Cover image for Enrico Fermi : and the revolutions in modern physics
Enrico Fermi : and the revolutions in modern physics
Cooper, Dan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
117 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
A biography of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist whose work led to the discovery of nuclear fission, the basis of nuclear power and the atom bomb.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QC16.F46 C66 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In 1938, at the age of 37, Enrico Fermi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. That same year he emigrated from Italy to the United States and, in the course of his experiments, discovered nuclear fission--a process which forms the basis of nuclear power and atomic bombs. Soon the brilliantphysicist was involved in the top secret race to produce the deadliest weapon on Earth. He created the first self-sustaining chain reaction, devised new methods for purifying plutonium, and eventually participated in the first atomic test. This compelling biography traces Fermi's education in Italy,his meteoric career in the scientific world, his escape from fascism to America, and the ingenious experiments he devised and conducted at the University of Rome, Columbia University, and the Los Alamos laboratory. The book also presents a mini-course in quantum and nuclear physics in an accessible,fast-paced narrative that invokes all the dizzying passion of Fermis brilliant discoveries.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 UpA balanced discussion of the scientists life and work. Coopers coverage of Fermis childhood and education, the political situation in Italy that led him to immigrate to the United States in 1939, and his work on the atomic bomb are particularly informative. Full-page sidebars explain principles related to the physicists research: Fermi-Dirac statistics, Heisenbergs matrix mechanics, and the production of new radioactive elements by neutron bombardment. Captioned black-and-white photographs of Fermi, his family, and his colleagues add interest. This book will be useful for reports, but the complexity of the principles of quantum and nuclear physics makes for challenging reading. The extensive list for further reading includes biographies of Fermi, books on both scientific and political aspects of the atomic-bomb project, and information on tours of laboratories involved in nuclear research today. Ted Gottfrieds Enrico Fermi (Facts On File, 1992; o.p.) covers much of the same ground.Carolyn Angus, The Claremont Graduate School, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.