The Nuclear Muse Literature, Physics, and the First Atomic Bombs
- List Price: $22.95
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Pr
- Publish date: 10/01/2000
- ISBN: 9780299168506
- ISBN10: 0299168506
Using techniques of literary criticism, Canaday analyzes a variety of texts produced by physicists before, during, and after the Second World War. These include Niels Bohr's presentations of complementarity in "The Quantum Postulate"; the Blegdamsvej Faust, a dramatic production in which a group of physicists rewrote Goethe's Faust with themselves as the main characters; The Los Alamos Primer, the technical lectures used for training newcomers to Los Alamos; the Los Alamos scientists' descriptions of their work and of the Trinity test; and Leo Szilard's post-war novella, The Voice of the Dolphins. By refusing to give in to the common notion that science is a language foreign to non-scientists, The Nuclear Muse offers new insights into the methods of nuclear physics and underscores the relation of physics to other social forms of knowledge.