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Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler: Book by Philip Ball

Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler

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ISBN: 9780099581642    Publisher: Vintage Year of publishing: 2014     Format:  Paperback No of Pages: 320        
Serving the Reich tells the story of physics under Hitler. While some scientists tried to create an Aryan physics that excluded any 'Jewish ideas', many others made compromises and concessions as they...Read more
Serving the Reich tells the story of physics under Hitler. While some scientists tried to create an Aryan physics that excluded any 'Jewish ideas', many others made compromises and concessions as they continued to work under the Nazi regime. Among them were three world-renowned physicists: Max Planck, pioneer of quantum theory, regarded it as his moral duty to carry on under the regime. Peter Debye, a Dutch physicist, rose to run the Reich's most important research institute before leaving for the United States in 1940. Werner Heisenberg, discovered the Uncertainty Principle, and became the leading figure in Germany's race for the atomic bomb. After the war most scientists in Germany maintained they had been apolitical or even resisted the regime: Debye claimed that he had gone to America to escape Nazi interference in his research; Heisenberg and others argued that they had deliberately delayed production of the atomic bomb. Mixing history, science and biography, Serving the Reich is a gripping exploration of moral choices under a totalitarian regime.
Here are human dilemmas, failures to take responsibility, three lives caught between the idealistic goals of science and a tyrannical ideology.
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About the author: Philip Ball
Philip Ball is a freelance writer and a consultant editor for Nature, where he previously worked as an editor for physical sciences. He writes regularly... Read more
Philip Ball is a freelance writer and a consultant editor for Nature, where he previously worked as an editor for physical sciences. He writes regularly in the scientific and popular media and his many books include Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads To Another (winner of the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books), The Music Instinct, Unnatural: The Heretical Idea of Making People and, most recently, Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything.
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Review:
Ball's book shows what can happen to morality when cleverness and discovery are valued above all else" -- Philip Maughan New Statesman "Ball does an outstanding service by reminding us how powerful...Read more
Ball's book shows what can happen to morality when cleverness and discovery are valued above all else" -- Philip Maughan New Statesman "Ball does an outstanding service by reminding us how powerful and sometimes confusing the pressures were... Packed with dramatic, moving and even comical moments" -- Robert P Crease Nature "A fascinating account of the moral dilemmas faced by German physicists working within Nazism. Impeccably researched" -- Ian Thomson Tablet "An engrossing and disturbing book" -- Andrew Robinson History Today "[A] fine book" -- Christopher Coker Times Literary Supplement
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