• Nobel Dreams: Power, Deceit and the Ultimate Experiment

    Nobel Dreams: Power, Deceit and the Ultimate Experiment (Paperback) By (author) Gary Taubes

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    DescriptionA modern-day adventure story demonstrating the chaotic and chancy nature of science that will change perceptions of scientific research. Several colorful personalities are introduced--the Italian physicist Carlo Rubbia chief among them.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Nobel Dreams

    Title
    Nobel Dreams
    Subtitle
    Power, Deceit and the Ultimate Experiment
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Gary Taubes
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 264
    Height: 200 mm
    Weight: 401 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9781556151125
    ISBN 10: 1556151128
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: COM
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S10.0
    BIC subject category V2: U
    BISAC V2.8: SCI067000
    DC21: 530.142
    Thema V1.0: U
    Edition statement
    Reissue
    Publisher
    Microsoft Press,U.S.
    Imprint name
    Microsoft Press,U.S.
    Publication date
    01 February 1988
    Publication City/Country
    Redmond
    Review text
    Taubes, a science writer with a physics background, here zeroes in on 1984 Nobelist Carlo Rubbia, the man, in yet another science saga about ambition, competition, egos, and politics. What's fascinating is the way Taubes captures the rhythm and pace of high-energy physics. He skims over theory to concentrate on the men (and a gratifying number of women), the machines, and the money that make or break careers. Rubbia, something of a two-time loser on the basis of past brash but erroneous pronouncements, emerges as a kingpin in the field today, someone who needed that Nobel prize badly lest he be damned as the boy who cried eureka too often. Intellectually, he's a supermind able to scale mountains of data at a single leap, gifted with a genius for electronics and with the hands-on approach of the born experimentalist. Personally, he is a combination of whirlwind, temper, and vanity with a colossal measure of chutzpah. He uses and abuses staff (eventually most leave for other posts), never forgets a slight, fires and rehires his secretary a million times. . .a pacer, rapid-fire talker, and a jet commuter from classes taught at Harvard to his "UA1" - Underground Area 1 - horde of physicists in Geneva. In Book I, Taubes narrates the successful hunt for the Z and W particles - the result of generating beams of protons and antiprotons, building them to superenergies, and then unleashing them at each other in a supercollider. Book II picks up Rubbia's next quest (and potential second Nobel) for evidence of a new breed of particles associated with the "new physics" of supersymmetry. Alas, round-the-clock analyses of the suspected events suggest otherwise. So goodbye Nobel #2, for now, for the man featured on the cover of Italian male Vogue, and hello to new "superst ring" theories. . . Is the race worth it? Does a lot of good physics get done? If the Prize didn't exist, would we have to invent it? Taubes neither asks nor answers. Instead, he suggests that there is always a handful of innovators lurking in the background who often lead the next revolution in science - perhaps they balance the bombast. (Kirkus Reviews)