Cover image for Pions to quarks : particle physics in the 1950s : based on a Fermilab symposium
Pions to quarks : particle physics in the 1950s : based on a Fermilab symposium
Brown, Laurie M.
Publication Information:
Cambridge [Eng.] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
xxxii, 734 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Based on the lectures and discussions of historians and physicists at the Second International Symposium on the History of Particle Physics, held at Fermilab on May 1-4, 1985.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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QC793.16 .P56 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Editors Laurie Brown, Max Dresden and Lillian Hoddeson have assembled a prestigious group of physicists and historians of science to present a broadly balanced picture of this exciting scientific era that witnessed the coming of age of particle physics and its development into 'big science'. The historical studies and analyses provided in the volume are unique in their scope and level of detail. Major topics and developments addressed include the important experiments and their theoretical explanations, the design and construction of scientific instruments and the establishment of major research centres - especially the national laboratories that played a key role in the transformation of particle physics into 'big science'. These essays also range from sociological analyses of the particle physics subculture and the political aspects of research funding to discussions of symmetry and axiomatic field theory.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The second book in a series on the history of particle physics. An earlier volume, The Birth of Particle Physics, ed. by L.M. Brown and L. Hoddeson (CH, Feb'84), covered the development of particle physics up to 1947; this one covers 1947 to 1963 and is the proceedings of a 1985 symposium held at Fermilab. The scope of the contents is wide-ranging. Some of the papers are basically historical, some are reminiscences; some are oriented toward development of theory, and others toward experiment. All in all, it is a thorough and detailed look at particle physics during this period. Early cosmic ray physics, strange particles, weak interactions, parity, and hadron physics are all covered. Most of the well-written articles are nonmathematical. Furthermore, not all of the papers are by scientists; some are by historians. Extensive references are given at the end of each article. Diagrams are generally sparse, but there is a selection of black-and-white photographs of many of the participants. For anyone interested in the history of particle physics during this period, this excellent source is highly recommended to undergraduates. -B. R. Parker, Idaho State University

Table of Contents

1 introductionLaurie M. Brown and Max Dresden and Lillian Hoddeson and Chen Ning Yang and J. L. Heilbron
2 Particle discoveries in cosmic raysGeorge D. Rochester and Donald H. Perkins
3 High-energy nuclear physicsRobert L. Walker and Robert Hofstadter and Robert G. Sachs and Kameshwar C. Wali
4 The new laboratoryMatthew Sands and John P. Blewett and Ernest D. Courant and Lawrence W. Jones and Luis W. Alvarez and Ugo Amaldi and Robert Hofstadter and Donald W. Kerst and Robert R. Wilson and Peter Galison and Shuji Fukui and Gerson Goldhaber and Owen Chamberlain and Oreste Piccioni
5 The strange particlesLuis W. Alvarez and Jack Steinberger and William Chinowsky and William B. Fowler and Abraham Pais
6 Weak interactionsFrederick Reines and Bruno M. Pontecorvo and Louis Michel and Sam B. Treiman and D. Hywel White and Daniel Sullivan
7 Weak interactions and parity nonconservationAllan Franklin and Richard H. Dalitz and Val L. Fitch and Valentine L. Telegdi and E. C. G. Sudarsham
8 The particle physics communityRobert Seidel and Edoardo Amaldi and Armin Hermann and Abdus Salsm and Michiji Konuma
9 Theories of hadronsHelmut Rechenberg and Andy Pickering and Geoffrey F. Chew and Arthur S. Wightman and Yuval Ne'eman and Yoichiro Nambu
10 Personal overviewsRobert E. Marshak and Silvan S. Schweber and Murray Gell-Mann
Name index
Subjet index