Freeman & Company $25 (235p) ISBN 978-0-7167-1982-3
An elder statesman of modern physics, Weisskopf was a key figure in the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb in Los Alamos. Now an MIT professor emeritus, he views the nuclear arms race as a triumph of insanity. In U.S.-U.S.S.R. relations, he urges interdependence, cooperation and mutual reductions in nuclear weapons. In his wise, humane, snappy essays, the Vienna-born physicist, fond of Rilke and Mozart, shows us the human face of science. For him, physics is one highly developed expression of our urge to find out where we stand in the environment and the cosmos. Lucid chapters offer a quick overview of recent discoveries from quarks to investigations of chaos, disorder and nonlinear physics. Weisskopf also reminisces about working with Neils Bohr and with his own mentor, Wolfgang Pauli, who, we learn, had a keen interest in mysticism and the Jewish Kabbalah. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
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