Book ID: CBB001422223

Half-Life: The Divided Life of Bruno Pontecorvo, Physicist or Spy (2015)


Close, Frank E. (Author)

Basic Books

Publication Date: 2015
Physical Details: xix + 378 pp.; ill.; bibl.; index
Language: English

Bruno Pontecorvo dedicated his career to hunting for the Higgs boson of his day-- the neutrino, a nearly massless particle considered essential to the process of nuclear fission. His work on the Manhattan project under Enrico Fermi confirmed his reputation as a brilliant physicist and helped usher in the nuclear age. He should have won a Nobel Prize, but late in the summer of 1950 he vanished. At the height of the Cold War, Pontecorvo had disappeared behind the Iron Curtain. In Half-Life, physicist and historian Frank Close offers a heretofore untold history of Pontecorvo's life, based on unprecedented access to his friends, family, and colleagues. With all the elements of a Cold War thriller-- classified atomic research, an infamous double agent, a kidnapping by Soviet operatives-- Half-Life is a history of particle physics at perhaps its most powerful: when it created the bomb.

Reviewed By

Review Segrè, Gino (2015) Review of "Half-Life: The Divided Life of Bruno Pontecorvo, Physicist or Spy". Physics in Perspective (pp. 70-73). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Bernardini, Carlo
Cioci, Vincenzo
Hoerlin, Bettina
David N. Schwartz
Olena Voitiuk
Vincent Kiernan
Technology and Culture
Physics in Perspective
Journal of Cold War Studies
Icon: Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology
American Journal of Physics
Luigi Pellegrini Editore
Raffaello Cortina Editore
University of Massachusetts Press
University of Chicago Press
Manhattan Project
Atomic, nuclear, and particle physics
Cold War
Atomic bomb
Fermi, Enrico
Pontekorvo, Bruno
Rasetti, Franco
Laurence, William L.
Wick, Gian Carlo
Koniukhov, Stanislaus
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
20th century, early
Soviet Union
United States
Turin (Italy)
Atomic Energy Research Establishment (Harwell, England)
Harvard University
New York Times

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