Download Fritz London: A Scientific Biography by Kostas Gavroglu PDF

By Kostas Gavroglu

This is often anything greater than an unalloyed biographical comic strip of Fritz London. furthermore, this can be whatever greater than a standard run-of-the-mill overview, because it can be a observation at the development of technology. The publication, Fritz London: a systematic Biography (Cambridge, 1995), by means of Kostas Gavroglu, is itself a microhistory of a bygone age of exploration into the uncharted nation-states of chemistry and the quantum physics of superfluidity and superconductivity, anything that we won't event back for many years. during this example Gavroglu's concentration is on one of many critical and comparatively unsung champions of that period--the past due Fritz London (1900-1954), thinker of technological know-how, visionary truth seeker, and devoted theoretician in quantum thermodynamics.

Professor Gavroglu himself has been a vacationing pupil at universities within the US and the united kingdom, with study pursuits within the background of low temperature physics and actual chemistry, and is presently Professor of the background of Physics on the collage of Athens.

The untold tale really starts over a century in the past, the place even the past due Nobelist John Bardeen--who wrote the Afterword to Gavroglu's book--repeated a frequent false impression. The background of superconductivity is in detail attached with that of cryogenics. And, that background started 118 years in the past, in 1877, with the 1st liquefaction of oxygen by means of the French physicist Louis Paul Cailletet and the Swiss Raoul Pierre Pictet. by way of 1894 the Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes of Leiden confirmed the 1st advertisement liquid-air plant, and 4 years later the British chemist Sir James Dewar liquefied hydrogen. however it wasn't till July 10, 1908, that Onnes succeeded in liquefying helium, the main tough of all of the gases to liquefy as a result of its tremendous low 4.2° okay (-269° C) boiling point.

3 years later superconductivity used to be stumbled on in a rod of frozen mercury by means of Georg Holst, a scholar of Onnes, who used to be assisted through G.J. Flim, an device maker and grasp craftsman of Leiden who had equipped the 1st helium liquefier for Onnes. Flim later based a college for software makers, whereas Holst turned the 1st director of the Philips study Labs within the Netherlands.

Onnes, himself, used to be hugely skeptical steel similar to mercury may possibly simply abruptly lose all resistivity to an electrical present, and did not think Holst's discovering till he had repeated the test numerous instances himself. that very same 12 months (1911), Onnes released the result of these landmark experiments as an appendix to a different paper, within which he did supply credits to Holst yet none to Flim. years later Onnes acquired the Nobel award for his paintings in cryogenics. And, even if one may be tempted to claim that he wasn't the crucial discoverer of checklist for superconductivity, which certainly he was once now not, the accomplishments of Onnes have been still impressive.

It was once in this interval of intriguing discoveries early in our century that Fritz London grew up. His first released attempt in 1921, the yr he graduated from the collage of Munich, used to be an strange philosophic essay on antipositivist and antireductionist rules within the face of winning positivist attitudes of the medical neighborhood. This initial view by means of London was once a key to his early improvement towards a extra mature "systematic try to discover the chances of a distinct theoretical technique, in order to articulate the variations among a macroscopic concept at the one hand, and the phenomenological and primary theories at the other." His look for macroscopic ideas amidst quantum mechanical nuclear occasions set the tenor for the remainder of his life.

And, whilst his mathematical abilities elevated, so did his horizons. yet there have been additionally a few fake trails, as while his younger enthusiasm led him into an abortive try and expand Hermann Weyl's concept unifying gravitation and electromagnetism in the framework of quantum mechanics.

In 1924, Satyendra Bose, thinking of on Planck's radiation legislations, and soon after, Albert Einstein, contemplating molecular subject, formulated the quantum mechanical influence of an amazing fuel with indispensable electron spin that might commence condensing lower than a definite temperature. this may start up London's eventual curiosity in superconductivity and superfluidity via his research of macroscopic quantum phenomena. In 1925 London released his first physics paper with Helmut Hönl on atomic band spectra. In 1926 Erwin Schrödinger, in a four-part paper, defined his equations of wave mechanics in line with the idea that of topic waves brought 4 years previous through Louis de Broglie.

yet, the earliest software of quantum mechanics to covalent chemical bonding via such atomic wave capabilities by means of spin-pairing of electrons used to be offered in 1927 through London and Walter Heitler, then at Zürich, displaying a dependence at the Pauli exclusion precept. yet, based on critic Linus Pauling, they have been additionally development at the semiempirical 1916 idea by means of chemsist Gilbert Lewis that ionic and homopolar bonding can be defined through electron-pair sharing of atoms. The Heitler-London paper used to be nearly universally hailed as proposing essentially the most promising theories relating to chemical valence. London, even though, was once livid on the americans, Pauling, John Slater, and Robert Mulliken for their--in his view--excessively pragmatic method of chemical bonding.

via 1928 London was once Schrödinger's assistant in Berlin, and his occupation appeared firmly demonstrated. Then, because the family winds started to swap greatly in Germany with the increase of nationwide Socialism, Fritz London and his brother Heinz, being Jews, have been suggested to discover appointments in more secure political climates.

Frederick Lindemann, then at Oxford, used to be developing a low temperature laboratory and wanted physicists and theoreticians to employees the power and train. Imperial Chemical Industries generously underwrote fellowships for displaced Jewish scientists. Arnold Sommerfeld and Einstein had instructed London and Hans Bethe to Lindemann, and so Fritz went to Oxford in 1933, through Heinz London a 12 months later, whereas Bethe opted for Manchester. Max Planck was once dissatisfied and proposal Fritz was once creating a mistake via leaving Berlin.

approximately this time Walther Meissner and R. Ochsenfeld had confirmed that superconductors exhibited powerful diamagnetism. And, inside of a couple of months of Heinz becoming a member of Fritz, that they had labored out the electrodynamics of superconductivity and provided a theoretical thought of the phenomenon. In 1935 Fritz London had formulated that superconductive electrons exhibited a inflexible wave functionality with a wavelength of the scale of the superconductor and, as a result restraints of the uncertainty precept, has to be comprehended in momentum area instead of part house. hence, superconductivity is a macroscopic quantum phenomenon, the place the superconductor itself turns into in impression a unmarried diamagnetic atom.

regardless of such industriousness, London was once unsatisfied at Oxford. whilst the ICI furnish ran out in 1936 London moved to the Henri Poincaré Institute in Paris. inside a little while he had labored out the equations of nation for superfluid helium, one other macroscopic phenomenon, which happens lower than 2.19° okay, and obeys the Bose-Einstein information within the condensation part that can't be defined and understood through classical hydrodynamics.

while the inclement political winds reached into France, London took a place at Duke college within the US through the fall of 1939 and spent the struggle years in relative isolation. yet in 1940, his brother Heinz, Walter Heitler, and different German medical refugees in England have been without warning interned for a number of months. thankfully, all have been finally published. but Fritz discouraged his brother from coming to the united states, bringing up the loneliness and anonymity, whereupon Heinz finally grew to become a British topic and labored on their atom bomb undertaking. nonetheless, throughout the early Forties, London persisted to theoretically examine van der Waals forces, or even entered the theoretical lists in biology through responding to an editorial by means of Albert Szent-Györgyi and agreeing with him that there has been even more of an interrelationship among quantum mechanics and biochemistry than were theretofore demonstrated.

by way of 1946, while London used to be invited to talk on the Cambridge convention on Low Temperatures, he was hoping to fulfill a lot of his previous colleagues in addition to a number of from the USSR, even if the latter by no means arrived as a result of go back and forth regulations for Soviet scientists. London were at theoretical odds with Lev Landau, the outspoken Russian enfant poor who had as soon as been victimized by means of a Stalinist purge due to his personal candid perspectives, and who had independently formulated a concept of superfluidity in accordance with vortex phenomenon in quantum hydrodynamics. London, who had up till then been severe of his good friend and colleague, Lazlo Tisza, for his two-fluid version of superfluidity, by surprise reversed his stance, because it seemed that the Soviet physicist had additionally embraced Tisza's version, and London was hoping to reconcile the highbrow distinction he had by means of recourse to the Bose-Einstein condensation as a reason. Landau's process was once formidable and infeasible, in response to London. yet because Landau used to be held in excessive esteem and had differently overlooked London's paintings, it appeared greater to proffer a theoretical olive department. yet then Landau later criticized Tisza, and Tisza in flip have been supported by way of London, yet by means of 1950 experiments in adiabatic demagnetization paradoxically tended to aid Landau. however, London may perhaps by no means philosophically settle for Landau's approach.

within the early Nineteen Fifties self sufficient relevance of the Bose-Einstein condensation for sup

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Somehow, they single out from the space encompassing all the 'objects in general', a number of classes. Having made these conventions, London proceeded to a particularly interesting classification of judgements reminiscent of the Kantian categories, but with an important difference concerning the synthetic judgements, whereby London did not divide them into a priori and a posteriori. A deductive manifold was considered to be a relative unit of connection of truth. The following two terms are used: 'content of judgements' - the set of the states of affairs which are signified by the judgement - and 'content of a group of judgements', which represents the content of the logical product of the single judgements.

London's reaction did not leave much to be expected from Tolman's method. ' London's first serious excursion into the 'outside' world after he completed his thesis in philosophy was to intervene in a dispute between two physicists in the pages of a journal read mainly by physicists. 29 The only person who discussed London's ideas in a more detailed manner was G. 30 London's wish to discuss these issues with the scientists would perpetrate his professional isolation. It was the time when such writings were becoming quite numerous.

There is, then, a crucial difference between the subsumption axioms and the existential axioms. e. relations. The formal objects that comprise the manifold are introduced in 'implicit definitions' after having made as their basis the already known relations. These implicit definitions of the basic terms do not 1 FROM PHILOSOPHY TO PHYSICS 19 have the form of a subsumption of volumes, but rather they include the assertion of the (logical) existence of the particular category of objects. He called these axioms 'existential axioms'.

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