The Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in Modern America

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Harvard University Press, 1995 - Science - 489 pages
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This magnificent account of the coming of age of physics in America has been heralded as the best introduction to the history of science in the United States. Unsurpassed in its breadth and literary style, Kevles's account portrays the brilliant scientists who became a powerful force in bringing the world into a revolutionary new era.

The book ranges widely as it links these exciting developments to the social, cultural, and political changes that occurred from the post-Civil War years to the present. Throughout, Kevles keeps his eye on the central question of how an avowedly elitist enterprise grew and prospered in a democratic culture.

In this new edition, the author has brought the story up to date by providing an extensive, authoritative, and colorful account of the Superconducting Super Collider, from its origins in the international competition and intellectual needs of high-energy particle physics, through its establishment as a multibillion-dollar project, to its termination, in 1993, as a result of angry opposition within the American physics community and the Congress.

  

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Contents

PREFACE 1995
ix
PREFACE TO THE FIRSTEDITION
xliii
The Many Wants of Science
3
Ennobling and Purifying the Mind
14
The Flaws of American Physics
25
W Pure Science and Practical Politics
45
Research and Reform
60
Joining the Revolution 15
75
A New Center of Physics
200
Miraculous Year
222
Revolt Against Science
236
The New Deal and Research
252
Recovery in Physics
267
Organizing for Defense
287
A Physicists War
302
The Bomb and Postwar Research Policy
324

A Need for New Patrons
91
War Should Mean Research
102
The War Work of the Physicists
117
Cold War in Science
139
The Impact of Quantum Mechanics
155
Popularization and Conservatism
170
XHI Making the Peaks Higher
185
Victory for Elitism
349
The Physicists Established
367
New Revolt Against Science
393
A Degree of Disestablishment
410
GLOSSARY OF MANUSCRIPT CITATIONS
427
INDEX
465
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Daniel Kevles is the Stanley Woodward Professor of History and Law at Yale University.

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