Atoms in the Family: My Life with Enrico Fermi

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University of Chicago Press, 1954 - Biography & Autobiography - 267 pages
In this absorbing account of life with the great atomic scientist Enrico Fermi, Laura Fermi tells the story of their emigration to the United States in the 1930s—part of the widespread movement of scientists from Europe to the New World that was so important to the development of the first atomic bomb. Combining intellectual biography and social history, Laura Fermi traces her husband's career from his childhood, when he taught himself physics, through his rise in the Italian university system concurrent with the rise of fascism, to his receipt of the Nobel Prize, which offered a perfect opportunity to flee the country without arousing official suspicion, and his odyssey to the United States.
 

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I checked this book out of the Norwin Public library in about 1970 when I was starting 7th grade. It had a profound impact on my life, directing me toward a career in engineering in the field of energy. It was a clear and exciting read for me at that age, teaching history, science, and politics - both global and university - that I have always cherished. 

Contents

FIRST ENCOUNTERS
3
THE TIMES BEFORE WE MET
12
THE TIMES BEFORE WE METContinued
22
ENRICO FERMI AT SIXTEEN
22
BIRTH OF A SCHOOL
33
BEBE PEUGEOT
49
FERMI AND BLACK SHEEP
54
EARLY MARRIED YEARS
55
FERMI
135
AMERICA
137
THE PROCESS OF AMERICANIZATION
139
SOME SHAPES OF THINGS To COME
154
AN ENEMY ALIEN WORKS FOR UNCLE SAM
162
OF SECRECY AND THE PILE
176
SUCCESS
190
THE EINSTEIN LETTER AUGUST 2 1939
198

MR NORTH AND THE ACADEMIES
69
A SUMMER IN ANN ARBOR
76
WORK
83
SOUTH AMERICAN INTERLUDE
94
MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF ITALY 71
96
AN ACCIDENTAL DISCOVERY
97
How NOT To RAISE CHILDREN
105
NOVEMBER 10 1938
115
FERMI AND PERSICO ARE READY To START
118
DEPARTURE
125
SITE Y
200
A BODYGUARD AND A FEW FRIENDS
212
POLICYMAKING IN Los ALAMOS
214
LIFE ON THE MESA
226
GENERAL GROVES PINS THE MEDAL OF MERIT ON FERMI
242
EXIT PONTECORVO
250
FERMIS STREETCAR
262
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
267
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About the author (1954)

Laura Fermi (1907-77) also wrote Atoms for the World, Mussolini, and Illustrious Immigrants: The Intellectual Migration from Europe, 1930-1941.


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