This lively, illuminating book describes, step by step, how man conquered the atom.
The story began many centuries ago, with a Greek philosopher named Democritus. Scientists from England, France, Germany, Italy and Denmark made their contributions as time passed; among them Ernest Rutherford, who shot off a new kind of "gun" and shattered the atom under the gun's heavy bombardment; the Curies; the chemists Hahn and Strassman who split the uranium atom into two almost equal parts; Lise Meitner—exiled from Hitler's Germany—who recognized this "division into two" as one of the most revolutionary discoveries of all time; Enrico Fermi and his fellow scientists in Rome; and Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein.
This high spot came on a December day in 1942 when Enrico Fermi stood on a squash court in Chicago and directed a unique experiment that formally opened the era of controlled release of nuclear energy. That experiment led to the making of the first atomic bomb.
But the story of atomic energy did not end there, with the making of deadly weapons. Soon after World War II a scientific brotherhood arose which spanned both hemispheres. Its purpose is to harness the power of the atom for peace. Industry, medicine, and many fields of research have already benefited. Mrs. Fermi, widow of the renowned physicist, shows clearly that the age of the "peaceful" atom is at last well under way.
From the dust jacket
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