American Institute of Physics, 1939. 1st Edition. ORIGINAL WRAPS, NEAR FINE CONDITION. 1st EDITION OF TWO (within a single journal issue) SEMINAL PAPERS IN THE HISTORY OF PHYSICS, one by Bohr & Wheeler and one by Oppenheimer & Snyder.
BOHR & WHEELER'S "The Mechanism of Nuclear Fission" is the first fully worked out theory of nuclear fission and it laid the groundwork for atomic and hydrogen bombs. "The paper is a masterpiece of clear thinking and lucid writing. It reveals, at the center of the mystery of fission, a tiny world where everything can be calculated and everything understood. The tiny world is a nucleus of uranium 236, formed when a neutron is freshly captured by a nucleus of uranium 235. The uranium 236 nucleus sits precisely on the border between classical and quantum physics."
By studying this process in detail, they show how the complementary views provided by classical and quantum pictures are both essential to the understanding of nature. Without the combined power of classical and quantum concepts, the intricacies of the fission process could never have been understood. Bohr's notion of complementarity is triumphantly vindicated" (Barrow, Science and Ultimate Reality, xvii).
OPPENHEIMER & SNYDER'S "On Continued Gravitational Contraction" constitutes the very first theoretical prediction of a singularity when a sufficiently large neutron star collapses. This phenomenon was later to be coined as a black hole. "Had J. Robert Oppenheimer not led the US effort to build the atomic bomb, he might still have been remembered for figuring out how a black hole could form" (American Physical Society). This paper has been described as the forgotten birth of black holes. Item #1297
CONDITION & DETAILS: Lancaster: American Institute of Physics, 1939. (10.5 x 8 inches); 267 x 203 mm. Original wraps, very tight and solid. Very slight toning at the edges of the front wrap; the ghost of an old crease at lower right corner. Bright and very clean within. Near fine condition.