The Pope of Physics by Gino Segre, Bettina Hoerlin

The Pope of Physics by Gino Segre, Bettina Hoerlin The Pope of Physics by Gino Segre, Bettina HoerlinThe Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age by Gino Segrè
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on October 18th 2016
Genres: Biography, History
Pages: 368
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley

Enrico Fermi is unquestionably among the greats of the world's physicists, the most famous Italian scientist since Galileo. Called the Pope by his peers, he was regarded as infallible in his instincts and research. His discoveries changed our world; they led to weapons of mass destruction and conversely to life-saving medical interventions.
This unassuming man struggled with issues relevant today, such as the threat of nuclear annihilation and the relationship of science to politics. Fleeing Fascism and anti-Semitism, Fermi became a leading figure in America's most secret project: building the atomic bomb. The last physicist who mastered all branches of the discipline, Fermi was a rare mixture of theorist and experimentalist. His rich legacy encompasses key advances in fields as diverse as comic rays, nuclear technology, and early computers.
In their revealing book, The Pope of Physics, Gino Segré and Bettina Hoerlin bring this scientific visionary to life. An examination of the human dramas that touched Fermi’s life as well as a thrilling history of scientific innovation in the twentieth century, this is the comprehensive biography that Fermi deserves.

The Pope of Physics is a book about the life of one of the innovative masters of physics, Enrico Fermi, who immigrated from Italy to America, and took part in one of the biggest science experiments in modern history – the construction of the atomic bomb during the second world war.

I was surprised to learn that Fermi had passed away at the relatively young age of 53, but in his short life had contributed a great deal to the scientific community. While this book is about his life and work, it focuses more heavily on his life story, his interaction with his fellow scientists and family.

There are other books which cover the research work involved in the atomic bomb project, which would serve to make up for this book’s deficiencies. I really enjoyed learning more about the man behind the legend. Just as important to the story is the legacy that he left behind him, in terms of theories and methods, which he passed on to his students and family.

I found that The Pope of Physics was an interesting biography that covered the life of its subject in enough depth to be interesting to a broad audience, although readers looking for a more indepth look at his research work may be left wanting more.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating Report
Overall: four-stars

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