Lancaster: American Physical Society, 1955. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL PAPER WRAPS OF A 1955 SYMPOSIUM HELD IN HONOR OF THE CREATOR OF THE WORLD’S FIRST NUCLEAR REACTOR, ENRICO FERMI (1901-1954). “In an extraordinary plenary session at its annual Washington meeting, the American Physical Society honored the memory of Enrico Fermi. Most appropriately the program was arranged and presided over by his friend, Hans Bethe. The history of Fermi's accomplishments was presented by five speakers, each of whom described one period of his unique career” (Bethe, 1955, 249).
In addition to Bethe’s extensive commentary, the journal includes the speeches of the five presenting speakers: Emiolio Segré, “Fermi and Neutron Physics”; Frederick Seitz, “Fermi Statistics and Its Applications”; E. J. Konopinski, “Fermi’s Theory of Beta-Decay”; Walter H. Zinn, “Fermi and Atomic Energy”; Herbert L. Anderson, “Mexon Experiments with Enrico Fermi”. Also included are photographs of a number of pages from Fermi’s notebooks.
Fermi was an Italian physicist “unique among the great physicists of the twentieth century in being one of the greatest in experimental physics and at the same time being one of the greatest theoretical physicists. He was unique also in the width of his contributions. He may have been one of the last physicists who knew almost all of physics and used it in his research” (ibid). Fermi was awarded the Noble Prize in 1938 for "for his demonstrations of the existence of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation, and for his related discovery of nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons” (Nobel Prize Committee).
Cropper, writing in Great Physicists, further’s Bethe’s point about what made Fermi so unique: “As a rule, scientists display their talents either as theorists or as experimentalist, but not both. Einstein, Maxwell, and Gibbs, for example, were great as theorists but not creative as experimentalists, while Faraday and Rutherford, great as experimentalists, were limited as theorists. Only Newton, displayed great talent both as an experimentalist, and as a theorist (and also as a mathematician). Enrico Fermi is another exception to the rule that physics is a bipartisan community. Fermi was, as his biographer and colleague Emilio Segré remarks, ‘from the first a complete physicist for whom theory and experiment possessed equal weight’” (Cropper, Great Physicists, p. 344).
Two unrelated papers are also present, Robert L. White, “Magentic Hyperfine Structure” and D. Her Haar, “Foundations of Statistical Mechanics”. Item #960
CONDITION & DETAILS: Lancaster: American Physical Society. Volume 27, Number 3, July, 1955. Original printed wraps. (10.5 x 8 inches; 263 x 200mm). This is not an ex-institutional copy. There is a tiny ownership stamp on the front wrap (see scan). Very slight wear at the edges of the wraps. Bright and clean throughout. Very good condition to near fine condition.