Lancaster: American Institute of Physics, 1939. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL WRAPS OF TWO SEMINAL PAPERS IN THE HISTORY OF PHYSICS.
Bohr and 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).
ALSO included: 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 #282
CONDITION & DETAILS: Lancaster: American Institute of Physics, 1939. Royal 8vo. (10.5 x 8 inches); 267 x 203 mm. Original wraps. Some toning and scuffing around the edges, a bit of spotting front and rear. Tightly and very solidly bound. Bright and very clean within. More photos available upon request.