More and Different: Notes from a Thoughtful Curmudgeon

Front Cover
World Scientific, 2011 - Science - 424 pages
Philip Anderson was educated at University High School in Urbana, Illinois, at Harvard (BS 1943, PhD 1949), and further educated at Bell Laboratories, where his career (1949-1984) coincided with the greatest period of that remarkable institution. Starting in 1967, he shared his time with Cambridge University (until 1975) and then with Princeton, where he continued full time as Joseph Henry Professor until 1997. As an emeritus he remains active in research, and at press time he was involved in several scientific controversies about high profile subjects, in which his point of view, though unpopular at the moment, is likely to prevail eventually. His colleagues have made him one of the two physicists most often cited in the scientific literature, for several decades. His work is characterized by mathematical simplicity combined with conceptual depth, and by profound respect for experimental findings. He has explored areas outside his main discipline, the quantum theory of condensed matter (for which he won the 1977 Nobel Prize), on several occasions: his paper on what is now called the OC Anderson-Higgs mechanismOCO was a main source for Peter Higgs'' elucidation of the boson; a crucial insight led to work on the dynamics of neutron stars (pulsars); and his concept of the spin glass led far afield, to developments in practical computer algorithms and neural nets, and eventually to his involvement in the early years of the Santa Fe Institute and his co-leadership with Kenneth Arrow of two influential workshops on economics at that institution. His writing career started with a much-quoted article in Science titled OC More is DifferentOCO in 1971; he was an occasional columnist for Physics Today in the 1980s and 1990s. He was more recently a reviewer of science and science-related books for the Times (London) Higher Education Supplement as well as an occasional contributor to Science, Nature, and other journals."

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

The font is really fuzzy. If you hate Kittel's book, you won't like this one either.

Selected pages


II History
III Philosophy and Sociology
IV Science Tactics and Strategy
V Genius
VI Science Wars
VII Politics and Science
VIII Futurology
IX Complexity
X Popularization Attempts

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Philip Anderson was the son and grandson of Midwestern science professors. After serving in World War II as an engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory, he received a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University in 1949. In 1961 and 1962, as a visiting professor at Churchill College of Cambridge University, Anderson made early contributions to experimental research in superconductivity. He confirmed the theoretical predictions made by Brian David Josephson, for which Josephson was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1973. In 1977, Anderson shared the Nobel Prize for physics with Mott and Van Vleck. Although he is respected as an experimenter and researcher, Anderson's colleagues noted that his major strength is his intuitive ability to formulate concepts. For example, Anderson has shown by models how electrons move and interact in disordered materials that lack a uniform crystalline structure. Anderson retired from the directorship at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, in 1984 and presently teaches at Princeton University.

Bibliographic information