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The Lost Notebook of ENRICO FERMI

The True Story of the Discovery of Neutron-Induced Radioactivity

Authors: Guerra, Francesco, Robotti, Nadia

  • Reconstructs a turning point in the history of science by dissecting a previously lost original document
  • Offers a detailed, instructive account of the initial stages of the development of nuclear physics
  • Illustrates how guiding theoretical ideas are often crucial in achieving fundamental milestones in understanding
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eBook $84.99
price for Mexico (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-69254-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.00
price for Mexico
  • ISBN 978-3-319-69253-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book tells the curious story of an unexpected finding that sheds light on a crucial moment in the development of physics: the discovery of artificial radioactivity induced by neutrons. The finding in question is a notebook, clearly written in Fermi's handwriting, which records the frenzied days and nights that Fermi spent experimenting alone, driven by his theoretical ideas on beta decay. The notebook was found by the authors while browsing through documents left by Oscar D'Agostino, the chemist among Fermi's group. From Fermi's notes, they reconstruct with skill and expertise the detailed timeline of the critical days leading up to his vital discovery. While much is already known about the road that led Fermi to his important result, this is the first time that it has been possible to reconstruct precisely when and how the initial evidence of neutron-induced decay was obtained. In relating this fascinating story, the book will be of great interest not only to those with a passion for the history of science but also to a wider audience.

About the authors

Francesco Guerra is Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics in the Department of Physics at the University of Rome "La Sapienza", and associated to the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics and the Enrico Fermi Research Center in Rome. His research activity includes quantum field theory, elementary particle physics, statistical mechanics of complex systems, and the history of nuclear physics. He has published around two hundred scientific papers, as well as books and monographs. In 2008 he received the Prize for History of Physics from the Italian Physical Society. He is managing editor of the European Physical Journal H (EPJ-H), which is devoted to historical perspectives in contemporary physics.

Nadia Robotti is Full Professor of the History of Physics in the Department of Physics at the University of Genoa, and associated to the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics and the Enrico Fermi Research Center in Rome. Her research activity includes the history of quantum mechanics and atomic and nuclear physics. She has published around 150 research articles, as well as books and monographs. In 2008 she received the Prize for History of Physics from the Italian Physical Society. She is vice-director of the Giornale di Fisica and a member of the International Academy of the History of Science.

 

Table of contents (12 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Guerra, Francesco (et al.)

    Pages 1-3

  • Fermi in Italy: his manuscripts

    Guerra, Francesco (et al.)

    Pages 4-12

  • The beginning of Nuclear Physics in Rome

    Guerra, Francesco (et al.)

    Pages 13-45

  • Nuclear Physics in Rome after the Rome Conference: 1931-1933

    Guerra, Francesco (et al.)

    Pages 46-68

  • New particles and new theories: 1932-1933

    Guerra, Francesco (et al.)

    Pages 69-94

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for Mexico (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-69254-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.00
price for Mexico
  • ISBN 978-3-319-69253-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Lost Notebook of ENRICO FERMI
Book Subtitle
The True Story of the Discovery of Neutron-Induced Radioactivity
Authors
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-69254-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-69254-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-69253-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 261
Number of Illustrations and Tables
29 b/w illustrations, 85 illustrations in colour
Topics