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David Wilkins has commented on (6) products.

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
The Making of the Atomic Bomb

David Wilkins, January 2, 2012

A fascinating book - more about the personalities of those making astonishing discoveries ...
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The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
The Making of the Atomic Bomb

David Wilkins, January 1, 2011

The bulk of the book focuses on the intensely human story of a fascinating group of largely European thinkers who explored and discovered how atoms were put together. The various cultures, especially in central Europe, form a fascinating, sometimes chilling, backdrop for these discoveries that would change our ordinary world for decades to come. You'll learn the talents and foibles of a varied band of theorists and experimenters, but not a recipe for making a bomb - only the basic ideas taught to every high school physics student. A dramatic story, surprisingly readable, fascinating at first, and increasingly somber as ideas shape the reality of the weapon.
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The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces by Frank Wilczek
The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces

David Wilkins, April 27, 2010

Written by a Nobel-prize winning physicist who obviously loves his subject, this book aims, among other things, at explaining where mass comes from. If you enjoy perusing articles in Scientific American, you may well enjoy the author's exploration of the deep interior of the atom, its nucleus, and the interior of the particles in the nucleus -- all explained with grace and precision, but in English, not with forbidding equations. The right kind of reader will gain a new-found respect for the latest explanations of how to build up a proton or neutron, and where it gets its mass (hint: not from the "quarks" that combine to form the particle, since they weigh only about 3 percent of the particle's mass). I think he was at his best explaining how "gluons" inside a particle like a neutron manage to confine quarks so that you never observe an isolated quark. Highly recommended for the scientifically curious reader who wants a solid qualitative understanding of the best modern physics today.
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The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
The Making of the Atomic Bomb

David Wilkins, January 1, 2010

This book captured my attention from the first paragraph, catching physicist Leo Szilard in mid-thought as he starts to cross a street. It weaves men - and women-, mostly Europeans, their backgrounds and cultures into a tapestry of ideas, experiments and revolutions in thought, whose ideas, made so very concrete, changed our world forever. I was pleasantly surprised to find such detailed insights into the personalities, quirks and ideas of this surprisingly disparate group of scientists, thinkers, and experimenters.
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(2 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)



And Another Thing...

David Wilkins, December 1, 2009

While this book has a familiar cast of characters - Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, the Galactic President and more - it does not capture the uniquely charming plot twists that I loved in the previous 5 books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Both beginning and ending work well, but reading the long midsection felt more like a chore than a mischievous delight.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)



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