The Joy of Discovery: Great Encounters Along the Way

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World Scientific, 2011 - 195 páginas
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Walter Thirring is the last offspring of an Austrian family of scientists. In this moving narrative, he describes how he survived the Nazi occupation and became instrumental in reconstructing European science. Thirring is one of the last living physicists who worked on the greatest discoveries and with the greatest scientists of the 20th century. He recollects encounters with the old masters like Einstein, Schr dinger, Heisenberg, Pauli and others as well as his collaborations with the present stars like Murray Gell-Mann and Elliott Lieb. The book presents the challenges faced when one of the major paradigm shifts took place, namely, the shift away from atomistic theory and Newtonian physics towards field theory and quantum mechanics. Every step is presented in clear, understandable language which reflects Thirring's extensive experience in training the next generation. Additionally, Thirring describes his fascinating and profound life experiences, growing up under Nazi occupation, serving in the war, striving to establish scientific excellence and in reaching out across the Iron Curtain. A true Renaissance man, he concludes by discussing his love of music, and it is clear that his passion for learning is only matched by his passion for music, a sampling of which can be found at http://phaidra.univie.ac.at/o:1459. A work that inspires at every junction and is decisively re-readable, Thirring's autobiography is assuredly a must-have for anyone interested in science, physics and history.
 

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Índice

Family BackgroundChildhood 19271938
1
Stolen Youth 19381945
19
Training and Education 19451959
35
Master Years 1959 and After
101
Return to Vienna 1971
123
What has Scientific Research Achieved?
185
Picture Credits
189
Index of Names
191
Subject Index
195
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