Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review of "Nuclear Forces: The Making of the Physicist Hans Bethe"

Here's another name that is a giant among physicists, yet it isn't a household name for the general public. This is a book review of of a recent biography of Hans Bethe published in this month's issue of Physics Today.

Of course, my admiration for Bethe can be summed up in this paragraph of the review:

Among the most pervasive features of Bethe’s emerging style was his fundamental criterion that theory must be grounded in real-world observation—a view he shared with other young physicists in his circle, including Edward Teller, Rudolf Peierls, Nevill Mott, Enrico Fermi, and later Richard Feynman. Bethe’s physics would not be aimed at formulating radically new ideas, but rather at critically analyzing and extending theories and formulating models that could test their validity.

This is probably a good book to read about Bethe. I plan on getting it, but if you have read it, I'd like to hear your views on it.


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