Knockout Narratives Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Original Essays | January 6, 2015

    Matt Burgess: IMG 35 Seconds



    Late at night on September 22, 2014, at a housing project basketball court in Brooklyn, a white cop pushes a black man against a chain link fence.... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$9.95
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside History of Science- General

Secret Mesa: Inside Los Alamos National Laboratory

by

Secret Mesa: Inside Los Alamos National Laboratory Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"It's easy to feel watched in Los Alamos. During my first visit to the town several years ago, I stopped by the side of the road to take a picture of what I thought was just the Santa Fe National Forest. A small pickup truck did a quick U-turn and parked next to me until I left. When this happened again on another public highway in the area, I began to wonder whose woods these really were.

"Later I learned that the technical areas of Los Alamos National Laboratory extend far beyond the obvious cluster of gray and tan buildings at its center. They are spread out over forty-three square miles of woods and canyons and are hemmed in by national forest and parklands. It turns out I was nowhere near the heavily guarded areas of the lab, where picture taking would be considered a threat to national security. But I was quietly watched, nonetheless." —from the text

"It's easy to feel watched in Los Alamos," begins award-winning journalist Jo Ann Shroyer in this engrossing profile of life and work inside the world's most notorious science research center. Los Alamos is a world unto itself, rife with contradictions, haunted by its history, and yet bustling with an astonishing range of forefront science projects, from cancer research to the building of robotic ants. This is a town with the highest concentration of Ph.D.'s anywhere in the world; where children sometimes aren't allowed to know what their parents do for a living; and where weapons designers offer philosophical insights into why only deadly weapons can ensure lasting peace.

Created as a top-secret outpost on a desolate mesa in the New Mexico desert—exclusively for the purpose of assembling the world's first atomic weapon—Los Alamos was transformed during the Cold War into a high-powered science complex and full-blown "company town," with a population of 20,000, covering forty-three square miles and including schools, stores, churches, and a private ski slope. But even today, the town is tightly guarded by a 400-strong special security force, and glinting barriers of razor wire encircle research facilities protected by motion detectors and patrolled by armed guards.

As Shroyer probes behind closed doors, she finds a complex, colorful, and thoughtful community grappling with the legacy of its nuclear-tainted past and confronting the challenge of defining its future in the post-Cold War era. Drawing on extensive interviews with scientists and residents, from weapons designers to peace activists, she takes us into their labs and homes and explores the surprising range of their insights and research.

We accompany her as she "goes behind the fence" to visit the X-2 thermonuclear weapons facility and talk with weapons designer James "Jas" Mercer-Smith, who describes the lab's mission as "trying to keep people from killing themselves in vast numbers." We meet robot scientist Mark Tilden and witness the lively antics of the menagerie of mechanical creatures he calls his "Robot Jurassic Park." And we visit the bizarre junkyard overflowing with "techno trash" run by peace activist Ed Grothus, where he sells research materials, discarded by lab facilities that he ironically dubs nuclear waste.

A rich and evocative portrait of an intriguing, closed world, Secret Mesa ultimately offers a unique perspective on the complex questions surrounding the appropriate role, if any, for nuclear weapons in our future as well as the role of government-sponsored "big science" in spearheading much of the basic research so important to scientific progress.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 217-223) and index.

About the Author

JO ANN SHROYER has won numerous awards for journalistic excellence. Her articles have appeared in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Denver Post, the Kansas City Star, and other newspapers, and she has reported on science and medical issues for National Public Radio.

Table of Contents

The Witch in the Fairy Tale.

Spooks and Cold Warriors.

The Plague.

The Perils of Plutonium.

Death Before Decaf.

Habits of Secrecy.

Mechanical Ants.

The Black Hole.

Too Many Ph.D.'s.

A Thousand Cranes.

Notes.

Index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780471040637
Subtitle:
Inside Los Alamos National Laboratory
Author:
Shroyer, Jo Ann
Publisher:
Wiley
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Computer Science
Subject:
Military Science
Subject:
History
Subject:
Laboratories
Subject:
Nuclear weapons
Subject:
Engineering laboratories
Subject:
Nuclear weapons -- Research -- New Mexico -- Los Alamos -- History.
Subject:
Computer Science - General Interest
Copyright:
Series Volume:
#96-434
Publication Date:
19971024
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
9.54x6.39x.84 in. 1.18 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. J. Robert Oppenheimer :shatterer of... Used Trade Paper $4.95
  2. Landmark Experiments in Twentieth... Used Trade Paper $6.95
  3. Conversations on the Dark Secrets of... New Trade Paper $17.50
  4. Robert Oppenheimer: Letters and... Used Trade Paper $7.95
  5. Physics Demystified (Demystified) Used Trade Paper $9.95
  6. The good servant :making peace with... Used Hardcover $4.46

Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General History and Philosophy

Secret Mesa: Inside Los Alamos National Laboratory Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages John Wiley & Sons - English 9780471040637 Reviews:
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.