In the Shadow of the Bomb: Oppenheimer, Bethe, and the Moral Responsibility of the Scientist by S.S. Schweber (Paperback, 2006)
All listings for this product
About this product
- DescriptionIn the Shadow of the Bomb narrates how two charismatic, exceptionally talented physicists--J. Robert Oppenheimer and Hans A. Bethe--came to terms with the nuclear weapons they helped to create. In 1945, the United States dropped the bomb, and physicists were forced to contemplate disquieting questions about their roles and responsibilities. When the Cold War followed, they were confronted with political demands for their loyalty and McCarthyism's threats to academic freedom. By examining how Oppenheimer and Bethe--two men with similar backgrounds but divergent aspirations and characters--struggled with these moral dilemmas, one of our foremost historians of physics tells the story of modern physics, the development of atomic weapons, and the Cold War. Oppenheimer and Bethe led parallel lives. Both received liberal educations that emphasized moral as well as intellectual growth. Both were outstanding theoreticians who worked on the atom bomb at Los Alamos. Both advised the government on nuclear issues, and both resisted the development of the hydrogen bomb. Both were, in their youth, sympathetic to liberal causes, and both were later called to defend the United States against Soviet communism and colleagues against anti-Communist crusaders. Finally, both prized scientific community as a salve to the apparent failure of Enlightenment values. Yet, their responses to the use of the atom bomb, the testing of the hydrogen bomb, and the treachery of domestic politics differed markedly. Bethe, who drew confidence from scientific achievement and integration into the physics community, preserved a deep integrity. By accepting a modest role, he continued to influence policy and contributed to the nuclear test ban treaty of 1963. In contrast, Oppenheimer first embodied a new scientific persona--the scientist who creates kwledge and techlogy affecting all humanity and boldly addresses their impact--and then could t carry its burden. His desire to retain insider status, combined with his isolation from creative work and collegial scientific community, led him to compromise principles and, ironically, to lose prestige and fall victim to other insiders. Schweber draws on his vast kwledge of science and its history--in addition to his unique access to the personalities involved--to tell a tale of two men that will enthrall readers interested in science, history, and the lives and minds of great thinkers.
- Author BiographySilvan S. Schweber is Professor Emeritus of Physics and Richard Koret Professor in the History of Ideas at Brandeis University and an Associate in Harvard's Department of the History of Science. He obtained a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Princeton in 1952, and later became a historian of science. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and author of Introduction to Relativistic Quantum Field Theory and QED and the Men Who Made It (Princeton).
- Author(s)S.S. Schweber
- PublisherPrinceton University Press
- Date of Publication18/12/2006
- SubjectScience: General & Reference
- Series TitlePrinceton Series in Physics
- Place of PublicationNew Jersey
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPrinceton University Press
- Content Note10 halftones.
- Weight399 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine18 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
Best-selling in Non-Fiction Books
Save on Non-Fiction Books
- AU $38.44Trending at AU $48.97
- AU $27.64Trending at AU $34.95
- AU $22.22Trending at AU $31.05
- AU $29.06Trending at AU $39.11
- AU $20.74Trending at AU $24.30
- AU $28.63Trending at AU $30.35
- AU $18.13Trending at AU $24.26
This item doesn't belong on this page.
Thanks, we'll look into this.