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The Making of the Atomic Bomb: 25th Anniversary Edition [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Richard Rhodes
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Kurzbeschreibung

12. Juni 2012
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS after its initial publication, The Making of the Atomic Bomb remains the seminal and complete story of how the bomb was developed, from the turn-of-the-century discovery of the vast energy locked inside the atom to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan.

Few great discoveries have evolved so swiftly—or have been so misunderstood. From the theoretical discussions of nuclear energy to the bright glare of Trinity, there was a span of hardly more than twenty-five years. What began as merely an interesting speculative problem in physics grew into the Manhattan Project, and then into the bomb, with frightening rapidity, while scientists known only to their peers—Szilard, Teller, Oppenheimer, Bohr, Meitner, Fermi, Lawrence, and von Neumann—stepped from their ivory towers into the limelight.

Richard Rhodes gives the definitive story of man’s most awesome discovery and invention. Told in rich human, political, and scientific detail, The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a narrative tour de force and a document with literary power commensurate with its subject.

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Amazon.de

If the first 270 pages of this book had been published separately, they would have made up a lively, insightful, beautifully written history of theoretical physics and the men and women who plumbed the mysteries of the atom. Along with the following 600 pages, they become a sweeping epic, filled with terror and pity, of the ultimate scientific quest: the development of the ultimate weapon. Rhodes is a peerless explainer of difficult concepts; he is even better at chronicling the personalities who made the discoveries that led to the Bomb. Niels Bohr dominates the first half of the book as J. Robert Oppenheimer does the second; both men were gifted philosophers of science as well as brilliant physicists. The central irony of this book, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, is that the greatest minds of the century contributed to the greatest destructive force in history. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

Pressestimmen

"The comprehensive history of the bomb--and also a work of literature." –Tracy Kidder

"A stirring intellectual adventure, and a clear, fast-paced and indispensable history of events on which our future depends."–Carl Sagan

"The best, the richest, and the deepest description of the development of physics in the first half of this century that I have yet read, and it is certainly the most enjoyable."–Isaac Asimov


"A monumental and enthralling history [...] Alive and vibrant in the book are all the scientists...and each human being stands vividly revealed as a man of science, of conscience, of doubts or of hubris."–San Francisco Chronicle

"A great book. Mr. Rhodes has done a beautiful job, and I don't see how anyone can ever top it."–Luis W. Alvarez, Nobel Laureate for Physics, 1968

"... what I read already impressed me with the author's knowledge of much of the history of the science which led to the development of nuclear energy and nuclear bombs and of the personalities which contributed in the U.S. to the development of these. I was particularly impressed by his realization of the importance of Leo Szilard's contributions which are almost always underestimated but which he fully realizes and perhaps even overestimates. I hope the book will find a wide readership."–Eugene P. Wigner, Nobel Laureate for Physics, 1963

"I found The Making of the Atomic Bomb well written, interesting and one of the best in the great family of books on the subject. It is fascinating as a novel, and I have learned from it many things I did not know. Mr. Rhodes has done his homework conscientiously and intelligently"–Emilio Segrè, Nobel Laureate for Physics, 1959

"Mr. Rhodes gives careful attention to the role which chemists played in developing the bomb. the Making of the Atomic Bomb strikes me as the most complete account of the Manhattan Project to date."–Glenn T. Seaborg, Nobel Laureate for Chemistry, 1951

"The Making of the Atomic Bomb is an epic worthy of Milton. Nowhere else have I seen the whole story put down with such elegance and gusto and in such revealing detail and simple language which carries the reader through wonderful and profound scientific discoveries and their application.
The great figures of the age, scientific, military, and political, come to life when confronted with the fateful and awesome decisions which faced them in this agonizing century. This great book dealing with the most profound problems of the 20th century can help us to apprehend the opportunities and pitfalls that face the world int he 21st."–I. I. Rabi, Nobel Laureate for Physics, 1944

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen Bohr's idea of the "complemantarity of the bomb" 13. Mai 1999
Format:Taschenbuch
As noted by Rhodes, the book encapsulates Bohr's notion of the complementarity of the bomb. The question becomes then, what is the complementarity of the bomb and how does it enter into the debate over nuclear proliferation and national security in the years when the bomb was first developed? The complementarity of the bomb is best understood as a paradox, a theory which epitomizes the danger of unintended consequences of technology. In Bohr's memorandum to President Roosevelt, he laid out his theory as a new language that is born out of the harnessing of nuclear power but necessary to grasp what such capabilities entail. According to Bohr, the bomb, ironically, was not so much a weapon as a threat. The magnitude of such a threat entailed that, "when nuclear weapons spread to other countries, as they certainly would, no one would be able any longer to win. A spasm of mutual destruction would be possible. But not war."(532) In this way, the idea of the bomb paradoxically destroyed the concept which it was designed to dominate long before it ever came to fruition. It destroyed the old conception of war and supplanted it with a possibility which was much darker, more ominous, and ultimately eschatological.
Rhodes explains that in a world of international anarchy where nations compete for self-interested goals, war had been the method of final negotiation. The bomb created a situation where this old construct could no longer work because when applied the bomb would subvert the goals it was intended to meet. The power it contained was ultimate as Rhodes describes it in divine proportions. Under the old framework of arms build-up each new bomb would quantitatively increase security.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Definitive, Nearly Perfect, and Important 7. April 1999
Format:Taschenbuch
I recommend this work to you for two reasons: first, I believe it important for a citizen of the world to understand the development and initial employment of this "gadget" (as its creating physicists designated the bomb), and second, this is a fine read: significant history with minimal political taint. This is a story more fascinating than Clancy's best, due simply to its veracity.
No wonder this won the Pulitzer! This is well-written and captivating history.
Rhodes includes dialog and writings to allow his reader to meet the physicists, soldiers, and politicians. His technical descriptions of the involved science satiate me, a chemist, yet he supplies the definitions and background to permit ready comprehension by readers not versed in nuclear theory. Finally, his account of the events in the two decades prior to and during the Manhattan Project educates without boredom.
Much of this work concerns the men and women discovering the constituents of the atom and of its potential to be affected for some utility. The science is not overwhelming, but well-written and clear.
This is written as a historical text book, with documentation galore. I concur with my fellow reader who remarked on their amazement that one man could compile this. What a tome of research!
I shall limit my complaints to two. I found the account to be heavy on the early days and developers of nuclear theory. I also tired of reading Bohr's philosophy on the need to share science with the world.
Anyone interested in the history of the 20th Century or in atomic weapons would not regret reading The Making of the Atomic Bomb.
What struck me most?
How quickly the industrial capability of the United States put this into motion, once committed.
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Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
...deserves a narrative documentary of the highest quality. Fortunately for us, Richard Rhodes was up to the task.
He delves into the physics that made the bomb possible and the personalities who nearly made it impossible. For instance, he has the courage to move Albert Einstein slightly off center-stage of 20th Century physics and to give credit more to the ensemble effort that led to the creation of the bomb.
The bomb was really the product of industrial might (backed with an enormous commitment of finances), military resources and discipline, scientific wit and intelligence, human creativity and imagination, and political will. That all of these things could be focused and brought into convergence is almost unthinkable in today's terms. As a subterranean national priority, very few of the general public had the foggiest notion that it was going on. Simpler times.
The author has managed to assemble the diverse research that was obviously necessary in a way that is comparable to the building of the bomb. That would have been enough for the record, but Mr. Rhodes exceeds himself in the quality of his writing, never slipping into the tempting morass of techno-jargon. Rather, he actually manages to explain all the key elements that renders the subject understandable by the layperson. Not least of all is his effectiveness in showing the protaganists as three-dimensional humans. He raises the important ethical and social consequences of the development without much of a rhetorical bias one way or the other.
Close the windows, lock the doors and read this book.
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Die neuesten Kundenrezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen Super History
Well documented and told story. The thing that strikes me is how they were (mostly) really clueless human beings. Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 1 Monat von Julius veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen very detailed information
In the first half of the book Richard Rhodes describes the history of Nuclear Physics from a rather human point of view by telling the family background of upbringing of... Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 16 Monaten von GS veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Ein durchschlagendes Werk
Ein Meisterwerk. Gar keine Frage. Nur ist Rhodes wohl eher ein writer's writer. Als Quelle für eine neue, weniger technische Dokumentation. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 25. September 2010 von windula
5.0 von 5 Sternen Eines der besten Bücher das je geschrieben wurde
Dieses Buch gibt einen fantastischen Überblick über die Hintergründe der Entwicklung der Atombombe und der Anwendung am Ende des zweiten Weltkriegs. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 10. Oktober 2009 von Martin Waeber
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Great Read!
A very detailed and thorough history of the making of the atomic bomb. Everything is covered; from the science that led up to the bomb- to the lives of all the major players... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 6. Mai 2000 von Chad Bagley
3.0 von 5 Sternen A bit too much
I love history, math and science, and have a technical advanced degree, but still managed to have a tough time getting through this book. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 26. April 2000 von Amazon Customer
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent
This book gives a very detailed description of how the atomic bomb was developed. From the work of Rutherford, J. J. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 22. März 2000 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Worth reading more than once!
As a teacher of physics at the secondary level, I found this book to be an excellent source of information for an interdisciplinary unit I did with a colleague in the Social... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 17. März 2000 von Paul M. Rutherford, Ph.D.
4.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent - everyone should read this book
This is a big book (almost 800 pages), covering the history of atomic physics from late the 19th century discoveries of the atomic nucleus and radiation to the 1945 atomic bomb... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 3. März 2000 von Tom Gillis
5.0 von 5 Sternen Reads like a novel...
From the first paragraph (see below), it is obvious that this is an exceptional work. It reads like a novel, but goes deeper into the nature of reality than any novel can ever hope... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 2. März 2000 von Chris McKinstry
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