True Genius: Life and Science of J.Bardeen




Author: Lillian Hoddeson, Vicki Daitch
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2002
Format: djvu
Language: English
Page Count: 488
Isbn10 Code: 0309084083
Isbn13 Code: 9780309084086


From Publishers Weekly The fact that he won an unprecedented two Nobel prizes in physics (in 1956 and 1972) may be the only extraordinary thing about John Bardeen. He grew up in a middle-class home in Wisconsin with his doctor father, interior designer mother and four siblings. He apparently worked hard, cared deeply about his family, loved sports, was, by all accounts, a gracious and likable colleague and devoted himself to his graduate students. He was also tenacious in pursuit of answers to complex problems in his discipline. Working with William Shockley and Walter Brattain, Bardeen developed the world's first transistor in 1947 and, ten years later, with J. Robert Schrieffer and Leon Cooper, he created a theory of superconductivity. Hoddeson (Crystal Fire) and Daitch attempt a portrait of this unassuming Midwesterner, but offer little more than a rough sketch. As they write in their preface, "We are painfully aware that this book merely scratches the surface of its subject." Little insight is offered beyond descriptions of Bardeen's friends, co-workers and activities. The authors attempt to provide a conceptual framework by examining "the meaning of true scientific genius," but this is largely done in a superficial, 17-page epilogue. Bardeen deserves more public recognition than he received during his life; this book may help in some measure, but it won't bring readers any closer to the man himself.Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Review "...a meticulously researched recreation of the life and scientific career of John Bardeen... fascinating and informative reading..." -- Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, March 2004"...accounts with empathy and enthusiasm... a work of thorough scholarship..." -- American Scientist, March-April 2003"...an inspiring and exciting read that can be recommended to layman and scientist alike. ...a model scientific biography." -- The Times Higher Education Supplement, March 7, 2003"...full of alluring mystery, high-stakes competition, turbulent rivalry and inspiring teamwork. ... skillfully narrated..." -- Cityview, October 18-24, 2002"...the authors' admiration and affection for their subject illuminates the biography." -- Nature, December 5, 2002"...their account is enlivened by many anecdotes. ...a detailed and animated rendering of Bardeen's life and science." -- Science, March 21, 2003"I strongly recommend this biography..." -- New Scientist, September 21, 2002"It accomplishes what it set out to do -- explore the thinking of one man." -- Current Science, December 2003"The authors share a number of golden nuggets as regards Bardeen..." -- History of Physics Newsletter, February 2003"With this very readable biography, the authors lay out an excellent case for remembering John Bardeen as a True Genius." -- QST Magazine, November 2004

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