Abraham Pais's Subtle Is the Lord was a publishing phenomenon: a mathematically sophisticated exposition of the science and the life of Albert Einstein that reached a huge audience and won an American Book Award. Reviewers hailed the book as "a monument to sound scholarship and graceful style" (The New York Times Book Review), "an extraordinary biography of an extraordinary man" (Christian Science Monitor), and "a fine book" (Scientific American).
In this groundbreaking new volume, Pais undertakes a history of the physics of matter and of physical forces since the discovery of x-rays. The book attempts to relate not only what has happened over the last hundred years but why it happened the way it did, what it was like for those scientists involved, and how what at the time may have seemed a series of bizarre or unrelated events, now with hindsight emerges as a logical sequence of events.
Pais, a noted physicist, was personally involved in many of the developments he describes, and thus Inward Bound , like his earlier book, is filled with unique insights into the world of big and small physics. Between 1895 and 1983, the period he covers, the smallest distances explored have shrunk a hundred millionfold, Pais notes. Along this incompletely traveled "road inward," scientists have established markers that later generations will rank among the principal monuments of the twentieth century. In alternating technical and nontechnical sections, this magisterial survey richly conveys what has been discovered about the constituents of matter, the laws to which they are subject, and the forces that act on them. But the advances have certainly not come smoothly. The book shows that these have been times of progress and stagnation, of order and chaos, of clarity and confusion, of belief and incredulity, of the conventional and the bizarre; also of revolutionaries and conservatives, of science by individuals and by consortia, of little gadgets and big machines, and of modest funds and big money.
About the Author:
Abraham Pais is Detlev W. Bronk Professor of Physics at the Rockefeller University.
The author of the prizewinning biography of Einstein now undertakes a history of modern physics
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Abraham Pais is Detlev W. Bronk Professor of Physics at the Rockefeller University and winner of the 1979 J.R. Oppenheimer Memorial Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Council on Foreign Relations.
'The value of this monumental volume to the teacher of physics is enormous. Though the amount of information is almost overwhelming. Pais has so beautifully documented and referenced the work that it is an easily useable resource...This massive, yet relatively inexpensive, volume belongs on the bookshelf of any serious physics teacher and all school libraries.' The Physics Teacher (October 1987)
'a learned and detailed commentary on what has been discovered about the constituents of matter, the laws to which they are subject, and the forces which act on them. It is a work of real scholarship.' New Scientist
'Pais's mastery of the whole field of elementary particle physics is manifest on every page. In addition, his insight into the personalities of the actors in the story is remarkable ... It is an inimitable work.' Nature
'The history of "modern" physics has been told many times, although seldom with such insight and affection.' John Ziman in Times Higher Education Supplement
'In this groundbreaking new volume, Pais undertakes a history of the physics of matter and of physical forces since the discovery of X-rays ... this magisterial survey richly conveys what has been discovered about the constituents of matter, the laws to which they are subject and the forces that act on them' europe and astronomy, 1992
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