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In the shadow of the bomb : Bethe, Oppenheimer, and the moral responsibility of the scientist

Author: S S Schweber
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, ©2000.
Series: Princeton series in physics.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In 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  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: J Robert Oppenheimer; Hans A Bethe; Julius Robert Oppenheimer; Hans Albrecht Bethe; J Robert Oppenheimer; Hans Albrecht Bethe
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: S S Schweber
ISBN: 0691049890 9780691049892
OCLC Number: 42682835
Description: xviii, 260 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Introduction --
What is enlightenment? --
J. Robert Oppenheimer --
Hans Bethe --
Challenge of McCarthyism --
Nuclear weapons --
On science and society --
Notes to the chapters.
Series Title: Princeton series in physics.
Responsibility: S.S. Schweber.
More information:

Abstract:

In 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 Bethe and Oppenheimer-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. Narrates how two charismatic, exceptionally talented physicists, came to terms with the nuclear weapons they helped to create. "Schweber deals with the political involvements and ethical responsibilities of physicists in and after World War II in a new way and takes up themes and events that have not been dealt with in detail, or at all, in other works. The book is a study in parallel lives, and, as Schweber points out, there are just enough of both similarities and differences in the backgrounds of Oppenheimer and Bethe to make a comparison of their almost-parallel lives meaningful and rewarding. I consider the work to be important as well as very readable."--Helge Kragh, author of Quantum Generations.

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