Under The Spell Of Landau: When Theoretical Physics Was Shaping Destinies

World Scientific
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This invaluable collection of memoirs and reviews on scientific activities of the most prominent theoretical physicists belonging to the Landau School — Landau, Migdal, Zeldovich, Smorodinsky, Ter-Martirosyan, Kirzhnits, Gribov, Larkin and Anselm — are being published in English for the first time.The main goal is to acquaint readers with the life and work of outstanding Soviet physicists who, to a large extent, shaped theoretical physics in the 1950s-70s. Many intriguing details have remained unknown beyond the “Iron Curtain” which was dismantled only with the fall of the USSR.
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About the author

Mikhail Shifman (University of Minnesota, USA)

M. Shifman is the Ida Cohen Fine Professor of Physics at the University of Minnesota. One of the world's leading experts on quantum chromodynamics and supersymmetric Yang-Mills theories, he received his PhD (1976) from the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics in Moscow. In 1990 he moved to the United States to assume his present position as a member of the William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute at the University of Minnesota. He has had the honor of receiving the Alexander von Humboldt Award, the 1999 Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics, and the 2006 Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize for outstanding contributions to physics. He was elected as the 2007 Lauréat des Chaires Internationales de Recherche Blaise Pascal in France. He has authored several books, over 300 scientific publications, and a number of popular articles and articles on the history of high-energy physics.

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Additional Information

Publisher
World Scientific
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Published on
Jun 12, 2013
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Pages
560
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ISBN
9789814436588
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / General
Science / History
Science / Physics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Thomas S. Kuhn
A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach.

With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age.

This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.
Shifman Misha
For almost two decades Prof. Shifman, a clear and pedagogical expositor, has been giving review lectures on frontier topics in theoretical high energy physics. This two-volume book is a collection of some of the best of those lectures. The lectures written in the 1980's and early 1990's have been revised and updated specifically for this publication. The lectures in this book are intended for beginners - graduate students and young researchers - who are about to delve into the intricacies of the theory. They were used by the author in his course ';Advanced Modern Field Theory and Its Applications';, given in the academic year 1994/95 at the University of Minnesota.A wide range of key topics is covered. In Volume 1, the first two chapters are devoted to quantum chromodynamics as the theory of hadrons. The author gives an in-depth discussion of a variety ofpowerful methods based on Wilson's operator product expansion. Chapter 3 (written together with V Novikov, A Vainshtein, and V Zakharov) is the most systematic and pedagogical presentation of instantons in the gauge theories one can find in the literature. Chapter 4 introduces supersymmetry. Chapter 5, concluding this volume, reviews the fascinating dynamics of supersymmetric gauge theories in the strong coupling regime. Chapter 6, which opens Volume 2, is a culmination of the supersymmetric theme. It gives a state-of-the-art description of the breakthrough developments in supersymmetric gauge theories. It has been written specifically for this book by A Vainshtein and the author. Chapter 7 is designed as a primer of two-dimensional conformal field theory, which constitutes the basis of modern string theory. Chapter 8, the last, presents remarkable new findings in quantum mechanics. Every chapter contains exercises and a list of recommended literature.Prof. Shifman has been an active participant and significant contributor in the development of the ideas presented in this book. This accounts for the historical remarks and digressions interspersed in the book, enhancing its pedagogical role. The book will serve as a comprehensive reference and textbook for all graduate students and researchers interested in modern particle physics. It will also be a useful guide for lecturers.
Shifman Misha
This book tells captivating stories of misadventures of two renowned theoretical physicists in the Soviet Union. The first part is devoted to Friedrich (Fritz) Houtermans, an outstanding Dutch-Austrian-German physicist who was the first to suggest that the source of stars' energy is thermonuclear fusion, and also made a number of other important contributions to cosmochemistry and geochemistry. In 1935, Houtermans, a German communist, in an attempt to save his life from Hilter's Gestapo, fled to the Soviet Union. He took up an appointment at the Kharkov Physico-Technical Institute, working there for two years with the Russian physicist Valentin P Fomin. In the Great Purge of 1937, Houtermans was arrested in December by the NKVD (Soviet Secret Police, KGB's predecessor). He was tortured, and confessed to being a Trotskyist plotter and German spy, out of fear of threats against his wife Charlotte. However, Charlotte had already escaped from the Soviet Union to Denmark, after which she went to England and finally the USA. As a result of the Hilter-Stalin Pact of 1939, Houtermans was turned over to the Gestapo in May 1940 and imprisoned in Berlin.The second part consists of two essays that narrate the life story of Yuri Golfand, one of the codiscoverers of supersymmetry, a major discovery in theoretical physics in the 20th century. In 1973, just two years after the publication of his seminal paper, he was fired from the Lebedev Physics Institute in Moscow. Because of his Jewish origin he could find no job. Under such circumstances, he applied for an exit visa to Israel, but his application was denied. Yuri Golfand became a refusnik and joined the Human rights movement, along with two other prominent physicists, Andrei Sakharov and Yuri Orlov. To earn his living, he had to do manual work, repeatedly being intimidated by KGB. Only 18 years later, shortly before the demise of the Soviet Union, did he obtain permission to leave the country, emigrating to Israel in 1990.These personal life stories of two outstanding theorists are interwined with the tragedies of the 20th century and make for compelling reading.
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