Physics and National Socialism: An Anthology of Primary Sources

Front Cover
Klaus Hentschel
Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 2, 2011 - Mathematics - 511 pages
1 Aim and General Description of the Anthology The purpose of this anthology is to introduce the English speaking public to the wide spectrum of texts authored predominently by physicists portraying the ac tual and perceived role of physics in the Nazi state. Up to now no broad and well balanced documentation of German physics during this time has been available in English, despite the significant role physics has played both politically (e. g. , in weaponry planning) and ideologically (e. g. , in the controversy over the value of theoretical ('Jewish') vs. experimental ('Aryan') physics), and even though prominent figures like the scientist-philosopher and emigre Albert Einstein and the controversial nuclear physicist Werner Heisenberg have become household names. This anthology will attempt to bridge this gap by presenting contempo rary documents and eye-witness accounts by the physicists themselves. Authors were chosen to represent the various political opinions and specialties within the physics community, omitting some of the more readily accessible texts by leading physicists (e. g. , Einstein, Heisenberg, Lenard) in favor of those by less well-known but nonetheless important figures (e. g. , Finkelnburg, Max Wien, Ramsauer). In this way we hope not only to circumvent the constricted 'Great Men' approach to history but also to offer a broader picture of the activities and conflicts within the field and the effects of the political forces exerted upon them.
 

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Contents

List of Figures
xiii
List of Tables
xiv
Introduction
xv
Part I Controversies Prior to 1933
1
Part II After the Nazi Seizure of Power
17
19361939
119
19391945
207
Part V The Legacy of National Socialism
332
Appendix
i
Bibliography
liv
References
lv
Name Index
xcv
Editors Errata List
cv
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Klaus Hentschel is Professor and Head of the Section for History of Science and Technology at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.

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