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
Goodstein, Judith R.
West, Nigel
Bonolis, Luisa
Usdin, Steven T.
Brown, Andrew P.
Physics in Perspective
Journal of Cold War Studies
Technology and Culture
European Physical Journal H
American Journal of Physics
Luigi Pellegrini Editore
Società Italiana di Fisica
Oxford University Press
University of Chicago Press
Jonathan Cape
Manhattan Project
Atomic, nuclear, and particle physics
Nuclear weapons; atomic weapons
Cold War
Fermi, Enrico
Pontekorvo, Bruno
Oppenheimer, J. Robert
Rasetti, Franco
Rosenberg, Julius
Rotblat, Joseph
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
Soviet Union
United States
Great Britain
Warsaw (Poland)
Turin (Italy)
Atomic Energy Research Establishment (Harwell, England)
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Harvard University
New York Times

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