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The Martians Of Science

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The Martians of Science : Five Physicists Who Changed the Twentieth Century

Biography & Autobiography

Author - István Hargittai
Publisher - Oxford University Press
Pages - 313
ISBN - 0195365569


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Detail - If science has the equivalent of a Bloomsbury group, it is the five men born at the turn of the twentieth century in Budapest: Theodore von Karman, Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, John von Neumann, and Edward Teller. From Hungary to Germany to the United States, they remained friends and continued to work together and influence each other throughout their lives. As a result, their work was integral to some of the most important scientific and political developments of the twentieth century.Istvan Hargittai tells the story of this remarkable group: Wigner won a Nobel Prize in theoretical physics; Szilard was the first to see that a chain reaction based on neutrons was possible, initiated the Manhattan Project, but left physics to try to restrict nuclear arms; von Neumann could solve difficult problems in his head and developed the modern computer for more complex problems; von Karman became the first director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, providing the scientific basis for the U.S. Air Force; and Teller was the father of the hydrogen bomb, whose name is now synonymous with the controversial "Star Wars" initiative of the 1980s. Each was fiercely opinionated, politically active, and fought against all forms of totalitarianism. Hargittai, as a young Hungarian physical chemist, was able to get to know some of these great men in their later years, and the depth of information and human interest in The Martians of Science is the result of his personal relationships with the subjects, their families, and their contemporaries. "This is an important story that needs to be told, and Hargittai tells it well." - Nature "What a story! Hargittai, a Jewish-Hungarian like his heroes, tells the remarkable story of five immigrants, of vastly different politics, without whom American science (and the world) would not be the same." - Roald Hoffmann, Nobel laureate, Cornell University

Wisdom of the Martians of Science : In Their Own Words with Commentaries

Science

Author - Balazs Hargittai, István Hargittai
Publisher - World Scientific
Pages - 264
ISBN - 9814723835


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Detail - ' Wisdom of the Martians of Science refers to five scientists whose brilliance contributed to shaping the modern world. John von Neumann was a pioneer of the modern computer; Theodore von Kármán was the scientist behind the US Air Force; Leo Szilard initiated the development of nuclear weapons; the Nobel laureate Eugene P Wigner was the world''s first nuclear engineer; and Edward Teller was the father of the hydrogen bomb. They were born and raised in Budapest, were forced out of Hungary and then from Germany, they became Americans, and devoted themselves to the defense of the United States and the Free World. They contributed significant discoveries to fundamental science ranging from the properties of materials to the application of the symmetry principle in physics, to creating information theory, to game theory. The areas in which we can learn about their wisdom include applications of science to past, present and future real-world needs; defense; education; environment; human nature; humor; politics; religion; weather modification, and others. This book shows the wisdom of the Martians by presenting their thoughts and ideas in their own words and placing them into context. Their wisdom is intriguing, witty, provocative and thought provoking. It extended over many aspects of life and culture that impinge on our existence. While we cannot always agree with what they say, they are never boring. The power of their words and their philosophies will inspire the readers to pursue their own dreams. Contents:IntroductionJohn von Neumann''s WisdomTheodore von Kármán''s WisdomLeo Szilard''s WisdomEugene P Wigner''s WisdomEdward Teller''s WisdomFinal Thoughts Readership: Scientists and lay persons. Keywords:John von Neumann;Theodore von Kármán;Leo Szilard;Edward Teller;Eugene Wigner;Martians of Science "This book is about five famous scientists, whose lives followed similar paths in the rocky terrains of the twentieth century. As Jewish–Hungarians they had to immigrate to the United States; as outstanding scientists, they were leading figures in the development of modern physics and computer science; and as believers in democracy and freedom, they assumed important roles in the global political fight for these ideas. The book by Balazs Hargittai and István Hargittai presents their views, feelings and wisdom through quotes from their writings, with comments from the authors. This makes a fascinating, memorable and sometimes provocative reading." László Lovász President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Wolf-Prize Laureate Mathematician "Balazs and István Hargittai have produced a wonderful book, which should be on every scientist''s coffee table and in the reading room of every university library. The book is not only immensely interesting, but also illustrated with an exceptional collection of photographs." Anders Bárány former Deputy Director of the Nobel Museum, Stockholm "Wisdom comes with age, yet much of the wisdom collected here was acquired long before its time. Mathematical talent gave these five Hungarians an early start, sharpened by the turmoil in Europe through which they were forced to make their escape. The refuge they found in America gave them time and opportunity to reflect. Here, set in just the right amount of historical context, is a group portrait of their time. Insights abound — yet the miracle of how this constellation of genius appeared at this critical moment in history remains no less astonishing for being so well explained." George Dyson author of Turing''s Cathedral: The Origin of the Digital Universe "Wisdom of the Martians of Science is unputdownable for anyone curious about how science in the mid-twentieth century transformed our planet. Five Hungarians, the ''Martians'', in America led this transformation. Geniuses all but each very different. We hear them in their words, placed in context, to marvel how oppression and adversity did not bend their drive. No matter what our opinions of each of them, and some such as Teller generate strong responses, we cannot but be amazed at their ''octopus-like'' approaches. Their tentacles curl around every problem from basic to applied, from politics to defence, from making bombs to making peace. These are the Hargittais at their best, taking us back in time to sit on a roller-coaster ride through science. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy." K VijayRaghavan FRS, Distinguished Professor and former Director of The National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore "I recommend highly the Hargittais'' book. It is a stimulating read of the thinking and views of five Hungarian born scientists (the fictional Martians). They significantly contributed to fundamental changes of our life from the harnessing of the energy of the atom (and the need to live with the atom bomb) to the emergence of the computer age." George A Olah Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 1994 "Five scientific pioneers were outstanding geniuses, first as a group of Budapest boys, then as bravely original individuals in their science, social ideas, and spiritual insights. This book reveals both their brilliance and their humanity." William Lanouette author of Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard, the Man Behind the Bomb "Wisdom of the Martians of Science is a strong and often charming group profile of five great Hungarian scientists of an earlier age. The book is simple in structure, learned and reasonable in tone, and generous with photographs and telling details. It is a marvelous book and I hope that it finds a wide audience." Andrew Szanton co-author of The Recollections of Eugene P Wigner "No one is better acquainted with the lives of the Martians of Science — five Hungarian geniuses who put their extraordinary talents to work in the cause of democracy and freedom — than the father-and-son team of Istvan and Balazs Hargittai. With widely-varying personalities, from the imperious Edward Teller to the courteous, soft-spoken Eugene Wigner, the five had in common, in addition to their incredible brains, a shared history as émigré Hungarian Jews who made new lives in the United States, and whose contributions in the fields of physics, rocketry, and computer development played a critical role in their adopted country''s victory in World War II. Much has been written about these men, but only the Hargittais have allowed us a glimpse into their souls through their own words, put in context by the authors. I am the daughter of one of the Martians, John von Neumann, and knew several of the others personally, but this group portrait has given me new insights that I treasure." Marina v N Whitman Professor of Business Administration & Public Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and author of The Martian''s Daughter '

Budapest Scientific: A Guidebook :

Science

Author - István Hargittai, Magdolna Hargittai
Publisher - OUP Oxford
Pages - 336
ISBN - 0191068497


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Detail - This guidebook introduces the reader to the visible memorabilia of science and scientists in Budapest - statues, busts, plaques, buildings, and other artefacts. According to the Hungarian-American Nobel laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi, this metropolis at the crossroads of Europe has a special atmosphere of respect for science. It has been the venue of numerous scientific achievements and the cradle, literally, of many individuals who in Hungary, and even morebeyond its borders, became world-renowned contributors to science and culture. Six of the eight chapters of the book cover the Hungarian Nobel laureates, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the university, the medical school, agricultural sciences, and technology and engineering. One chapter is about selected secondary schools from which seven Nobel laureates (Szent-Györgyi, de Hevesy, Wigner, Gabor, Harsanyi, Olah, and Kertész) and the five Martians of Science (von Kármán, Szilard, Wigner, von Neumann, and Teller) had graduated. The concludingchapter is devoted to scientist martyrs of the Holocaust.A special feature in surveying Hungarian science is the contributions of scientists that left their homeland before their careers blossomed and made their seminal discoveries elsewhere, especially in Great Britain and the United States. The book covers the memorabilia referring to both émigré scientists and those that remained in Hungary.The discussion is informative and entertaining. The coverage is based on the visible memorabilia, which are not necessarily proportional with achievements. Therefore, there is a caveat that one could not compile a history of science relying solely on the presence of the memorabilia.

Judging Edward Teller : A Closer Look at One of the Most Influential Scientists of the Twentieth Century

Biography & Autobiography

Author - István Hargittai
Publisher -
Pages - 575
ISBN - 9781616142216


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Detail - A personal acquaintance of Tellers, presents a definitive and balanced portrait of the scientist against the backdrop of a turbulent period of history and reveals the contradictory nature of this complex man in all his strengths, flaws, and brilliance.

New York Scientific : A Culture of Inquiry, Knowledge, and Learning

Author - István Hargittai, Magdolna Hargittai
Publisher - Oxford University Press
Pages - 432
ISBN - 0198769873


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Detail - This book introduces the reader to the visible memorabilia of science and scientists in all the five boroughs of New York City - statues, busts, plaques, buildings, and other artifacts. In addition, it extends to some scientists and institutions currently operating in the city. New York has been known as a world center of commerce, finance, communications, transportation, and culture, but it also is a world center in science. The city is home to renowned universities and research laboratories, a museum of natural history and other museums related to science, a science academy, historical societies, botanical gardens and zoos, libraries, and a Hall of Science as well as a large number of world-renowned scientists. The book pays special attention to the role of this city in welcoming persecuted scientists and letting African-American and women scientists thrive. The book is presented in an informative and entertaining way, dotted with scientific gossip and anecdotes, and can be enjoyed even without the reader's actual presence in the city. Over eight hundred photographs illustrate the book. They may induce the reader to make their own discoveries in New York.

Candid Science IV : Conversations with Famous Physicists

Science

Author - Magdolna Hargittai, Istv n Hargittai
Publisher - Imperial College Press
Pages - 711
ISBN - 9781860944161


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Detail - Candid Science IV: Conversations with Famous Physicists contains 36 interviews with well-known physicists, including 20 Nobel laureates, Templeton Prize winners, Wolf Prize winners, and other luminaries. Physics has been one of the determining fields of science in the past 100 years, playing a conspicuous role not only in science but also in world politics and economics. These in-depth conversations provide a glimpse into the greatest achievements of physics during the past few decades, featuring stories of the discoveries, and showing the human drama behind them. The greatest physicists are brought into close human proximity as if readers were having a conversation with them. The interviewees span a wide range of scientists, from such early giants as Eugene Wigner and Mark Oliphant to members of the youngest generation such as the 2001 Nobel laureate Wolfgang Ketterle. The list includes famous personalities of our time, such as Steven Weinberg, Leon Lederman, Norman Ramsey, Edward Teller, John Wheeler, Mildred Dresselhaus, Maurice Goldhaber, Benoit Mandelbrot, John Polkinghorne, and Freeman Dyson.

The Nationalization of Scientific Knowledge in the Habsburg Empire, 1848-1918 :

Science

Author - M. Ash, J. Surman
Publisher - Springer
Pages - 258
ISBN - 1137264977


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Detail - This volume challenges the widespread belief that scientific knowledge as such is international. Employing case studies from Austria, Poland, the Czech lands, and Hungary, the authors show how scientists in the late Habsburg Monarchy simultaneously nationalized and internationalized their knowledge.

Great Minds : Reflections of 111 Top Scientists

Science

Author - Balazs Hargittai, Magdolna Hargittai, István Hargittai
Publisher - Oxford University Press, USA
Pages - 386
ISBN - 0199336172


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Detail - A collection of interviews with 111 notable scientists, whose disciplines range from physics to chemistry to the biosciences, collected throughout the last 25 years.

Culture and Art of Scientific Discoveries : A Selection of István Hargittai's Writings

Science

Author - Balazs Hargittai
Publisher - Springer
Pages - 495
ISBN - 9783319966885


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Detail - This book offers a selection from among István Hargittai’s non-technical articles that focus on the culture of discoveries and scientists, rather than on actual research. István Hargittai is an internationally renowned physical chemist with interests extending to the arts, human traits, the nature of discoveries, and the relationship between science and society. Over the course of his research career, he has interacted with hundreds of the best minds of our time and published a wealth of articles that are rich in science yet easy to understand, regardless of the reader’s background. This book presents a collection of these contributions, which explore the relationship between the arts and science, analyze the motivations of scientific discoveries and the personalities of discoverers, comment on the relationship between science and society, and examine the application of the symmetry concept and its ubiquitous presence. This unique book is intended not only for professional researchers, but for all individuals interested in the cultural aspects of science.

Drive and Curiosity : What Fuels the Passion for Science

Science

Author - Istvan Hargittai
Publisher - Prometheus Books
Pages - 338
ISBN - 1616144696


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Detail - What motivates those few scientists who rise above their peers to achieve breakthrough discoveries? This book examines the careers of fifteen eminent scientists who achieved some of the most notable discoveries of the past century, providing an insider’s perspective on the history of twentieth century science based on these engaging personality profiles. They include: • Dan Shechtman, the 2011 Nobel laureate and discoverer of quasicrystals; • James D. Watson, the Nobel laureate and codiscoverer of the double helix structure of DNA; • Linus Pauling, the Nobel laureate remembered most for his work on the structure of proteins; • Edward Teller, a giant of the 20th century who accomplished breakthroughs in understanding of nuclear fusion; • George Gamow, a pioneering scientist who devised the initially ridiculed and now accepted Big Bang. In each case, the author has uncovered a singular personality characteristic, motivational factor, or circumstance that, in addition to their extraordinary drive and curiosity, led these scientists to make outstanding contributions. For example, Gertrude B. Elion, who discovered drugs that saved millions of lives, was motivated to find new medications after the deaths of her grandfather and later her fiancé. F. Sherwood Rowland, who stumbled upon the environmental harm caused by chlorofluorocarbons, eventually felt a moral imperative to become an environmental activist. Rosalyn Yalow, the codiscoverer of the radioimmunoassay always felt she had to prove herself in the face of prejudice against her as a woman. These and many more fascinating revelations make this a must-read for everyone who wants to know what traits and circumstances contribute to a person’s becoming the scientist who makes the big breakthrough. From the Hardcover edition.

Genius in the Shadows : A Biography of Leo Szilard, the Man Behind the Bomb

Biography & Autobiography

Author - William Lanouette
Publisher - Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Pages - 604
ISBN - 1628734779


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Detail - Well-known names such as Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Edward Teller are usually those that surround the creation of the atom bomb. One name that is rarely mentioned is Leo Szilard, known in scientific circles as “father of the atom bomb.” The man who first developed the idea of harnessing energy from nuclear chain reactions, he is curiously buried with barely a trace in the history of this well-known and controversial topic. Born in Hungary and educated in Berlin, he escaped Hitler’s Germany in 1933 and that first year developed his concept of nuclear chain reactions. In order to prevent Nazi scientists from stealing his ideas, he kept his theories secret, until he and Albert Einstein pressed the US government to research atomic reactions and designed the first nuclear reactor. Though he started his career out lobbying for civilian control of atomic energy, he concluded it with founding, in 1962, the first political action committee for arms control, the Council for a Livable World. Besides his career in atomic energy, he also studied biology and sparked ideas that won others the Nobel Prize. The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, where Szilard spent his final days, was developed from his concepts to blend science and social issues.

Candid Science V : Conversations with Famous Scientists

Science

Author - Balazs Hargittai, István Hargittai
Publisher - World Scientific
Pages - 695
ISBN - 9781860945069


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Detail - Candid Science V: Conversations with Famous Scientists contains 36 interviews with well-known scientists, including 19 Nobel laureates, Wolf Prize winners, and other luminaries. These in-depth conversations provide a glimpse into the greatest achievements in science during the past few decades, featuring stories of the discoveries, and showing the human drama behind them. The greatest scientists are brought into close human proximity as if readers were having a conversation with them. This volume departs from the previous ones in that it contains interviews with mathematicians in addition to physicists, chemists, and biomedical scientists. Another peculiarity of this volume is that it includes nine interviews from another project, the collection of the late Clarence Larson, former Commissioner of the Atomic Energy Commission and his wife, Jane ("Larson Tapes"). The 36 interviewees include famous personalities of our time, such as Donald Coxeter, John Conway, Roger Penrose, Alan Mackay, Dan Shechtman, Charles Townes, Arthur Schawlow, Leon Cooper, Alexei Abrikosov, Luis Alvarez, William Pickering, William Fowler, Vera Rubin, Neta Bahcall, Rudolf Peierls, Emilio Segre, Harold Agnew, Clarence Larson, Nelson Leonard, Princess Chulabhorn, Linus Pauling, Miklos Bodanszky, Melvin Calvin, Donald Huffman Alan MacDiarmid, Alan Heeger, Jens Christian Skou, Paul Lauterbur, Gunther Stent, John Sulston, Renato Dulbecco, Baruch Blumberg, Arvid Carlsson, Oleh Hornykiewicz, Paul Greengard, and Eric Kandel.