This book is a sequel to the volume published by the American Mathematical Society in 1996 - Selected Papers of Freeman Dyson with Commentary - that contains a selection of Dyson's papers up to 1990. The current edition comprises a collection of the most interesting writings of Freeman Dyson from the period 1990-2014, and was personally selected by the author.
The first of five sections introduces how the various items came to be written, while the second includes Talks about Science. The most substantial is a lecture to the American Mathematical Society - Birds and Frogs - describing two kinds of mathematician, with examples from real life. An important tribute to Yang Chen Ning written for his retirement banquet at Stony Brook University can be found in the third, which is then followed by a section on Politics and History, the most substantial contribution being A Failure of Intelligence, a historical account of the failure of the Operational Research at RAF Bomber Command in World War II. The last and final section carries a recent article - Is a Graviton Detectable? - discussing the question whether any conceivable experiment could detect single gravitons, to provide direct evidence of the quantization of gravity. The question is still open. Various possible graviton-detectors are examined, and they all fail for one reason or another.
This invaluable compilation, that also contains some unpublished lectures, surveys many subjects, in science, mathematics, history and politics, in which Freeman Dyson has been active and so well respected around the world.Reseña del editor:
This book is a sequel to the volume of selected papers of Dyson up to 1990 that was published by the American Mathematical Society in 1996. The present edition comprises a collection of the most interesting writings of Freeman Dyson, all personally selected by the author, from the period 1990-2014.The five sections start off with an Introduction, followed by Talks about Science, Memoirs, Politics and History, and some Technical Papers. The most noteworthy is a lecture entitled Birds and Frogs to the American Mathematical Society that describes two kinds of mathematicians with examples from real life. Other invaluable contributions include an important tribute to C. N. Yang written for his retirement banquet at Stony Brook University, as well as a historical account of the Operational Research at RAF Bomber Command in World War II provocatively titled A Failure of Intelligence. The final section carries the open-ended question of whether any conceivable experiment could detect single gravitons to provide direct evidence of the quantization of gravity - Is a Graviton Detectable? Various possible graviton-detectors are examined.This invaluable compilation contains unpublished lectures, and surveys many topics in science, mathematics, history and politics, in which Freeman Dyson has been so active and well respected around the world.
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